6 tax matters indie authors should consider

Gear needed for making YouTube videos

You’ll need 000000000000000000qa few pieces of equipment to ensure you produce a quality video. You probably have all of it already; if not, the few missing pieces are fairly inexpensive and available at most discount store supercenters as well as online.

Let’s look at the video gear you’ll need and some of the specific requirements of each.

Video camera
A full-size video camera that can make high-definition digital videos is vital. DSLR cameras or camcorders can create a superior video and audio to smartphones, though the technology of the latter is rapidly improving. When selecting a camera/camcorder, be sure that it either has a lot of storage space or that an SD card can be plugged into it, as videos require a lot of memory compared to even large photos. It also should have USB ports. As your subscriber list grows, you’ll want to improve your video quality, and various attachments can help you do that. Another extra option that you should take seriously is a rechargeable battery from the camcorder manufacturer.

The most important thing with your camcorder is that it has some way to easily transfer videos onto your computer. Look for USB outputs or opt for a device that records to SD cards your computer can read. Avoid older technologies, such as VHS camcorders and home Super 8 cameras. There’s nothing wrong with these formats per se, but transferring video from them onto your computer is much, much more difficult and expensive than from a digital camcorder.

As an alternative, a webcam, which most laptops come with, can be useful when you’re recording works in which you want to be shown in front of a computer. Still, many videos made with webcams look amateurish.

When filming, use a steadying device such as a tripod. Handhelds will result in shaking. Tripods also will allow you to shoot from different angles than a handheld camera. Your tripod should be able to pan and tilt. If you need to do smooth tracking shots as part of your video, you’ll also need a dolly to set the tripod upon. Always ensure your camera will fit onto your tripod.

Your audio ought to be as good as the quality of your video, and your computer’s built-in microphone likely won’t cut it. Purchase a dedicated microphone, as it will minimize the amount of echoing and background noise; this is because the microphone sits closer to your mouth than the one on your camera. Also worth purchasing once you get going is a pop filter, which you place over the microphone to reduce audio feedback, which can be a problem when editing the video.

Lighting isn’t necessary in some video situations, such as if you’re filming outside or if your narrating something that appears on the computer screen. But if recording indoors, even on days with a lot of sunshine your video can appear dark. Fortunately, lighting doesn’t need to be expensive; work lights found at hardware stores will do the job, albeit it’s unsophisticated.

Whether using work lights or a professional kit, setting up your lighting involves having three separate light sources. One should be behind the camera as it faces you. Another should be at a 45 degree angle to your side and facing the wall behind you. The third light should be opposite of the second source and facing the wall.

After filming your video, you’ll need video editing software for post-production. This allows you to cut and add scenes to your video, to use special effects, and to include tracks of music and sound effects. Anyone using either Windows or an Apple has access to free software (Movie Maker for the former, iMovie for the latter) that comes with their computer or can be downloaded from an app store. These are fine, easy-to-use programs for beginners. Other programs that give you more sophisticated software can be purchased for a relatively low price.

If recording with your webcam, you may need software to handle input; most computers already have it pre-installed, though. If recording content that is on your computer monitor, you’ll need to download third-party software.

Professional Book Editor: Having your novel, short story or nonfiction manuscript 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. I can provide that second eye.


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