Wilkie Martin - Surviving Publication

Author of the unhuman series of addictive comedy cozy mysteries set in the Cotswolds. This documents my encounters with publishing and includes things I hope will be useful later. It also covers some local writing competitions and reviews some writing events.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Short funny rhyming poems on youtube

I've put 5 short poems onto Youtube but there will be a short break before I put up anymore. This posting gives the procedure used to create and upload the videos, so I know how I did it when I come to make the next one! I hope you find it helpful.

Shooting the video

After an unsuccessful attempt to buy a camcorder from Tesco, I found my digital camera allowed me to record a video that was long enough for my short poems and had adequate sound recording. My videos have, therefore, been recorded with a Canon IXUS 8515.
  1. Choose the location to film and what you're going to wear.
  2. Take a few photo stills first to check the background and to get any snaps you might want to use in the finished video.
  3. Turn off any background sounds - any fans or filters (for instance in a fish tank).
  4. Stabilise the camera and put it into position.
  5. Once the recording has started, wait for about 3 seconds before speaking - so you can edit out any camera click at the beginning - and, for the same reason, wait for 3 seconds when you've finished before switching it off.
  6. Don't speak too quickly.
  7. Take the card out and transfer the files to your computer.

Make into a movie
  1. In Microsoft Movie Maker, make a 'New Project'.
  2. Use 'Import Media' and import your video files and any snaps you want to use that you have copied to the computer.
  3. If not already selected, tick 'View' ->'Timeline'.
  4. If not already selected, use the drop-down box at the top of the screen to select 'Imported media'.
  5. Select the video or photo you want to use and drag it down to the timeline at the bottom and drop there. Drag and drop in all the items you want and put them in the required order. Try to make sure the actual video content starts before 14 seconds or people are likely to stop watching.
  6. On the left hand side, select 'Titles and Credits'.
  7. If the video has clicks at the start or end, drag the beginning or ending bar in so they are missed.
  8. Select 'Starting title or ending credits', enter the text you want.
  9. Choose 'Change the text font and color' to pick the color, font type and size.
  10. Choose 'Change the title animation' if you want to add an effect to how the text is shown (ticker tape, flying in etc).
  11. If you want to add text over the video at different points, right click the video and select 'Title on the selected clip', or use the 'Titles and Credits' option on the left. If you want to add a lot of text at different points, then at the top of the Timeline section select the + magnifying glass to expand the timeline - it then shows smaller intervals and makes it easier to match the size of the text area to the length you want it to display.
  12. For each text section and for each video or photo choose any special effect (eg fade in or fade out etc) but don't use too many as they slow down the loading of the video.
  13. Select the photos and the opening and closing titles on the Timeline at the bottom of the screen and drag in or out the right hand end to make the time they display shorter or longer as wanted (I think the default length is a bit too long).
  14. Right click the photos or video and select 'Effects' to add any effect (don't use too many as it slows down the load time).
  15. You can also add audio tracks, although I used the audio on the original recordings.
  16. Play the movie at any point to check your settings.
  17. When you have something you are happy with select File ->'Publish Movie'. These are the settings I used for this:
  • Publish to this computer
  • Next
  • Enter filename and choose folder
  • Next
  • Best quality for playback on my computer
  • Publish
  • Play movie when I finish
  • Finish
  • Change and re-publish the movie as many times as you want, and don't forget to save it.
Make into a flash video
  1. Once you have something you are happy with then you can upload the Microsoft Movie you made above to Youtube. However, if you want something that will be in a smaller file and will load and run quicker (though with reduced quality) then convert it into a flash video. I used 'Free FLV Converter' from http://www.koyotesoft.com/.
  2. Open 'Free FLV Converter'.
  3. Select 'Conversion to FLV'.
  4. Browse and then select the movie you made above. 'Open' it.
  5. Change the 'Output path' if you want to change the path or name.
  6. I didn't change any other settings as the default ones were the settings recommended by Youtube already.
  7. Select 'Convert'.

