Everything’s Coming up Videos!

- by Elaine Isaak

A few months ago, everyone was buzzing about book trailers–those little movie ads for upcoming releases, and you can find all sorts of them on-line so much so, that now many people are saying they are passe.

Or does that mean they are like websites, not hot any more, but still everyone should have at least one? Hard to say in this digital era.  At the same time, a couple of our conference guests suggested that authors in general were not using Youtube to its fullest.

So I decided to scope out the territory and set up my little encampment.  I think I have four videos at the moment, but I have ideas for others.

But for those already mired in social media not to mention old-fashioned book reviews, chat sessions, store visits, readings, conferences. . . is video really that important?Here’s the deal.  Social media helps us as authors to be accessible to our readers, to a greater or lesser degree.  Your static website provides information about you and your books for the curious.  Your blog gives you a chance to share your process or ideas as well as whatever personal information you feel is appropriate.

Twitter and Facebook are interactive opportunities where you can share the latest news or reviews, as well as reaching out to fans.  Where does video fit?

One of the observations often made about on-line communication is that it’s hard to get a sense for someone:  mood, tone, personality don’t shine through the way they do in person.  Even those profile pictures–how often have you met someone and thought, wow, she’s different from how I imagined, even if you’ve seen her photos updated for years.

Video gives a sense for the whole you.  And it doesn’t have to be difficult or high-production.  Sure, the book trailers can be fun, but there are many uses for author video beyond that single title.  Video presents the author in the round, a great treat for fans who might not be able to attend your events in person.

How about recorded interviews?  Could just be you and a friend chatting about writing.  I often ask someone to record my readings, then I can post those on-line.  Video blogs (vlogs) are another option, where you speak directly to the camera.  you could give a tour of your writing office–or of important settings you use in your writing.

Ever taken a video for research purposes?  Give your fans the inside scoop by posting it!  Most of these can be created while you’re engaged in your regular research or promotional activities,  and setting up the account takes only minutes.

Besides, you might re-discover that acting bug you thought you’d kicked in High School!

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