5 Strategies for Writers to Market Their Work and Expand Their Audience

As an indie author, there are so many tools and strategies you can employ to grow your audience and even monetize your work. Below are 5: videos, podcasting, merchandising, crowdfunding, and social media. Continue reading

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Guest Post: 6 Smart ways to create a popular YouTube channel

By George Minton

YouTube, the famous Google-owned network, has over a billion users, which is almost half of the internet users on the globe. Everyday millions of people enjoy the billions of new videos aired on YouTube. In fact, YouTube reaches more than half of its daily billion views on mobile alone. This platform has created a source of income for many people who have become famous via YouTube. But as powerful as this network is, the response you get from the viewers will purely depend on the videos you have uploaded. So if you are not sure of what you need to produce quality videos on YouTube that will generate more views, kindly keep reading. Continue reading

Photos, Stickers, Animation, and More : A Collection of Visuals for Authors

By davitydave from San Francisco, CA, USA (Wedding Cake  Uploaded by Mindmatrix) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By davitydave from San Francisco, CA, USA (Wedding Cake Uploaded by Mindmatrix) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to marketing, visuals are all important–both online and off.

Photos

Photos are great for blogs as well as for books. Make sure you have the rights to use those photos. That’s where stock images come in handy.

GIFs

Just for fun, you can reverse GIFs with this handy tool.

You can also make stories out of GIFs. BoingBoing talks about novels that are comprised entirely of GIFs, and The Verge shows examples of James Kerr’s GIFs that repurpose Renaissance paintings.

Designs

For icons, animations, fonts, and more, check out Pixel Buddha.

For fonts, see “Not Sure What Font Looks Best for Web?” on Design School.

For fun dongers (unicode characters that form an emoticon), see Donger List.

Interesting Visuals

As Wired reported, even screenshots play an important role for people. Here’s a list of examples of visuals that have made an impact:

How Tos and Tools

To turn photos into line art:

To remove borders on a video:

To create your own animations:

To make your own stickers:

Indie Authors: Writing and Publishing Tools

It seems that every day I come across a new site or tool that can help with writing, editing, promoting, or pretty much any stage in the publishing process. (The Book Designer has a great article explaining why authors should embrace new technologies.) Here are links to a few of the best ones: Continue reading

Indie Authors: Using YouTube

Video can be a very important component of an indie author’s marketing strategy. In addition to book trailers, authors can make videos for a myriad of purposes, such as

  • Behind the scenes
  • Showing off research that went into the book
  • Interviews
  • Having actors play characters or scenes
  • Explaining concepts (for nonfiction books)
  • Animating themes or concepts

Explaining concepts, in particular, can be a great way to attract viewers (who may become readers). Brainy Marketer has an excellent post on why these types of videos are so good, but basically they are short, usually animated videos that really engage viewers because they are entertaining, get to the point, and have calls to action at the end (such as, “Buy this book to learn more).

YouTube

Although there are other options for where to post your video, YouTube probably makes the most sense for most people.

Because Google owns YouTube, videos that are properly indexed (meaning have good metadata) tend to be highly ranked and easily found. This means you should put a lot of thought into your title, subtitle, categories, and description. Having solid keywords relating to your content can really help. Author Marketing Experts also offers six ways to promote your YouTube channel, which includes getting a custom channel and annotating your channel.

If you get enough hits on YouTube, you can earn money via their advertising program. YouTube has also recently started a subscription service, where users can pay a monthly fee for access to videos without ads. Although the service is geared towards music videos, high quality videos showing other kinds of content may also be successful.

Have you seen success with videos? Please share in the comments!

Udemy: Increasing the Volume of Recorded Videos

Screen Shot 2013-08-31 at 1.47.35 AM

Publishing a course on Udemy has been a great learning experience. I’ve already gotten some feedback for my course, How to Create Beautiful E-BooksOne of the suggestions was to increase the volume of my video lectures, so I spent some time researching how to do that without having to reshoot all the videos. Turns out it’s pretty easy and straight forward, so I wanted to share what I did in case other people might find it useful. Continue reading