How to Create Super Effective Audiobooks and Video Slideshows for Free Lead Magnets
The Way of The Successful Author Series
In this tutorial you will learn how to create super effective slideshows and audiobooks that you can then offer as free lead magnets to build your mailing list!
Also: some of the products below are linked with my affiliate links — so you would be supporting me if you ordered through my links (Thank you very much! :)
I stumbled upon this technique because my prime category is children’s books, and you just can’t use your normal “download this free book” lead magnet for children’s books; you gotta get really creative, and this is just the ticket.
We are assuming 1 thing: that you already have a book, or are ready to publish one.
Step 1 — Get Screencastify
Screencastify is free and you can record up to 9 minutes with the free version; otherwise you’ll have to upgrade, but we don’t need more than 9 minutes so all you need is the free version (yippee!)
I highly recommend you choose the option “Save to Google Drive” when you do your initial set-up of Screencastify: This will come in handy in when you need to share links to your videos.
There is almost no learning curve to Screencastify:
Just make sure that you choose “microphone” in the “show more options” menu:
Pro Tip: Learn those keyboard shortcuts! It is really helpful with this tool.
For example, anytime I’m doing something online, I can just hit shift+alt+R and boom! I’m recording.
I also like to NOT have a countdown from Screencastify, as pictured above.
However, YOU MUST definitely “think” a countdown to yourself before you start speaking your first chapter.
This gives you a “LEAD TIME” that you need for any editing later: mandatory!
(More details in step 3 below)
Step 2 — Gather a bunch of pics
The easiest way to put a slideshow together FAST is to just find a good Wikipedia article with at least 30 pics.
Then you just hit the record button on Screencastify, or Alt+Shift+R and read your chapter while cycling through the pictures in slideshow mode in Wikipedia!
Be careful about the keyboard sounds though. That’s how I made this video, and you can hear some key tapping:
A better way is to collect at least 50 pics, and then let them cycle through your onboard image viewer, for example, this goes really well with a Chromebook:
I just search google for my keywords from the chapter like “roman warrior” or “runes”, then I choose “marked for re-use” in Google’s image search. This way I get only open domain pics and have no problem with copyrights later.
Making a screenshot with a Chromebook is easy, just use the Alt+screen button, or Alt+Shift+Screen button to choose an area.
You can get a slideshow together really quick this way!
Step 3 — record your chapters
Have you got your 30 to 50 pics together? Or a reeeaally good Wikipedia article?
OK let’s record the first chapter of your book!
With this “one-shot-one-kill” super effective method we are going to let our slideshow run while we are speaking, (or cycle through the Wikipedia pics manually), this can get tricky because you want all of the controls and frames of your image viewer to disappear before you start speaking, so:
Start Screencastify, Alt+Shift+R
Now go to your image viewer and choose an image that is NOT your first image and START the SLIDESHOW.
You want all the peripheries to disappear before you start speaking and the first slide of your show comes up.
“Think” a countdown to yourself, where you remain perfectly quiet before your first slide comes up, then start speaking your chapter.
For example this video was made with my Chromebook picture viewer:
Again: The 5 second lead time is critical here because you have to give your slideshow time to make all of the controls INVISIBLE BEFORE your audio starts.
This is what the raw video looks like without any editing. You can see me clicking the information windows away etc.:
The advantage of an onboard slideshow, like this one in my Chromebook, is that it cycles through the pictures and never stops; you don’t have to hit the button yourself like in the Wikipedia slideshow, so no button noises = better recording quality!
Recording audio is an art in itself, that’s why my number one tip here is to:
We are aiming for 3 to 5 minutes of speaking, so that means About 700 to 1000 words depending on your speaking speed, and your sample chapter.
You don’t have to have a super expensive microphone but you do want one that has noise suppression.
I use a Sennheiser middle-of-the-road setup for gaming: not expensive it all, not even $100!
Sennheiser U 320 — Perfect for our needs!
Make sure that your headphones come with an adaptor so that you can use it with a computer or a laptop and / or smartphone:
Insiders tip here from my podcast with Simon Whistler the Zen master of audiobooks:
A super cheap sound studio consists of your bed!
You can put yourself under the covers, and the covers will dampen all outside noises and any reflections.
For example, do NOT record with your laptop on a table, especially hardwood tables. The table will reflect sound like crazy — super bad for audio recordings!
In the beginning us newbies always talk much too fast for audio books. Slow it down and try to speak as SMOOTHLY as possible.
— that is also why we are recording super short recordings, just one chapter a time.
Later we will stitch them all together.
