What the experts in promotion say is you have to create a brand. Your brand as an indie artist/writer will not be the publisher/gallery behind your work. It will be you and the work. The work might get attention many ways by being the right work at the right time but how about you?
One possibility is creating a video where you talk about the work or your philosophy behind it. For me, this presents a problem-- I have always hated to see myself talking in any video. I don't like my voice in any recording. Still I believe in my books and in romance writing. I am open to doing what I can to promote that; so...
To get some ideas on how to approach this, I watched videos by authors and other creative people. My favorite is where Mary Alice Monroe fly fishes and discusses her book based on a river being about healing and teaching. I liked how she became part of the environment she was discussing. Although her video was doubtless done by a professional, I think amateurs can learn from seeing perfection-- gotta have a goal, right?
Incidentally I like her book, Time is a River, and had read it before I came across the video.
Finally if I hoped to do this, I had to start somewhere, get my own feet into the stream. The easiest place to instantly see the mistakes was with the webcam. This would be my first time to use it to create a video. Lots of things went wrong like I'd screw up what I was saying as I had no script, wanted this to be like a conversation not a lecture. The phone would ring. I'd hear a sheep needing something. The cat would bang the screen.
The first thing I learned I already knew-- it's not that easy. I had to quit stopping if I made an error-- it is a conversation, right, which means I can make some mistakes in how I phrase something. Maybe not in a more professional looking one.
After I'd done it for awhile one day, I realized none looked like I was having fun. It has to look like fun, like something I care about because if I don't, why should anyone else? I gave it up for the day.
Here's what I think so far regarding promotional videos. Keep it under four minutes unless an expert in the field. Look for general principles and then talk about them rather than writing out a text that will look boring when read. I talk a lot with my hands which I probably have to watch in the video as that could be distracting.
For me, working with the webcam was best because it allowed for instant feedback. It worked or it didn't. I consider all of this practice for doing a more sophisticated one which I plan to do back along the creek when the weather warms up (rain rain rain which the pastures love but no good for video making outdoors).
To begin I hoped to use music in the background but a webcam mic isn't sophisticated enough to get the voice and the music and it ruined both. The music could be added later or I might see if we have microphones around here that could plug into the webcam or computer and do a better job. For now I am more concerned with learning how to do my end of it and will worry about the techie end later-- if forced.
I like the idea of doing a video along our creek because nature is an important part of my life and books. When I begin to discuss the first historical, I can't use the backdrop from where it's set since it's Arizona and I don't plan to be there again for maybe a year. However, nature is a factor in me; so my home here in Oregon should also work.
As I worked on this, I thought probably I should do one of these for each of my books to discuss why I wrote them and why I think they have value. For now I'll settle for learning how to discuss the philosophy behind them all. I thought it might be interesting though to discuss say sexuality in fiction or why historical or how to create an original story-- although not sure original stories are that popular-- so forewarned on that one.
My husband/publisher got interested in the technical end of this and bought some software that would enable something fancier. I hope he has interest in doing that because I do not. It's enough for me to learn how to talk about both the books and my motivations, possibly various aspects of writing. I do not want to make videos that get more complicated. However, I'd love it if he did.
One thing I do believe-- every place an indie can put mention of their writing, where someone might then go looking for their books, that's a place to put a footprint. Will any of it sell a book, who knows! For now I will settle for just getting comfortable with making videos. I am not there yet.