Take the Opportunity to Use Video to Promote Your Work

Thursday, August 06, 2020

Last week, I read a Publisher's Weekly article about the poem “And the People Stayed Home” by Kitty O’Meara. O’Meara wrote about how staying home because of COVID is an opportunity to slow the world down. When a friend asked to post it on Facebook, the poem went viral. This November, it will come out as a picture book from Tra Publishing. 

It isn't surprising that this article has me thinking about opportunities. The article is about a picture book that focuses on opportunities. The same article talks about a writer who took the opportunity to share a poem and then recognized a new opportunity for it to become a picture book. 

With this in mind, I read a blog post about book trailers and immediately started thinking about the variety of videos I could make. 

For The Assassination of John F. Kennedy and The Murders of Tupac and Biggie, I could focus on the crimes themselves with a true crime-style story. Or I could discuss live television and how various television stations, including Channel 11 Lubbock where my father worked, covered the assassination. 

I could interview my son about the geology class he took as a preschooler. They got to make fossil casts, hunt for fossils, and clean fossils before taking several home. That’s how we came to have a cluster of fossilized mollusks the size of a dinner plate. That would be a great introduction for The Evolution of Reptiles and The Evolution of Mammals

If not that, I could record an evolutionary trivia challenge. Which animal is most closely related to the hippo? A whale, a rhino or a manatee? 

Instead of focusing on my books for my first video, I decided to create a trailer for one of my WOW classes. I teach both "Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults" and "Research: Prepping to Write Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults." I decided to start with the writing class. What do you include for a class trailer? I started with the title of the class, who should take the class, why they should take it, what they will study, and a bit about me. 

I did this on Adobe Spark. There were many things to love about this program. Not only was it free but it was fairly intuitive. You can also use it to make slide shows, Instagram stories, web pages, and a variety of graphics. So far my experience is limited to videos. 

The worst part was the microphone feature. You have to hold down the microphone graphic button. Easy peasy? Not when you are using a touch pad. Tap. Tap. TAP. “I know how to hold down a bleeping button. Of course it recorded that.” Next time I will make sure I have a mouse handy. 

I’m not going to claim perfection but I think this turned out pretty well for a first effort. 

How could you use a video to promote yourself and your work? Try to think outside the box. 


Sue Bradford Edwards' is the author of over 25 books for young readers.  To find out more about her writing, visit her blog, One Writer's Journey.

Sue is also the instructor for  Research: Prepping to Write Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults (next session begins September 7, 2020) and Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults (next session begins September 7, 2020). 


Cathy C. Hall said...

Sue, that's excellent!! I have not heard of Adobe Spark but it looks great and I'm all for anything that's easy to learn.

I'm a firm believer that images and videos can make a huge marketing difference...if I ever get my YA book pubbed, I will definitely try my hand at making a video--thanks for sharing!

Jeanine DeHoney said...

Such an informative article Sue. I never thought about using a video to promote my writing. Time for me to think outside the box and get out of my comfort zone.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Sue--Well done! I played around with Adobe Spark this summer. I was looking for a movie-making program I could use with chromebooks, and you're right. It's rather easy to use. (My favorite one does not work with chromebooks.)

If I remember correctly, don't you do some illustrating/drawing? I think you should consider using some of your artwork in a future movie. (Just an idea. ;)

I'd like to make a movie about the process or the inspiration behind a project (whether that is my manuscript-novel or a picture book that's been revived from the dead).

Margo Dill said...

I am so impressed!! :) Awesome.

Carole Mertz said...

Sue, you made creating your Spark video look really easy. What a great FIRST TRY! You gave me ideas for how I might promote my book Color and Line, an ekphrastic poetry book that releases this November. I'm excited to think I could produce a trailer without having to show my face live. A mugshot is one thing, but live visuals of myself would be a challenge I couldn't "face." I could actually show a portion of a poem, with a photo of the artwork to which it correlates. I'm encountering a number of people who don't know how ekphrasis works. (My book has no photos; but a trailer could show the painting, accompanied by an excerpt of the poem.) I'll be curious to discover if Adobe Spark gives you choices for the background music.Yours was very effective.

Angela Mackintosh said...

GREAT job, Sue! I love your video, and what a smart idea. I never thought of doing videos to promote a class (doy), but thank you! I will use it in our next classroom newsletter. :)

I also love it when something goes viral when the writer didn't intend it to and causes publishers to take notice. What a great idea for a picture book.

Is it a whale? Oh please do a trivia challenge...that would be so fun!

I used to make videos to promote public art, window dressings, and my art gallery. I'd like to do video readings of my essays with motion graphics. :)

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Cathy and Jeanine,
This was definitely outside of my comfort zone. Angela has been trying to get me to do a recording for quite a while.

I could so some sketches or simple pen and ink for something. That's a good idea, thank you!

There are choices for the music. Like you, I'm much more comfortable with still photos of myself.

I could attempt a video a week but would have to get better at this. I think it is one of those things were you don't realize how much work goes into less than 2 minutes of video. I'd heard that commented on but then when I outlines, scripted, looked for photos . . . what do you mean dinner time?

Off to come up with trivia questions!


Renee Roberson said...

Great job on this video, Sue! I also like all the ideas you've brainstormed for future videos to promote your books. I am so hesitate to work with video but I know it could do wonders for my podcast. I'll have to check out Adobe Spark now, too. Thank goodness I have a tech-savvy teen in the house to help me, although there are times she sighs and shakes her head at my questions.

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top