I’m honored to be able to interview Video Marketing Maven, Katie Davis on our blog today. For those of you who don’t know Katie, her books, published by Harcourt, S&S, and HarperCollins, have sold over a quarter of a million copies. Which is why she then published How to Promote Your Children’s Book: Tips, Tricks, and Secrets to Create a Bestseller, which launched at #1 on Amazon.
Katie’s also known in her niche as one of the first “writerpreneurs,” through her products that support writers, and #1 podcast, Brain Burps About Books.
After winning the 2012 School Library Journal Trailee Award, Katie launched Video Idiot Boot Camp: For People Who Think Videos Are Hard To Create. She’s passionate about the power of video to connect writers and small business owners to their communities.
Katie has been honored to speak everywhere from a maximum security prison, to schools around the world, to keynotes at conferences and fundraising galas – and in a ton of webinars, podcasts, etc. online. We are honored to be able to interview her on our blog today. So I hope you’ll join me in making her feel welcome.
1. Hey Katie! I’m so glad you agreed to this interview. I absolutely love making videos (usually of my kids), but I don’t do it very often to market my books. So the first question I wanted to ask you is, why should authors be making videos?
In the 21st century marketplace, authors have options they’ve never had before. We no longer have to rely on a publisher to get our name out there. We can be active in our own marketing and can begin reaching our audience before we even have a book published.
But how is your audience going to find you?
They’re going to type in something they want to find into a search engine. That search engine might be YouTube, or Google, or it might be Amazon (yep, that’s a search engine too)!
That’s where video comes in. Search engines love video! Take YouTube. It’s the second largest search engine in the world with 4,000,000,000 videos being watched every day. Yes, four BILLION.
You probably already know that Google is the largest search engine in the world, but did you know that Google owns YouTube? Yep. So if you’re making videos you are more likely to get noticed when people are looking for someone in your niche.
2. I’ve seen some of your videos (like this one) – and they ROCK! Yet I know not every video is a good video. I think I’ve heard you mention that sound and content are key, but what else should an author consider when making a video to represent themselves?
First, getting any video out there is better than none. No one can find your video or your website if it’s not there!
Second, be transparent and honest in your videos. People want to get to know you. Putting yourself in your videos builds trust and a relationship with your audience. Even if you’re not in front of the camera, your personality should shine through, so be yourself.
Lastly, cut, cut, cut. Just like when you edit your books, cut the stuff that isn’t necessary. Grab them at the start and make your video short and sweet to keep your audience engaged.
3. As an illustrator, you are able to draw your own art and even provide it to places like Powtoon.com, if I were to admit that my nine-year-old son can draw better than I can, would you recommend I shy away from videos with illustrations?
There’s never been a better time for using animation and illustration in your videos. Even if you can’t draw your own, there are several websites who can do the work for you:
4. That’s awesome, Katie! Shelley and I use Google+ hangouts for creating a lot of our videos since it’s free and publishes directly to our YouTube channel. But what about you? Is there one platform or method that you prefer for your own videos or that you would recommend above all the rest?
There are different resources for different types of videos. I love using Google Hangouts On Air for interviews and Q&A’s with my audience for the same reason you do—it posts direct to my YouTube channel and increases my chances of getting found in searches. When create presentations, I use Screenflow and VideoMakerFX. If I want to focus on animation, I use Powtoon or Animoto.
5. If an author wanted to get started right now making videos to promote their books, what would you recommend to them. What should they do, or where should they go?
I’ve had many author friends ask me how to create videos like mine, so I created Video Idiot Boot Camp primarily to show them how to get started, and coach them through the process. It’s a self-paced eight lesson course that walks you through everything you need to know to create your first video–where to start, free and inexpensive places to find content, how to edit your video, how to add audio and even the best ways to distribute your video. Each lesson comes with an Action Pack to get you on the road to being a Video Genius plus Labs that show you how to execute each lesson.
If you’re not ready to be a Video Genius, I suggest you start by using your smart phone and getting yourself on camera. Just get comfortable being on camera. You don’t have to show the videos to anyone now, but who knows? I often add my bloopers at the end of my video to give the audience a good laugh. (That’s part of being myself. See #1. 😉
Also, VideoMakerFX is a great way to dip your toe in to video and it’s super easy to use. A lot of my present students love it. I made a free demo on how to use it at – http://katiedavis.com/videomakerfxdemo, or if you want to buy it you can get it at https://www.trainingauthors.com/videofx.
But if you are ready to knock it out of the park with your video, join us in Video Idiot Boot Camp!
6. Thank you so much for all this great information and for your time. Before we sign off, can you let everyone know how they can connect with you online?
Learn more about video by getting my free eBook, Vidiot No More! by clicking here.