Small Business Video Marketing Spotlight: Brian LeTendre



Brian LeTendre is a self-published author and podcaster who uses Animoto to market his creative projects.

We had the pleasure of chatting with Brian about his decision to self-publish, and how marketing videos fit into that process.

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

brian letendre

Sure! I’m a really lucky guy who has an amazing wife and two wonderful kids who support me in my creative endeavors. I’m a writer and an podcaster, and spend most of my creative time bouncing between audio and written projects.

I’ve been podcasting since 2006, and I currently produce three regular shows–a comic podcast called Secret Identity, a show about design and market called Kitbash Radio, and a writing podcast called See Brian Write.

I self-published my first novel Courting the King in Yellow back in October of 2012. I’ve since published a short story called “Private Showing,” and I’ve also been writing the ongoing webcomic Mo Stache since 2010.

2. Why did you decide to self-publish your work?

For me, it was a matter of wanting to be in control of every aspect of the process, especially for my first book. I didn’t want to have to depend on someone else to bring the project to fruition. I really enjoyed learning about the process as I went through it, and now I can’t imagine not self-publishing all of my future works.

3. What are some of the challenges of self-publishing?

Private Showing ebook

Every aspect of self-publishing can be a challenge, but it’s worth the experience.

If you go the print route, it can be very expensive and there can be a lot of trial and error, all of which costs you money. For example, when you order a proof of your book and there are changes that need to be made, that’s another expense. Unless you go print on demand, you have to order a large quantity of books in order to get a decent price.

On the digital side, making sure you format the book appropriately for whatever platform you’re selling on (Kindle, Nook, Drive Thru, etc.) can be a challenge. There are also decisions to be made as far as going exclusive versus releasing on multiple platforms.

Without a doubt though, I think the biggest challenge of all is actually getting people to give your book a chance. There are so many books out there, at so many different price points, that it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. That’s really where I think a tool like Animoto can help separate your book from the pack.

4. How do you typically use Animoto?

courting the king in yellow cover

I use Animoto to create trailers for my various projects, whether they be writing or podcasting. I embed the trailers on the project websites, on Facebook pages and on my personal blog

When I go to conventions, I actually loop the trailers on a tablet at our table, which immediately draws people over.

5. How has Animoto helped you market yourself and your writing?

For me, I want my stories to elicit a certain feel, and it’s hard to just describe that to someone when you’re trying to get them to give your book a chance. Even a simple trailer like the one I created for Courting the King in Yellow can elicit a feeling in a way that your back cover copy just can’t match.

6. Can you walk us through your process of making a video book trailer?

For the trailer I created, I simply took the cover image and cropped several pieces to create a zooming effect. I added some of the back cover copy in between each image. The music, which was a really important part of the trailer, I created in GarageBand on the iPad. I wanted the trailer to feel like one for a 1980s John Carpenter (The Thing, Halloween) film, as that’s kind of the vibe that I was going for with the book as well.

7. Do you have a favorite Animoto video style?

For trailers, I’ve stuck with the basic “Animoto Original” style, because it’s a blank slate that I can use for a variety of different projects. I tend to get into the more colorful and dynamic styles when I’m doing personal projects.

8. What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

With the tools available to you today, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from writing your story and sharing it with the world. But writing a great story is just the beginning. You have to help people find your work and give them a reason to check it out. For me, that’s where Animoto shines. It’s an amazing tool for giving people a reason to pay attention to your creations.

Intrigued? Check out Brian’s novel Courting the King in Yellow, and his short story “Private Showing,” or follow Brian on Twitter.

Learn how you can use Animoto for small business video marketing