Hey, I made an author video! If you'd like to skip right to it, you can view the video here.
Or, read on if you want to find out more about how and why I made it.
You might know I've had a book trailer for a long time, but my editor for the Indian version of Chained wanted something in addition to that to show her co-workers--something that gave more of a hint about the adventure in the story. Making a new trailer in a short time wouldn't be feasible, but an author video can be pretty quickly, and at no cost. Plus, I'd just had a great suggestion from a school librarian about having a "book talk" on my website that teachers and librarians can use to introduce the novel to readers. (Those librarians, they always know what's up). As I was making the video I realized that what I was saying seemed book-blurbish, so I've added the video to my website as a video book talk.
I'd already had a writing retreat planned at The Writing Barn, so I decided to record the video while I was there because the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves offered an awesomer background than anything in my house. (One book you'll see in the background is the upcoming Grandfather Gandhi, a gorgeous picture book biography by friend and Writing Barn owner Bethany Hegedus).
Like with the book trailer, I put the video together using iMovie, which is similar to Windows MovieMaker. Nothing fancy, just the software that comes with the computer. (If you'd like to read more about how I made the trailer, I go into more depth here).
I started off (after hair, makeup, and putting on actual clothes) by recording myself on the webcam reading the script I'd come up with. And since it didn't want the whole thing to be just me on camera, I incorporated some images from the book trailer. During those parts of the video, I recorded a voice-over to continue the narration of the script. The most challenging part of the whole process was getting the audio to transition smoothly from one clip to another, like when it switches from me to a picture. I set the fade in/fade out to zero for each clip, but it's still doing a smidge of fading here and there. (If you know some trick to fix that, I'd love to hear about it!)
Here's the version I sent to my agent first:
Joanna had advised me to keep it at under a minute, but I couldn't think of anything to cut. As always, she had some great editing advice, and after some rearranging, cutting, and adding a bit at the end, here's the final product:
I'll probably do more author videos in the future, like some less formal ones about how I write or some fun behind-the scenes stuff about my books. Blog posts take me a long time to write, but I could do an author video or vlog pretty quickly (after hair, makeup, actual clothes, etc.). Most won't have the fabulous background though. I really should've taken pictures of those bookshelves to make into posters so I could pretend they're in my own house.
Have you made your own author videos, or do you know someone who does them well? Share 'em in the comments!