Guest Post by Stephanie Hayes
Can you video-blog a whole novel? Stephanie Hayes is trying.
The internet is a vast and terrifying place full of foot fetishists and corgi pictures, plus potential for people who are creative.
Some people. If you’re a singer, you can croon soul runs into the camera while your mom makes Hamburger Helper behind you. If you’re a budding stylist, you can unload your latest shopping haul for all of YouTube. If you’re an author you can…
You can blog and tweet and make a video trailer, but how do you tell your actual tale? Are the only two choices to publish traditionally or self-publish? If you tried to read 95,000 words at a coffee shop open mic, you’d get stoned to death with biscotti.
But maybe online…
I wanted to find out. I’m video-blogging a whole novel, one chapter at a time.
My book is called OBITCHUARY. It’s about a newspaper obit writer who kills her date and has to write his story. She learns all kinds of delicious stuff about him in the process.
I was fortunate enough to land an agent at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management, and they gave me the thumbs-up on the video idea while we figure out how to publish. My book is a bit out there. It doesn’t neatly fit into any category. It’s not cozy. It’s fast and a little satirical, which made me think Foot Fetish Central might enjoy it. And, I hope, the rest of you.
I’ve read enough to know most new authors don’t make a ton of money, if any. I wasn’t worried about throwing away imaginary book sales. I was more excited about the prospect of building an audience who might stick around for more.
- I didn’t want to just sit in a chair and read. The last time I watched someone sit in a chair and read, it was first grade reading circle and it bored me then. I wanted it to feel like my character, Penny Perkins, was coming home after a crappy day of murdering, then plopping down on her bed and telling you everything.
- I wanted illustrations. Looking at my just face for too long would make anybody’s contact lenses dry out. I value your eyes.
- I wanted them to be somewhat short. People have little slivers of online time while they’re hoovering Lean Cuisine at work or cleaning up dog pee at home. They won’t sit for too long.
- I have approximately zero technology skills. I do have an iPhone 4S with video and some very basic Windows editing software. So, that’s what I use. I kind of like the rough look. Again, Penny Perkins has no skills, either.
- I have no artistic talent. So, I draw stick figures in Microsoft Paint. I’m getting pretty nimble with the mouse finger brush, if I can say so. I also use free clipart and public images, etc., etc.
- Some chapters are too long. I try not to make any videos go over 12 minutes. If they do, I try to chop them down. It’s not always perfect, but I wrote a book, not a minuet.
I upload the videos to my YouTube Channel, then post them to my blog at stephinfections.com, plus Facebook and Twitter. I’m waiting to see how well the idea works, but I want to make it to the end of the book no matter what. I think it’s worth it the extra time. Even if I never sell a single copy, I can at least say I did something creative and followed through. I just want to tell a story. And that is kind of the point of this thing, isn’t it?
Stephanie Hayes is a journalist and author living in Clearwater, Florida. Follow her on Facebook and YouTube and Twitter and watch OBITCHUARY at stephinfections.com.
Connect with Stephanie!
(link to book info) http://www.stephinfections.com/p/obitchuary-book.html
Check out Chapter 1 below!