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Videos on a Budget

The Riddle Report 03 25 2021

We’ve all experienced working on a tight budget. It usually isn’t fun. But I’ve come to the conclusion that you can lay a foundation for when the fun begins. And you can achieve goals even though on a budget.

In a sense we are always on a budget. Even when you have a lot of money you are budgeting where that money goes. But our human nature is such that we sometimes get swayed into spending more money than we should on different items.

In today’s blog, I am addressing using videos as a way to augment your business. There are a lot of tempting products out there that are yelling at you and telling you that you MUST have them. They sound attractive and the need seems to be great if you want to compete with the big boys.

Like most authors I have looked at the idea of marketing my books and/or services via videos. I’ve experimented and learned a lot, especially over the last year. I am now investing my time into creating videos that not only market my products but provide information that can help others be better authors and Indie businesspersons.

All in all, the video industry is growing and becoming a needful place to be if you want to see your business grow. What you see on the Internet are very successful people with fancy equipment and studios, but they didn’t start that way. We all, or at least most of us, start small and grow. And that usually means we start with a small or tight budget. Today’s blog is directed at you.

Go High Tech or Basic

One of the most interesting questions is whether to go high tech or Basic. By Basic I mean using the equipment you already own. Let’s take a look.

News Item #1 Overview.

  1. The Budget – For a new or struggling author budgeting is king! And even after you succeed you need to follow a budget. I mentioned that above. The fact is that lack of money is a huge factor controlling what you can and cannot do.
  2. Computer Camera – Not so long-ago computers with built-in cameras were not of very good quality. The picture was not all that sharp, picture stability was not good, and the resulting video was not something you wanted for your business. But times have changed! Nowadays, you can buy a middle of the road computer and it will come with a decent built-in camera. It is certainly not on the level of a camera that costs hundreds of dollars, but it is good enough for advertising clips, instructional videos, and the like.
  3. Cell Phone Cameras – You could almost copy and paste the comments I made above. Cell phone cameras have come a long way. I plan on buying a new phone in the near future and I am already excited about the possibilities I will have with the new camera (or cameras as some phones have multiple camera lenses). When reading someone’s evaluation of a cell phone camera and you see “It’s OK”, don’t let that turn you down. You don’t know the reviewers background or needs. I suspect they often are more demanding than most of us are or need to be.
  4. Award Winning Video – It is important to remember that you are not trying to win an award for your video. You are creating a video for a particular purpose, such as teaching or marketing.
  5. Studio – Many of the videos you watch show the person surrounded by expensive equipment and a large studio. But you don’t need expensive equipment nor a large studio. The studio can be the corner of your living room, a converted bedroom, or some other place in your house.
  6. Presentation – This is what is important and what I address below.

News Item #2 There are 3 basic parts to Presentation.

If budget is the King, then Presentation is the Queen. You can have the best equipment, and the best studio and still stink!

Presentation consists of 3 parts: Visual, You, and Message.

  1. Visual – This includes anything that the eye perceives. However, I am zooming in on office appearance while your appearance will be dealt with separately. As stated earlier, the studio can be anywhere, and it can vary in size. I’ve seen large studios and small studios and they all seem to work. I have found that a small studio can dramatically be changed by simply adding a display of books in the background, a banner on the wall, or anything that adds color and may represent your message.
  2. You – I think this is the second most important part of your video (message being #1).
    1. How does the viewer see you? A long time ago I realized I wasn’t Prince Charming. No matter how I dress I will never be a magnetic person, but I can dress for success and that isn’t as hard as you may imagine. The next time you watch a video that is teaching or selling, note the speaker’s manner of dress. They don’t dress like a slob nor do they dress like they are going to a White House event! Generally, they dress casually. In my case I dress casually, which in my case that means no coat and tie. There was a time I dressed in a tie, but eventually that went. From videos I’ve watched the casual approach is best. I also try to be consistent in style of clothing.
    1. Don’t feel speech must be letter perfect. Your viewer needs to hear and understand your speech, but you are not trying to win a speech award.
    1. Don’t need to be a star. The message is the star!
    1. Be Genuine.
    1. Speak clearly.
    1. Be enthusiastic, but not overbearing.
  3. Message – This is the most important part.
    1. Your message should be short. Usually around 10 minutes or less. Some of my teaching videos have gone over 10 minutes out of necessity, but I recommend you keep it shorter.
    1. Be Direct – Whether selling or teaching you want your message to be clear and less distracting as possible. I have tossed videos simply because of a coughing spasm, a momentary pause in my speech, or other seemingly mild interruptions just because they were distracting.
    1. Be honest – Don’t make claims you can’t back up. I have watched videos where the speaker practically promised the product would do wonders for the viewer. It is better to show or tell them what they need to know and let them connect the dots.
    1. Don’t Brag – This is related to being honest. When you brag about what you have done you can be irritating, but you are suggesting that if the viewer does what you what them to do, they will have the same success. You can’t really prove that. If they think they can do better, that is one thing, but bragging (especially showing bank accounts) could be a can of worms if they buy your product or service and it doesn’t perform as advertised.

