“Where do you get your ideas?” is one of the most common questions for fiction writers. So how can you answer that question at the same time as allowing readers to get to know you a little better — and market your books?
In this article, I share how I'm doing this for my thriller writer brand under J.F.Penn and you can check out the video below.
(1) Decide on the medium — article, video, or audio
I decided to use video as it is a great way to connect and my fiction readers don't get to see me in person very often. The video also has a transcript with images and links at www.JFPenn.com/ideas. In this way, even though the video was the primary goal, the text enables others to read or check out the images, plus the SEO (search engine optimization) is better with text.
I use audio at my Books and Travel Podcast every few weeks and have done personal episodes on places I have visited. I think that indie authors can sometimes obsess so much over paid ads that they forget content marketing is still a great way to connect with readers, and it gives you something to put in your email newsletter!
(2) Prepare the material
I wrote a script that highlighted my research process and prepared the images for each segment. This was a text document that I could use to read from and I had it open during the recording process. I used that as the basis for the notes under the finished video.
(3) Record and edit the video/audio
I edited the video in Screenflow for Mac. There are many options for recording and editing video, so find what's best for you or whatever comes as standard on your computer.
As ever, recording video is not a smooth process! It takes many false starts to get a take that you like but that's OK! No one will see those out-takes so you can keep going until you're happy. Allow 10x as much time as your finished video e.g. a 5 min video will take an hour to record, and at least that again to edit, etc. Video is very time consuming but it's worth it so that readers can see your face and your smile and connect with you more personally.
(4) Post and share the video
I uploaded the video on Facebook.com/jfpennauthor first and also shared it on my new Thriller Books and Travel YouTube channel. I posted it on my JFPenn blog with full notes and links and also shared it on social media under all my profiles. It is an evergreen video so I can keep sharing it over time.
Watch the video below or here on YouTube.
Video continues to be an important part of marketing, but I know it can be daunting for many authors. Please do add a comment if you have any questions or feedback.