Along with the Google search engine, YouTube now is the most popular way for finding information on the web.
And why shouldn’t it be? Human beings are visual creatures – we like to see things rather than just have them explained to us. With three generations now having grown up with television dominating their free time, people are attuned to video presentations.
To get on YouTube, you’ll need to create a “channel,” which essentially is the same as an account.
The ins and outs of creating and editing videos fall beyond the purview of this blog. Rest assured, several useful, easy to understand tutorials exist online and in book format, however. I also should note here that you probably will need to buy some equipment and software to create a video. Don’t consider this a daunting task, though; you might be surprised by how easy and fairly inexpensive it is to do (If you have teens, they probably can set you up!). If you have a webcam on your laptop, you’re already off to a good start.
Most videos are short – anywhere from a couple of minutes to around 10 minutes. Currently, YouTube allows you to upload HD videos in various formats for up to 15 minutes.
So what do you make a video about? Almost anything you a might blog about. For example:
• Public appearances – Run snippets of your book readings and guest speaking appearances at writing conferences or in roundtable discussions.
• Your tips on subject matter – If you’ve penned fiction, you might focus on the craft of writing. If you’re authored a nonfiction book, share advice about your subject matter.
• Answer readers’ questions – Such questions might include seeking of advice on the subject matter you wrote about, wondering why certain events occurred in your novel, or inquiries about your background.
• Any news about your writing – Announcements of upcoming articles and books, awards received, and updates to readers on how far along your next book is all are possibilities.
• Your thoughts on other books – Review books in your genre or on your subject matter. As on your blog, don’t write a scathing review lest you sound like you’re only trying to plug your book.
During these videos, always make sure that you mention you’re the author of such-and-such a book. Remember, the idea of the video is to plug your book so you can increase sales.
Once you’ve posted a video to YouTube, you automatically can post a link to it on Facebook and send out a tweet on it at Twitter. You also should mention it on your blog with a link to the video (or just repost the video to your blog).
Finally, one neat aspect of You Tube is that you can monetize your videos; that is, you can place ads on them that can earn you dollars. As with your blogs, unless you become an extremely popular writer, this is an extra stream of revenue that probably won’t amount to much. But who’s counting dollars?
Need an editor? Having your book, business document or academic paper proofread or edited before submitting it can prove invaluable. In an economic climate where you face heavy competition, your writing needs a second eye to give you the edge. Whether you come from a big city like San Antonio, Texas, or a small town like Toad Suck, Arkansas, I can provide that second eye.