Authors eternally seek ways to engage potential readers — the umpteenth social media account, newsletters, artwork galore, podcasts, video, etc. Some writers do well with a relatively tight platform, while others utilize quite a few avenues. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to platforming. And speaking from experience, it can be incredibly hard to find one’s people.
Two years into being a published author, I still don’t feel like I’ve found my people. With its shifting algorithms, social media feels more like a void that I’m shouting into nowadays. But I still try to plug away at it and keep my ears open for potential opportunities.
Video has been on my radar, though I dread it. I’m not the most photogenic person, and when placed in front of a camera, my brain tends to shut off, tossing aside carefully considered responses. However, I did force myself from my comfort zone with digital readings in 2020. That is the way the digital world is moving: video.
I was encouraged to pursue a short film for my book by a fellow vendor at Hall of Heroes Comic Con, who pointed out that it’s never been easier to do so with a cellphone. While I haven’t bolstered my courage for a short film, I did begin to browse video editors and available free stock video with the hope of doing book trailers.
This search led me to FilmForth, a video editor I still can’t believe is free. It is easy to use and allows for nitty-gritty editing. It offers many great effects and transitions, the ability to adjust and remove sound, picture-in-picture support, and so much more. The best part? By liking the software’s social media, you can remove the watermark. Heck yes!!!
Using it, I first created the Descent trailer below. The Heritage Lost trailer above was my second attempt and shows more playing around with the software. I also had to get more creative with it because the stock video was just not there. How can there be no toddler stock footage? I ended up mixing still photos, abstract videos, color clips to convey a rough overview of Heritage Lost.
The stock photos and video came from Pixabay, a fabulous resource! The Descent trailer music came from YouTube’s royalty-free library, while Heritage Lost used a royalty-free song from Pixabay (where I also found its sound effects).
FilmForth allows users to export projects in various sizes perfect for different types of social media and uses.
It is easily five stars with its price tag (free!), ease of use, and abilities. I knocked it down by half a star because it lags on projects (even small ones) with numerous layers. I would start exporting to review the video rather than use the in-software video previewer just to make sure text and sound effects were really where they should be. On the Heritage Lost video, I did experience one freeze, but it still saved in the background so I lost nothing.
All in all, if interested in video, test it out!