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November 8, 2017

I’ve brushed on this subject a bit in various marketing articles here at Fred Central, but never talked about the subject specifically, or my exact adventures, at least that I recall.

I’ve made one video…well to be correct, two on my own and my publisher has completed two until this week when we just completed number three. It’s being processed and tweaked right now. Different formats, different purposes, as you’ll see.


Back in late 2015, when I first started out with Treasure Of The Umbrunna, I wanted a video to post on line of me talking about the book. I’d already had something cooking for possible audio interviews with an internet site, which is a whole ‘nuther story, but it wasn’t something where my readers could see me in the flesh (or pixels), so to speak. That audio interview went well but I didn’t own it and it was only available for a short time, unless I forked out big bucks. Uh, no…sorry.

What to do?

Since I didn’t have any fancy video gear, or a studio, I opted for the “el cheapo” route and did it “eau natural” (or something like that). I wrote a script which was a series of questions and had my daughter set up my hand-held digital camera on a bookshelf aimed at my computer. Then I sat at said computer and answered the questions she asked me.

Simple, down and dirty, right?

Oh…kay, dirty is right. There were a couple of factors I never anticipated.

Angles: I have two monitors and one was supposed to have a full image of the book cover next to my shoulder. The problem is that in the video, my shoulder not only blocked most of the monitor, but you couldn’t make out the image.

Sound: While you could hear me speak as well as my daughter asking the questions, there was something unanticipated. The sound of the computer fan. It was LOUD.

Lighting: There were shadows that didn’t look quite right, unless you were a fan of Wayne’s World or maybe Chiller Theater or something.

It’s those little things you don’t think about.

Oh well. I had to throw away a whole bunch of “film” on that one.

We adjusted the angles, I spoke up, used an extra light source and did a fairly decent author interview that lasted about ten minutes.

The next issue was the massive file and how to load it on the net to my Meleena’s Adventures Facebook page. I had to get my publisher to compress it. Then, it still took multiple attempts and a LOT of waiting before it would upload to Facebook.

When it finally did, voila! I had an author interview.


I paid a few bucks to my publisher (this came extra from a contractor) for an animated Treasure Of The Umbrunna video. We came up with a concept and the contractor took off with it, created the graphics and the music and took care of all the legal details. When I saw the final product, which was about a minute and a half, I loved it!

The final MP-4 loaded easily to my sites and it was an awesome compliment to go with the book. That video is also on my Amazon page.

It started with taking off from one of my original book blurb concepts and turning it into narration. That, in turn, accompanied the animation and graphics that went into the video sequence. I had nothing to do with that, but I did have the final approval. I also had final approval of the music, which I loved right off. It was a collaborative effort.


For the new book, Lusitania Gold, I have one short snippet of a video, animated, that I’ve been trying to post. It’s only a 10MB MP-4, but for some reason, I cannot get it to load onto my Facebook page. I’m going to try and post it onto the Amazon site on my author page. I need to get it up somewhere. My Treasure Of The Umbrunna video is 32MB and it uploaded to my Facebook page with no problem. I have no idea if Facebook changed their standards or what.

I finally tricked the Facebook system into uploading the video by using my regular Facebook page. For some reason, my official Treasure page would not load it, but when I posted it through my normal personal page, it came right up.

Last Monday, when we did the professional quality author interview through my publisher, it was quite an experience. It was a lot of fun, what with camera angles, sound, setup, rehearsal and all the nuances involved. I think it’ll be a great video once it’s finalized.


Videos are great marketing tools because your readers get to see you in the flesh. On the other hand, the animated ones give them a chance to see something in motion, something flashy, something that dazzles the eye, if done well. It’s the commercial you couldn’t afford to put on TV.

It’s all about marketing. Use it wisely, Grasshopper.

Happy writing!

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