Kendra Bonnett--Getting Read #18Creating our Writing in Five Quick Tips has been instructive. What Matilda and I are learning as we develop our writing tips is the source of most of the video tips we've been passing along here and on our Women's Memoirs Book Business blog posts.
Because I realize that getting started creating your own videos is a big hurdle to overcome, I wanted to share a little "inside baseball" with you as well as point out a mistake I made in my most recent video.
First, I want to acknowledge that I haven't come close to shattering Matilda's record for short videos. My latest effort is 5 minutes and 39 seconds long. But I have an excuse: I'm using content that started life as an audio recording. Back in February, when we first conceived the Writing in Five series, Matilda and I thought we'd just record ourselves discussing various aspects of writing.
The problem is, audio doesn't have the same power in Google searches (That's Tip #1). So we switched to video. Now Matilda and I are going back and converting our first three audios to video. So what you'll hear on my Stephen King hates adverbs video is our original recording. What you'll see are four slides I created for the background.
In other words, your own videos can be as simple as an audio recording with a few PowerPoint (or for Mac users, Keynote) slides for the visual. And that's Tip #2. We recorded ourselves by phone, using FreeConferenceCall.com. The only expense was the cost of the phone call.
I invite you to watch my latest video and give me your feedback. Just follow this link to Damn the -ly Words (Adverbs) in Your Writing: Learn to Show Don't Tell.
I edited the audio file (cleaned it up, cut out the flubs, etc.) using Audacity. It's free, and it's terrific.
I created the slides in Keynote, which came with my Mac. Most PC users have access to PowerPoint; if you don't, you can try OpenOffice.
And finally, I stitched it all together using Screenflow. It's not free, but I consider it reasonably priced at $99. There is a free, open source screen capture program called Jing. I haven't used it, but it's made by the same people who make Camtasia--the Number One selling screen capture program ($299).
And that's it. Oh, one more thing. I recorded a brief conclusion, which requires a microphone. Amazon is a good resource for finding a reasonably priced microphone. You should end up spending between $50 and $100 for something decent. We highly recommend microphones that connect via the USB port.
I promised to share my mistake: In stitching the video together in Screenflow I had several elements I was working with: video of the slides, audio from Matilda's and my original phone call and the audio of the new conclusion I recorded. Syncing the audio and video is easier than I thought it would be. However, I made a mistake. I was trying to stretch out the time the second slide was up on the screen. I thought I'd been successful. In fact, all I did was trigger the third slide prematurely, and then I trigger it again a few seconds later. I now know that I could have fixed this with a little copy and paste. I could have copied the video of the second screen, dropped that in and cropped it to fit. You can see my mistake at the 3:30 mark in the video.
I hope this encourages you to try your hand at video.