Screencastify is super easy to use.
I really love it, and I even upgraded for the measly $20. This way I can edit my videos and convert to mp4. (With the free version you can only download as .webm.)
Also, when you are just starting and mess up, just hit the “RESTART” button.
This automatically DELETES the recording you just made and restarts the recording.
Of course, you have to restart your slideshow too.
When you are done reading your chapter, again, leave at least 5 seconds “lag time” or “fill time”.
(You will really thank yourself later when you or someone else is editing the vids.)
Then stop your slideshow and hit the stop button on Screencastify, or Alt+Shift+R to stop recording.
A new tab automatically is opened with your recording in Screencastify!
At this point, if you have the upgraded version, you can trim the ends off of your video and even crop it.
Definitely trim the ends; you want about THREE seconds of pure silence, “lead time” before your speaking starts, and about three seconds “fill time” at the end of your chapter.
- Turn ON Microphone and turn OFF “system audio” in Screencastify (show more options menu)
- Choose “Desktop” in Screencastify
- Start recording: Alt+Shift+R
- Start your slideshow BUT on an image 2 or 3 places before your start image
- Think a countdown to yourself, “Five, four, three…”
- Read your chapter: Speak in a normal steady voice
- Stop recording with alt+shift+R AFTER at least 5 seconds
Step 4 — record a “CTA” call to action video
This short 10 second video will go at the beginning of our chapter or main audio.
You can see my example here:
Simply open a tab, then use Ctrl + + to make the browser window and Google search window very, very, large.
Open another tab to your website or landing page or wherever you want two people to go.
Then record yourself typing in the search field and going to your website and then typing your name into a form to go get your lead magnet — done!
This Call To Action video will be used “AS IS.”
- Enlarge the browser window: Ctl++
- Make a recording of yourself talking and going to your Landing Page.
- STOP: alt+shift+R = Done!
Step 5 — put ’em all together
First download your recordings from Screencastify, it’s that big Arrow-Button in the top right corner…
Have you got your recordings?
1.) You’re finished or “trimmed” slideshow recording and 2.) your Call To Action video?
Great, now we’re going to stitch them together!
If you don’t have the premium version of Screencastify to trim your vids, you will have to use the “edit” step in moviemaker.com — and this is really a pain. The editing tools in Screencastify are just simply worth it!
Alternatively — if you have someone do the editing for you — you can just share a link to your videos in your GoogleDrive.
I always use my favorite subcontractor Fancyhands to do this for me.
To stitch the vids together I recommend online moviemaker.com. It’s a free online movie creator/editor, and it definitely has its limitations, but for our 3 to 5 minute slideshows, it’s perfect.
And YES! — I made a video for ya:
***Be aware that they do put a very small water mark at the very end of your video, in the top right corner, you can see it if you watch my videos to the end.***
Step 6 — upload and optimize
When you’re done editing your video, or you get it back from your favorite subcontractor, just upload it to YouTube (or your website etc.)!
Do this for EACH CHAPTER of your book.
When you are done you will have multiple separate chapters that you then add to a PLAYLIST.
Step 6.1 — Skip this if you don’t care about ranking your videos #1 in Youtube:
This is a Super duper Insider tip from Brian Dean…
Now when you’re uploading a video to YouTube; don’t just think of any title or any keywords
What you want to do is look at Top Ranking videos in your space or your category.
For my book I searched for “free audio books” or “Isaac Asimov books”.
Then see what pops up in YouTube.
You want, of course, to emulate videos that have a lot of hits.
Now when you have found a video that you want to emulate, or target, you do the keyboard shortcut to “view page source”.
You want to view the source of this YouTube page for your target video.
So RIGHT CLICK anywhere on the page and choose “view page source.”
This will open a new tab where you can see the keywords that that video used in YouTube.
Here again, you will have to use a browser search: STRG+F, and input “keyword.”
Now you can see the keywords the top video used!
These are very good keywords to use of course, so use the ones that you think are applicable to your book and will help you: Put them in the keyword “tags” field of YouTube when you are uploading your video.
Why do you want to rank in YouTube?
Because YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, repeat: In The World; and it is easier to rank in YouTube than in Google!
So if you are an author that likes to do video, then this is definitely the technique for you!
As matter fact if you search in Google for “Hyperion Dreams” you’ll see my YouTube video ranking on the first page!
Now admittedly “Hyperion Dreams” is not a “big” search word, but guess what? — that’s just one chapter of my book.
I’m going to make ALL chapters, and instead of having one big book file, I’m going to have 12 little book files on YouTube that are all going to rank.
