For the last three months, I have not only been sprinting to finish ASHES IN THE SKY. I’ve also been on book tours to support the release of FIRE IN THE WOODS. I have to admit, with all that I needed to do, I would have gone crazy if it were not for my lovely publicist, Jamie, who kept everything straight for me and made sure my ducks were I a row – because by that time my quacker was sufficiently quacked-out.
As I scrambled to the end of my first draft of ASHES, Jamie contacted me and said “How about a vlog tour for the paperback release of FIRE IN THE WOODS?”
Ummmmmm. [Cringe] “I guess, but I’ve never done a vlog before.”
“Just be yourself.”
And before I knew it, the marketing company had seven stops set up. YIKES!
So, I took a deep breath and figured it out. I had two weeks to do them. No biggie. (All the while keeping up with my daily word counts)
I planned on filming them over two weekends, but the tour started earlier than I expected, so I had to give myself a crash course in making a video. I did two sessions on a Tuesday night and sent them off to Jamie, and the remainder I taped over the weekend before the tour (yeah, nothing like pressure)
Here are my pearls of wisdom:
- Get a tripod. You will thank me for it. Trust me.
- You’ll need a decent background. No one wants to see my messy desk. (Trust me on that, too)
- Don’t overthink it.
- If you mess up, don’t start over. Editing isn’t as hard as you might think (I used the free Microsoft Movie maker program that came with my computer.)
- Don’t be afraid to have fun (Even better, make fun of yourself)
- Know your audience. Is it a teen site? Give it a MUCH different tone then the “Mothers Review books” site. Record something your viewer will relate to/enjoy watching.
- Put on make-up. The camera will make you look like a zombie. Trust me.
- Put on more make-up. The make-up you used just makes you look like a cuter zombie
- Are you done with that make-up? Look like a clown? Are your kids running away from you screaming? Yep, you probably have it right, then. Make-up disappears in front of a camera for some reason. Guys, I think this goes for you, too – unless you don’t care if you look like a vampire. And not a cute sparkly one, either.
- Like Jamie said: Be yourself. Don’t sell your book. Just talk like you’re having lunch with the camera. Have fun.
- Don’t wait until 10:00 PM when the kids are in bed. Your eyes will look red and glassy if you are tired.
- If your dog walks in and burps on camera… just go with it.
Putting it all together after you tape:
I’ve always had an interest in electronic art, so I spent some “fun time” learning about fades and swipes, inserting footage, and adding music. But I had to use the “learn as I go” method, so I didn’t know as much in the first video as I did in the last one. I’m hoping if I do another vlog tour, I will have learned to add effects, because I think that would be AWESOME fun.
All in all, I’d have to say it was a great experience. My interviews are not professional by any means, but you can see my style and expertise (with adding “extras”) improve with each video. (I think the last is my best-probably because I had relaxed more by that time as well)
So, for grins and giggles, now that the tour is over and the content is no longer “exclusive,” I am going to post all these videos here. Even the ones I’m not as happy with, because, hey… if you can’t laugh at yourself, who CAN you laugh at? And I never said I wanted to be a YouTube personality.
I’ll upload one video interview a week to avoid vlog-overload.
Starting with #1 below (Hosted on a teen-based site). Enjoy!