Load to youtube
  1. Sign in to Youtube.
  2. At the top of the screen, select 'Upload'.
  3. Select 'Upload video', and select your .flv file.
  4. While it is uploading you can change the details of the video, set the 'Privacy' to 'Private' so you can select the settings you want before you publish it. Or you can change any of these settings after it has uploaded.
  5. Add a title and description.
  6. Set some tags (find ones on similar videos and use similar settings as these will help people to find your video).
  7. Select a category.
  8. If this is the first video then you will have to wait for a thumbnail image to be available. Youtube will give you 3 to choose from, select the one you prefer.
  9. Set any other settings, comments, voting, responses and location if you want to etc.
  10. Run the video and check you are happy with how fast it loads.
  11. Once you are happy, set 'Privacy' to 'Public'.
  12. It is now available to the world (if Public) or to selected users if you use a list.

Change settings on youtube
  1. You can go back and change the settings at any time by selecting 'My Videos', select the video, and 'Edit'.
  2. If you have Youtube friends or subscribers then they will get an update about your video anyway, but you can also send them a note using Youtube messaging or sharing.
  3. Create a 'Playlist' and add your video to it.
  4. Like it and add it to your favourites.
  5. Select your Channel page, make sure your channel has channel tags and is visible.
  6. Select the 'Videos and Playlist' tab and select the playlist you put your video into and decide how you want all playlists to appear on your channel page and configure any other settings.
Don't forget to tell people it is there - facebook, twitter etc, and, if you have them, put a link to it on your website or facebook page (you will need to allow 'Embedding' of the video in the settings if you want to do this - though this is enabled by default).

Making a video is great fun and it only takes a few minutes to perform the above and upload it. Once it is loaded you can use Youtube->Account->Insight to see how many views you are getting and where in the world it has been seen. Amazing.

Let me know how you get on.

My Related Postings

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Friday, 8 April 2011

Susan Gibbs at Writers in the Brewery, 31 March 2011

The Call of the Litany Bird, by Cirencester writer Susan Gibbs, is to be released today, 11th April 2011. As a trained nurse, newly married to the son of the Governor of Rhodesia, Susan writes compellingly about bringing up a family on their farm in Matebeleland in the midst of the unfolding terror and growing number of atrocities, as rival factions battle for control in Rhodesia, soon to become Zimbabwe. On 31 March, she and Arthur Cunynghame of Loose Chippings Books http://www.loosechippings.org/ talked to Dr. Rona Laycock at Writers in the Brewery.

Susan explained that she began writing for her children, who retained few memories of those turbulent times, after coming across some old notes and press cuttings. It tells of the tensions and horrors of the bush war and the difficulties and pleasures of maintaining a reasonably normal life with Robert Mugabe in power and of the final straw that made the family leave their farm and lifestyle for an uncertain future in Britain. One of the passages she read told how, as a trained nurse, she was dealing with the aftermath of a terrorist atrocity and how her young son was traumatised by what he witnessed. She hoped her book would help the family come to terms with the past and found that writing it all down was a cathartic experience.

She originally thought of self-publishing for family and friends but was persuaded to take it further. She was fortunate to be introduced to Arthur, who after telling us how he became a publisher, explained why he is so enthusiastic about her writing, telling as it does of her family’s survival at a time when many of her friends and neighbouring farmers lost their lives.

After a break for drinks and chats, other local writers read from their work until we ran out of time. Susan is a regular attendee at Writers in the Brewery, and member of Catchword writers group, we are all thrilled to see the success of one of our own writers. A good evening and good luck to Susan!

Susan's book has a forward by Lord Carrington. Lord Hurd of Westwell describes the book as 'Deeply Moving'.

For more on Susan's book at LooseChippings http://www.loosechippings.org/Call_Of_The_Litany_Bird.html

Susan's book is available from Waterstones stores or online http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/susan+gibbs/lord+carrington/call+of+the+litany+bird/8393419/

from amazon as hardback http://www.amazon.co.uk/Call-Litany-Bird-Surviving-Zimbabwe/dp/190799100X

or in kindle http://www.amazon.co.uk/Call-Litany-Bird-Surviving-ebook/dp/B004Q9SRS8/ref=tmm_kin_title_0/279-1850253-2605847?ie=UTF8&m=A3TVV12T0I6NSM