I’m going to OWN that keyword!
Continue to next step…
Step 6.2 Make a Playlist, Title: Your Book’s Title!
In YouTube we now make a playlist with ALL of our chapters nicely strung along in sequence — our book!
Why not one big book file?
Well as mentioned above, 12 little books help us “own the keyword” in YouTube, AND making a playlist also gives us yet another chance to make a new title, and thumbnail and RANK for the keywords in YouTube!
Step 6.3 — Extra points, but definitely worth it: Make a custom thumbnail for your playlist.
At this point dear Reader, I know, you may be tired, BUT it is definitely worth it to make a custom thumbnail for your playlist.
At least for your playlist, consider this mandatory.
But it’s simple: Just go to Canva.com and choose their YouTube template.
Another tip from Brian Dean: use NON YouTube colors.
YouTube colors are: Red, White, Black
Here’s my “generic” template:
Using “non” YouTube colors makes your thumbnail stand out more.
Step 6.4 — Maximize Your YouTube Description
You MUST definitely put a link to your landing page in your YouTube description.
Whether you already have another lead magnet, or you are offering this book for free (like in my case), or you are offering the one big MP3 audio file for free…
Put a link to it in your description!
Here’s my example:
“Hyperion Dreams Chapter 4 — which is also a stand alone story.
Sign Up Here! https://www.subscribepage.com/hyperion
Join Edgar’s INSIDER circle and get Hyperion for FREE!”
Step 7 — Use as a lead magnet
Now that your audiobook is done, albeit in video format, and on YouTube, you can simply put a link to this playlist in your book, or…
Convert it to MP3 and offer it as a free download in the front or back of your book.
There are tons of MP3 conversion programs on the market, and of course, also free websites that do this.
You can do this with the Firefox browser plugin “Download Helper” or just go to a site like PWNYOUTUBE.com and download the MP3 — No software required!
Of course, I had to make a video:
Put your lead magnet in the back of your book.
This way only “qualified” readers will get to see it, and not just freebie seekers.
Now this isn’t a tutorial about how to set up an email list, so that people can download your lead magnet in exchange for an email, but I recommend Gumroad in this case.
With Gumroad you can upload videos and audio files, and pack them together in one download.
Otherwise you have to make a zip file and add it, for example, in your Google Drive and then share the link to your Google Drive.
This a perfectly viable option –BUT- it pales in comparison to the options you have with Gumroad — and did I mention Gumroad is also free?
— OH and through Zapier, Gumroad integrates with many Email autoresponders like Mailchimp and Mailerlite…
Here is an example of one of my Gumroad MP3 interviews packed together with a high resolution poster in .pdf format:
Another GRRREAT reason to make audio books?
As you are reading your book, you will notice mistakes that you otherwise would not have noticed!
For example; you have edited your book, proofread it, copy-edited, line-edited and again and again — and you think it’s done, right?
Well once you read it out loud, you will have a much better impression.
You will notice the finer nuanced mistakes that you did not notice in print.
You will feel the flow, and much more:
YOU WILL IMPROVE YOUR BOOK!
And that is the real reason you should read your book out loud, even if you don’t want to make an audio book.
Why It’s Worth It To Upgrade
For a measly 20 bucks you get all of the basic editing tools you need; cutting and cropping, plus you can also export to MP4.
Although I have not needed MP4, YouTube accepts .webm!
Once you have those basic editing tools, your production time is HALVED = Super Effective!
And, as mentioned above, you don’t have any limit on recording time.
What else can you do with Screencastify?
1- Record a podcast!
No matter what tool you use, Skype, Hangouts, or other webinar tools, Screencastify will record ALL the sound on your computer.
Just make sure to have the option “System Audio” and “Microphone” both on (slider switch).
When you and your podcast partner are done, just hit alt+shift+R and you can use the techniques above to add slides to your recording and publish your podcast on Youtube, or convert your recording to MP3.
Here’s my latest podcast, recorded with Screencastify:
Zbooks successful authors podcast
A podcast about everything Ebooks and how to be a profitable author: with bestselling author Eric Z. Create your own…
2-Make Super Effective Whiteboard Videos!
Holy cow, this is getting to be too long, I will make a separate post for this ;-)
Work in progress, please standby…
This is REALLY fun and coming soon!
That’s it folks, I hope you see the value of making audiobooks now, and how easy it is.
Let me know how you do and send me your examples!
Yes really. Please post your new audio books here in the comments!
“The Way of the Successful Author” series is brought to you by Eric Z of Zbooks.co — see you there ;-)