8 Tips for Authors Making a Video

A poorly-produced video for YouTube or your authors website actually can harm your book sales and business more than help it, so you want to put in the time to get it right. Learning the craft of filmmaking will take a while, but you just have to know some basics to get started and come out with a good video.

Here are several great filming and production tips to help ensure you make a high quality video.

Use good light when filming
If you don’t have any lights for filming, only make the video during the day. Indoor lights won’t begin to provide enough light to film at night. If you must film during the evening, add a couple of additional lights to help achieve the brightness of natural daylight. These need not be expensive; a couple of worklights available at a hardware store can get you started.

Discover your best angle
Always use your best side (left, right, front on) for speaking to a camera. The best time to determine this is when you’re practicing your very first video in front of the camera. Rehearse the video three times, each time using a different angle; preview the videos and then stick with the angle that looks best.

Speak loudly and clearly
Your voice must be louder than any background sound, such as music. That means no whispering or mumbling. Also, pronounce your words clearly.

Watch your background
If outside, don’t stand so that a pole or tree in the background sticks out of your head. In addition, make sure there are no mirrors are reflective services that can appear in your video’s background lest sometimes unintended material ends up in your shot, which can be distracting at best and embarrassing at worst.

Employ a backdrop
Anytime you film in a busy place, a number of distractions can appear in the background. If your video must be done in such a location, add a backdrop so that viewers will focus on you rather than passing bicyclists, flashing police lights, people trying to photobomb the video, and so forth.

Research special effects
A lot of people in the film and television industries decades ago perfected how to make certain special effects look realistic. Rely on their expertise rather than reinvent the wheel. For example, if you are a horror author who wanted to use blood in our video, like the pros, use food coloring not ketchup (which doesn’t look real).

Stick to copyright free music
If you use music in your video, be sure not to include copyrighted material. YouTube usually will remove it. There is plenty of copyright free music that can be used; to find it, just type royalty free music into a search engine.

Keep the videos short
Expect your viewers’ attention spans to be limited. Indeed, almost half of all viewers will tune out after just a minute into your video. Given this, keep videos to less than 10 minutes in length.