Other events coming up at Writers in the Brewery

  • 28 Apr 2011 - Simone Mansell Broome

Previous Writers in the Brewery Evenings

Monday, 7 March 2011

World Book Night at New Brewery Arts - Saturday 5 March 2011

This was an evening in support of World Book Night. A decent crowd turned up at New Brewery Arts, lured by free Seamus Heaney books. Local writers read from their own work and this was interspersed with readings of favourite pieces by the great man. I really enjoyed Cora Sild, who was brought up near where Mr Heaney lived, reading Blackberry-picking. There wasn't just poetry - I read my fairy story/allegory, All in the Same Boat, and Sarah King read an excerpt from her novel The Durian Tree.

Another good night. Thanks to Dr Rona Laycock for organising it, to New Brewery Arts and Cora Sild for the facility, to everyone who read and turned up to support the evening and, of course, to Seamus Heaney for making great poetry.

More About World Book Night

Anna Saunders at Writers in the Brewery - Thursday 23 February 2011

Anna Saunders was the guest writer at Writers in the Brewery. Apart from being a poet, she is the director of the Cheltenham Poetry Festival (31 March - 3 April 2011) , which will include John Hegley, Angela France, John Cooper Clarke, Sam Riviere, Alison Brackenbury, Pascal Petit plus many others (see www.cheltenhampoetryfest.co.uk).

Anna read a number of poems, inspired by such things as Suze Adams' photos, the sea, romantic love, television, pet names. pet names, a daddy longlegs, illness and sex. The poems were warm, funny, insightful and very enjoyable. I liked that she gave a little explanation before reading them - it helped make them accessible.

After Anna, Sue Chad read a couple of her poems, good as usual, followed by Nicola, a singer-songwriter who played guitar and sang a fun and witty poem about sitting on the Cerne Abbas giant's phallus - she was in fine voice. I read my short story, My Friend Simon - about an alien misunderstanding.

A good evening.

See also Poetry director faces up to her portrait in show

Coming up - Cheltenham Festival of Poetry

31 Mar 2011 - 3 Apr 2011 Whats on

Coming up - Writers in the Brewery

31 Mar 2011 - Arthur Cunyngham and Sue Gibbs

28 Apr 2011 - Simone Mansell Broome

Previous Writers in the Brewery Evenings

John Richardson at Writers in the Brewery - Thursday 27 January 2011

See Mac McFadden's Writers in the Brewery performance

Roshi Fernando at Writers in the Brewery 25 November 2010

Mac McFadden at Writers in the Brewery 28 October 2010

Skip Walker at #WritersintheBrewery, editor of Wilts and Glos Standard

#WritersintheBrewery 27 May 2010 Nigel McLoughlin

John Richardson at Writers in the Brewery - Thursday 27 January 2011

This evening Writers in the Brewery welcomed John Richardson ( aka Jay Arr) of Swindon's BlueGate Poets (http://www.bluegatepoets.com/). John read a selection of his love poetry. They were, so he said, part of a lifetime's work that was still in progress. Apart from love, John's poems were inspired by such things as numerology, the power of names, Roy Orbison, Valentine's presents, marriage, wills and the country. I particularly enjoyed one about Isfahan, Iran's third city - wonderful imagery and very evocative.

After John, there was more poetry from local writers. Liz Carew's Woodchester poem was excellent.

John has a number of books published http://www.blurb.com/user/jayarr

John also has some videos on youtube, check out this playlist http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=C8801FC4A84F4BDA

To find out more about John (Jar Arr) and the BlueGate Poets visit the website http://www.bluegatepoets.com/

Previous Writers in the Brewery Evenings

See Mac McFadden's Writers in the Brewery performance

Roshi Fernando at Writers in the Brewery 25 November 2010

Mac McFadden at Writers in the Brewery 28 October 2010

Skip Walker at #WritersintheBrewery, editor of Wilts and Glos Standard

#WritersintheBrewery 27 May 2010 Nigel McLoughlin

Writers in the Brewery April 2010 Blue Gate Poets

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Helping your book on Amazon

I've been keeping an eye out for tips on how Amazon works and found a few things on Amazon Setup that you can change to help with Amazon sales and with the books profile.