News Item #3 Conclusion

I believe I have found the best way: start with what you have and build upon it!

Namely, start with the current equipment you have, yourself, and your message. Yes, you will make mistakes, but you can redo a video. That is one reason for keeping them short. You can also do really short clips and when you have them all done, use an editor to make one complete video.

As you move forward, your message will be refined and stronger, you will be more relaxed and composed, and the equipment will improve.

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”) contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

==========

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld and his Parler page is authorriddle.

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Truth on Trump

09 28 2020

Welcome to News which is published every Monday and Friday.

Today’s news regards President Trump’s accomplishments and the facts regarding him, his administration, Covid-19, the economy, and more. If you didn’t watch the video please do so, it gives an overall view.

Soon the first debate will take place. I have no qualms about Trump vs. Biden but hiding in the reeds are network ‘bobbleheads’ and so-called factcheckers that will attempt to discredit anything the President says. Not that Trump will be clobbered, after all he did survive 2016 and won the presidency.

But the NeverTrumpers are not above using lies and distortions to discredit the President. That means that all of us have to be alert to the truth, which is one of the reasons I wrote Trump an Outsider’s View. Although conservative and a Trump supporter I have done my best to present the facts and let the reader decide what is truth and what is not.

There is an argument out there that this is not the most important election. I’ve read it and don’t buy into their argument. This election is critical because most of the gains that President Trump has achieved for our country are by decree. The next President can override them.

What Does That Mean?

It means that the next president can issue his own decrees which would supersede whatever President Trump has done. That covers a lot of ground including our economy, the wall, immigration, and more.

Are there other reasons it is critical?

Yes. The swamp still needs drained. The House Democrats in particular have shown that they are not fit for office. Good people elected them to do their job which is to legislate. Instead they have used government time, energy, and money to undermine and try to destroy a duly elected President. The American people see through all their actions and need to sweep them out of office!

In addition, while President Trump has accomplished much, he still has more to do. One thing is to rebuild the economy from the shutdown. He is already doing that, but he needs more time. Further, he also has more to accomplish both domestically and internationally.

The First Debate is About Taxes. What about them?

I expect to hear the same old Democratic arguments that are always made against Republicans without supporting facts. That is that the tax breaks are just for the rich. Tell that to the mom and pop businesses that were thriving in the Trump economy prior to Covid-19 and are beginning to get going again.

But this is a good time to take a critical look at the plan that Biden/Harris have put out there. We don’t have enough rich people to pay for that! Soak the rich historically hurts the middleclass and the lower-class workers. Why? Because just as profits trickle down the food chain so do taxes. Or the rich close up shop and leave the country which leaves us with fewer high paying jobs. It is a disaster waiting to happen.

Wouldn’t the Government Step In?

Of course, they would. It is what the liberals want. But how many governments have taken over the economy and prospered? Some have experimented and seemed to prosper for a while, but it never lasts. Eventually you run out of rich people’s money.

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. #Writingservices

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Ron’s Tip of the Day eBook vs Print

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. Today I am looking at eBook vs Print.

Both eBooks and Print books have value. With that in mind I do both. The fact is that eBooks while selling for less have the potential of bringing in top dollar. Print books bring in more per book and still carry a large percentage of books sold. But we live in the digital age now and the future would seem to lie with eBooks.

It is for that reason I do both.

Isn’t that difficult?

Not really. Typically, I write my story as a Print book. This means there will be headings, footers, page numbers, and more. Once I have done all the work on the book and published it as a Print book, I am free to create an eBook.

How do you do that?

The old way I did it was to remove all headers/footers. This also involves doing away with page numbers. With KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) the process is easy. Now I have a program called Kindle Create that does a lot of that work automatically. I can usually create an eBook of my Print book within a day.

