I've been experimenting with a new strategy that is meant to help me build brand awareness via video, while not stealing too much of my writing time. Let's face it; I want to be an author more than I want to be a brand. But, I know the importance of putting in the effort to build a brand.
This new strategy is easy. I write. I turn on my webcam, and then I read what I've just written on camera. After a few simple edits, I upload the video to YouTube and embed the video on my blog. I follow up by posting a link to the blog post on my social media network.
I'm not doing any difficult edits. I'm not using an expensive set or camera. I have no wardrobe budget. No makeup is required. It's just me in front of the computer doing what I normally do anyway, reading what I've written for the day.
This is not viral video material. I'm making the videos for the readership I already have. And, while I'm not getting thousands of hits, I am getting something I would say is as equally as important:I'm having interactions with my readers. They've given me comments on the work in progress, including suggestions on what I should include in the story. Plus, they're getting a personal glimpse of me in my element, doing what I do, which helps put a face to my brand.
Simply put, I'm having fun. Not to mention I'm creating a more complete first draft of a story than I ever have before. So, while you're trying to decide how to build your brand, I invite you to try this strategy. If I can do it, anyone can. Here's the first video that explains what I'm doing for the readers, and the very first reading of the story. Note how low-tech it is.
Is this a brand-building strategy you could implement on your next book project?
Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.
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It's true that MFA programs have produced far more competent mediocrities than shining stars, but that's also true of every other literary ecosystem. Shining stars are by definition exceptional. (This is what Batuman means when she describes literature as "elitist.") Yes, MFA grads with nothing to say are now able to say it more skillfully, but authors were pretty good at being boring before university writing programs came along and would surely go on being boring if every MFA program were wiped off the face of the earth. The programs don't make them dull, even if they also can't make them interesting.
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