Just like any other writer, New York Times, and USA today’s bestselling author, Joanna Penn is often confronted with the big question, “Where do you get your ideas?”

However, Penn believes that the question goes beyond creative insight. In fact, she sees it as an opportunity for people to get to know the author a  bit better, and most importantly- a chance to market their books. 

So, if you are wondering how you can pretty much provide and accomplish all these goals in a get-go, Penn was generous enough to share a few tips with you. 

Now, let’s dive right in! 

1. Decide on the Medium 

This is perhaps one of the most important factors that any author would like to know. That’s because different platforms also had a different kind of treatment. Whether it might be in an article, video, or audio. 

In her blog, the author shared that she finds video as the best way to market her books. “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,” Penn wrote. 

Aside from videos, Penn is also taking advantage of podcasts to promote her book, especially when she’s on a book tour, or simply traveling to different places. She shares that “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 overpaid 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!”

If you wanted to check out the Books and travel podcast, the podcast posts two episodes once a month which all revolves around the “inspiration for the curious around unusual and fascinating places as well as the deeper aspects of travel.”

Now, if you might be wondering what content marketing is, Penn explains that it is basically something as simple as sharing content online. Now, this isn’t about outrightly selling your products, it’s about creating valuable content, whether it might be in a blog post, or a youtube video. 

For authors like you, content marketing can also feature a brief story or a flash of fiction that can get your reader’s attention, and bring them on-site (and hopefully make a purchase!) 


 

2. Prepare 

Nothing beats preparation. According to the author, it is important to have your research ready and to organize your presentation. For example, Penn notes that “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 

With so many options, the best thing about today’s technology is that you don’t need to hire a professional video team to record or help you produce content. In fact, you don’t need another person to help you at all! (although an extra pair of hands sure might help). 

For Penn, she suggests ECamm Live for starters. She adds that what makes it really great is that it has a Record only setting and enables her to overlay features. Plus It also has a multi-streaming function for going live on Facebook and YouTube which I have also used for live Q&A videos.  Basically, Ecamm Live’s integration with Restream.io and Switchboard Live means live streaming to multiple platforms simultaneously is as simple as one click. And with built-in support for Restream’s chat aggregation, Ecamm Live can even display chat comments from over 20 platforms.

Now, the app also supports multiple cameras, Blackmagic HDMI capture devices, iPhone and Mac screen sharing, and more. Another bonus feature is a  camera switcher that its users direct the show in real-time. 

When it comes to the editing part, Penn suggests using Screenflow for Mac.  That’s because the software is specifically designed for beginners. With their easy to use editing tools, it really helps people who’re just exploring and experimenting with their own videos. 

Penn advised, “There are many options for recording and editing video, so find what’s best for you or whatever comes as standard on your computer.” She also added that “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! 

Now, were will get back to the number one step, deciding which medium. Whether you wanted to share yours on an article, the only way that you would know if it works, is when you post it. Sure it can be pretty daunting at times, but that’s the beauty of it! 

For Penn, she uses a combination of social media platforms. For example, she notes that “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.” 

Penn claims “Video continues to be an important part of marketing, but I know it can be daunting for many authors.” 

This content was originally published here.


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