How much does Kindle Create cost?

You can get Kindle Create for free. Simply download it and start working.

What does it cost to publish Print or eBooks with KDP?

The short answer is that the cost is free.

However, if you don’t want the free ISBN that is self-generated, you will have to buy it outside KDP and then provide the number to KDP. In the case of book covers, you can get a book cover elsewhere (which presumably will cost something) and use it. It must meet KDP standards.

Tip of the Day: Use Kindle Create to enable publishing both Print and eBooks on KDP.

Get our free Guide to Writing by contacting us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will send you our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tip of the Day Promotion

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. Today I am looking at Promotion.

What is Promotion?

The term promotion means different things to different people, but the simple understanding is doing whatever it takes to get your book the attention it deserves!

What Works Best?

While that is a good question there is no absolute answer. I believe in absolutes. For example, it is an absolute truth to say people are saved from their sins by trusting in the shed blood of Jesus Christ and asking Him to save you. That is absolute.

But success in life, especially marketing, has no absolutes although some marketeers will absolutely declare they have the perfect solution. Promotion has many tools, and some are better for some people, while others are good for someone else.

Tools

Promotion tools can be any or all of below or others not listed:

  • Author Book Signings
  • Author Interviews
  • Blogging
  • Bookstores
  • Book Tours
  • Press Release
  • Radio
  • Reviews
  • Social Media
  • Television
  • Trailers
  • Videos
  • Website

In Conclusion

The truth is that promotion must absolutely be done, but the most effective way for you may be entirely different than someone else.  Become acquainted with different tools, but a word of caution. Don’t become tool crazy. It can overburden you. Find what works for you.

Once you find something that works, slowly build upon it. And remember, this is a long-term effort. Don’t go down rabbit trails, stick with what works and cautiously experiment.

Tip of the Day: Experiment with different promotion tools and find what works for you.

Get our free Guide to Writing by contacting us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will send you our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tip of the Day More on Video

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. Today I am looking at More on Video.

The content of this blog is based on an article from Kindlepreneur.com.

Here are some ideas about using video.

  1. Book Trailers

Kindlepreneur can help you with Book Trailers. (I have no affiliation with him.)

A good trailer is about atmosphere and a glimpse into your story. There are three elements needed: visuals, soundtrack, and a story.

  • Research and Travel Videos

When traveling to research your book, why not take videos? Later you can experiment and show your readers the travel and research that goes into the book.

  • Live Readings

Before the internet, there were book tours and live readings. So why not make a live reading online for all to see. You can use Facebook Live or YouTube to read some chapters from your newest book.

  • Behind the Scenes Talks

People love behind the scene action of favorite movies or shows. You could do the same with your book.

Reveal some inside information about what went into it, the writing process, background information on characters and story world, and the future.

  • Day in an Author’s Life

Vlogs are popular and do well on YouTube. Why not do a “Day in an Author’s Life” vlog showing how an average (or not so average) author’s day?

Tip of the Day: Check out kindlepreneur.com.

You can get our free Guide to Writing by contacting us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. Plus we will send you our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. Our Free booklet tells you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews for R. Frederick Riddle and Tess Riddle books. I value your reviews.

If you would like to review our books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Ron’s Tip of the Day Why Use Video

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. Today I am looking at Why Use Video.

Some of the content of this blog is from Kindlepreneur.com.

A growing number of authors are taking a serious look at using video to market their books. But if you are hesitant, Kindlepreneur answers your misconceptions (edited for this blog).

I’m not Comfortable putting Myself on Video.

Authentic authors put themselves out there anyway. Our books contain intimate and private thoughts, parts of our past, our lives, and our outlook on the human condition. In this over-crowded world, personal brands win. We look for faces. We look for people who are authentic and human.

Or you can create video without showing your face. The bottom line is: your writing is personal already, so don’t be reluctant to get personal on video.

The Technology is too Complicated.

Video … is in many ways, easier to use and understand…If you know what to look for and have a checklist, video technology becomes simple.

It Takes too much Time.

Decide how you want to spend your time. In the beginning, producing videos will cost you much more time… because there is some experimentation.

If you hate video, don’t do it.

Tip of the Day: Check out kindlepreneur.com and learn how to market using video.

You can get our free Guide to Writing by contacting us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. Plus we will send you our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. Our Free booklet tells you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews for R. Frederick Riddle and Tess Riddle books. I value your reviews.

If you would like to review our books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.