1. (If you haven't done so already) you can go into Amazon and claim your book(s). You will need an Amazon account - you may want to create a new one so you can make any purchases/comments (or reviews of other books) under your author profile and not your customer one. Then simply go to the bottom of the book screen where there is an 'I am the author' connection, as shown below.

2. You can also change the product details, correct names etc in 'update product info'.

3. Add some product tags so that your book gets listed in different searches - anyone can add their own tags to their book (or any other book).

4. And you can help make suggestions to Amazon that increase the chances of your book being listed in these sections when people look at other books (these sections don't necessarily all appear for your book):

Find other books on Amazon that are related to yours and always view them (ask you friends to view them as well) whenever you view your own. (You could even buy them!)

5. Amazon rankings are worked out all the time, but if you ask people to buy your book on a particular day then you have a better chance of getting up the rankings (though it doesn't last long ...). It doesn't have to be just on launch day.

6. Add some reviews of other people's books, especially if they are in the same genre. Use your author profile when you do so. Don't use the review as a chance to plug your book or to rubbish the opposition. It is just a way to help direct people to your profile and from there to your book.

7. On your author profile, make sure you have a public profile, and check the details are correct. Add a photo. Check how much of your data you want to share in past purchases etc. Add a webpage address - this can be your Facebook page.

My Related Postings

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Decide on a genre

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Adding my blog to facebook using NetworkedBlogs

Some writer's blogs have an option that allows the blog to be followed using facebook. This is by using the facebook app networkedblogs. As it looked a handy thing, I've added it to mine.

To Add facebook app

  • In facebook, on your home page

  • go to the apps (select from the right)

  • at the bottom select the apps directory, and enter networkedblogs

  • click on networkedblogs to open the application

  • then go to the application

  • allow it permission on you your facebook

NetworkedBlog settings

  • in networkedblogs application

  • select the profile

  • complete the profile information you want

  • and then add your blog

  • select blog categories

  • at the bottom, select advanced and enter a name. This will allow you to access the blog later by using this sort of address
    so you can easily get to and change the settings

Add blog to facebook

  • on your author page

  • select apps and add networkedblogs

  • your selected blogs will appear as a seperate tab, select to post onto the wall and/or onto the tab

  • at the top right (in networkedblogs from facebook, page or direct) select syndication

Set facebook permissions

  • grant permissions to access facebook

  • select the blog from the list of those you have added to networkedblogs

  • and select to show the blog on your facebook page, or facebook author page

Add a follow me widget

  • then add the 'follow with networkedblogs' widget to your blog and website

  • under the syndication button (during setup) select widget and collect the code

  • in your blog, add an html gadget and paste the code and adjust the size if it is too big

  • if you are adding the widget later, then, while logged into facebook, go to http://www.networkedblogs/blog/blognameyouenteredinadvanced

  • at the bottom of the page select 'visit the blogpage on facebook'

  • next to the 'blog feed details' select 'widget'

  • choose the widget or badge and get the code

  • then in your blog or website add the widget/badge code

Each new follower

  • when users select the option to follow the blog to use this app they have to enable networkedblogs access to facebook

My Related Postings

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Wednesday, 26 January 2011

See Mac McFadden's Writers in the Brewery performance

Mac McFadden's performance poetry at the Writers in the Brewery evening on the 28th October 2010 was a great evening (see my earlier posting Mac McFadden at Writers in the Brewery 28 October 2010). Those of you who were there may remember a camera close to the stairs and the video from this is now available if you want to see him again. Any of you who missed the evening this is a chance to catch-up.

Mac McFadden at the Brewery Arts Centre Cirencester 2010 (38.01 mins)

Also see Mac's other recordings loaded to vimeo: Mac McFadden on vimeo

Follow Mac on facebook http://www.facebook.com/home.php#%21/mac.mcfadden

Other Writers in the Brewery evenings

For more about Writers in the Brewery


Coming up :
all at Cirencester New Brewery Arts, 7:00pm

  • 27 Jan 2011 - John Richardson
  • 24 Feb 2011 - Anna Saunders
  • 31 Mar 2011 - Arthur Cunyngham
  • 28 Apr 2011 - Simone Mansell Broome