What is Vine? Will it help me as an author?

Screen Shot 2013-03-21 at 3.22.45 PMWe got a great question recently about the new 6-second video platform that is making the rounds lately, and I thought I would take a moment to address what it is and how it might help you as an author. It’s called “Vine,” and in case you haven’t heard of it,  here’s the deal with:

Vine, a new social media application from the Twitter family, allows you to deliver 6-second videos to the masses that, not surprisingly, smoothly integrate with Twitter. But unless you’re going to give a 6-second book reading, how is Vine going to be useful for you? Well, you might have to think a little further outside the box for this one.  Just like we’ve all learned to tell story (or at least express a thought) in 140 characters, after a little practice you’ll probably find that you can spread a message a lot more effectively and efficiently with 6 seconds than you could with 60. So get creative! Act out a 6-second scene from your book, give a quick promo, piece together images relating to your story, or whatever else you can think of – the point is to show the view from where you’re standing.

Here are some examples of people making clever Vines:

And the Award for Best Vine Goes To…

James Urbaniak’s Vine Is the Best of All Possible Vines


Here is a Vine my husband Stephan Cox and I made a few weekends ago, just to see how it worked:


One thing about Vine:  I wish the interface was a little more integrated with your profile (meaning, once someone sees your Vine, I wish it was a little easier for them to find their way back from the Vine page that hosts your little video back to your Twitter page, which then would lead them back to your website, which then would make them buy your books).   I also wish the Vines were easier to embed (as evidenced by the fact that I actually TRIED to embed our Vine here but was not successful), but I would imagine that feature is upcoming in a future iteration.

Vine would be great for you if you’re an author who is also into film or you already like taking video on your phone.  I wouldn’t stress out about it if you a) have never heard of it or b) feel like you don’t really want to take the time because you don’t know how it will help your career (that is, if you’re not already using your phone for video).


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