Technology these days can be a wonderful tool for authors working to a budget to promote their work (especially if it’s a non-existent budget).
This very tool, WordPress, is free to use and I can even convert my semi-regular blogs into audio ones thanks to Spotify (and these are heard around the globe). That WordPress posts my blogs to my social media channels (all free to use) is even better.
Well, I’ve found a new and free way to promote my third crime novel – Strider Begins: Road to Nowhere – featuring the early adventures of Detective Constable Dominic Strider of Chester C.I.D. It’s available on Amazon Kindle and in paperback now.
While living in London, I still regularly visit Chester and, as a habit, always take loads of photos of the wonderful Victorian and Roman architecture, buildings and monuments. I’ve already shared many of these photos via this blog.
Well, now I’ve hit upon another way I can utilise them. By making a video montage of them, using MS Photo and Video Editor on my laptop.
It’s important to start with a story idea. I’ve taken scenarios from the book and used my pictures to illustrate them.
For example, the first video details the opening main chapter, in which DC Strider finds a bomb in the city centre, dumped right outside the Cathedral. With the bomb disposal team waylaid elsewhere and the bomb’s timer ticking down the minutes, Strider has just enough time to dispose of the bomb or risk it exploding.
So he does the only ‘sensible’ thing and, in typical reckless Strider fashion, picks up the bomb, runs through the city centre streets with it and drops it in the river with seconds to spare. The bomb detonates under the water. He has saved the city and it’s residents – although this is only the very start of his incredible journey. He must later find out who planted the bomb and why, tangle with them again and also solve two murders.
My photographs, strung together, follow his route from the Cathedral, down Northgate Street, past The Cross, down Watergate Street to the River Dee. It’s a simple narrative to follow, and one I was able to set to a (free) pumping action theme tune provided by the editing software. You can dictate the time frame that each photo is shown (from 2-7 seconds) to keep up the manic pace of the video. I then overlaid the images with text highlighting what was happening. Finally, I uploaded it to my social media pages and also to my own YouTube channel.
That was probably one of my biggest mistakes, as many people watched the video on my social media, which didn’t have the click-through to YouTube.
I corrected that error with the second video, which has just gone live. It was uploaded to YouTube first. It’s this link which has been posted on my social media channels (Facebook personal page, Facebook business page, Twitter, Linked In and Instagram).
This second video follows the same approach, stringing together a series of photos (which I took on my summer trip back to Chester this year). The pictures this time are of the two murder sites. One is an old lady’s house in the Queen’s Park suburb. The other is where the journalist is murdered in Edgar’s Field park in the village of Handbridge. Both areas lie immediately over the Old Dee Bridge from the city centre.
This second time round, I used free spooky-themed music which sounds a little like the theme tune of Midsummer Murders. It has that ghostly, creepy sound that intrigues you but also puts your nerves on edge. I love it.
I’ll give it a few more weeks, then do a third video (and possibly more afterwards). The aim is to increase traffic to my YouTube page of course as well as to my Amazon author’s page where I want people to buy the book.
So I hope you check out the videos on YouTube and make sure you give me a ‘thumbs up like’ and click on the ‘subscribe to my channel’ notification. And watch out for more videos coming your way.
being nominated for an award
My publishers – Britain’s Next Best Seller – have nominated me for an award.
Full disclosure, they have actually put forward all of their latest authors for the Amazon Kindle Storyteller Awards 2022.
Our respective books can all be found in the appropriate genres on the website. Closing date for entries is the end of August, with any titles shortlisted being identified after this. So fingers crossed, it’s all very exciting…..
And this is early days, but we are trying our best to get Strider Begins: Road to Nowhere in branches of Waterstones. It’s already featured on their website but there are some behind-the-scenes machinations to go through before it can hit the bookshelves.
But the branches in Chester, Wimbledon and Putney are already interested as well as some small independent shops, so I’ll let you know more shortly.