Episode #135 – How To Write a Song For an App For Best Selling Books

Episode #135
In today’s episode you hear:

  • our monthly segment, Julie Hedlund Gets All Grateful on Your A**
  • an interview with Tim McCanna, a songwriter who talks a bit about how to write a song for an app for what we hope will be his best selling book, Teeny Tiny Trucks!

In the interview we talk about how Tim:

  • writes his jingles
  • creates his videos
  • and what he used to help him write his book app (hint: you can use the same thing by clicking HERE)
  • found his place in the world by connecting all three

See why writers need to be making videos:

Recent Comments

  • Taurean Watkins
    May 22, 2013 - 1:35 pm · Reply

    Another great episode, Katie, and I’m so glad others are finding VIBC as helpful to them as it’s been for me, and while you deserve to decompress from the launch of VIBC, a level 2 course is a great idea. Definitely consider it later on.
    While they’ll always be beginners in any given area, so many books or web-based how-to courses are geared toward beginners that I sometimes feel there’s a lack of material for people who aren’t at square one, but still want to be challenged to raise their skills more.
    I forget at times VIBC’s only been around for four-ish weeks (At the time I’m commenting here), yet it feels like years, but in a good way, in great part because you took such care to deliver something useful and worth the price of admission, especially for those who didn’t get the pre-release discount I’m glad to have taken advantage of, but that hair-tearing on your part was worth it, I certainly feel way less daunted about doing videos now than before VIBC.
    Thanks for the plug, it makes up for all the times I tried to call in during my favorite analog radio talk shows (They do still exist, they’re just more rare, and most now podcast their shows, anyway) but never got through because the line was busy with trillions of other callers ahead of me. I’m glad I found a good nickname I can reference, and I have quite a funny story as to how I got the nickname “Taury.” Too long to tell here, though, and I’m rambling in this comment already (Again, I promise my welcome video will be WAY tighter than my blog comments)
    In a similar vein, I have a hard time with spelling some author names than how to pronounce them, like Kate DiCamillo, love the books of hers I’ve read, but I ALWAYS have to Google one of her books to remember how to spell her last name, I can SAY it, I just can’t remember how to spell it. But hey, there are so many great authors these days, we need a Rolodex (Real or Virtual) just to keep them all straight.
    I thought of something in listening to your interview with Tim. While we need to keep our videos tight, I’m starting to see that for me at least, it’s easier to edit script for video than from parts of a novel, and here’s a tip I find helps in editing video (Not instructional, just helps morale)-
    One of the reasons editing’s so hard for writers is not just because we’re so attached to our work, but because especially for novels, we have to convey so much on words alone, even if some books have assorted illustrations beyond the cover and maybe a title page, words have to do so much work, and they still need to for video because we use fewer of them, but it’s a different kind of economy than in a text-only book.
    One of the many advantages to video is that we can use our facial expressions, bring in our writer friends viewpoints in interviews, and add visual transitional effects (As you explain and demo in VIBC), as well as music and slideshow bits to bring what we’re trying to convey to life.
    Once I figured that out, this process became more fun, I still have to fight the urge not to pack too much in one video script wise, it’s easier to see where I’m digress too much, it’s way harder to tell that with a novel, even if you have the good fortune to not look at it for months after drafting it. I promised myself since sending my editor the full manuscript for my forthcoming middle grade novel (She only say a query and sample chapters before offering me a contract) I wouldn’t look at it again until I got my edit notes back, and thankfully between my WIP, the blog, and VIBC I’ve been able to keep myself busy, while working on strengthening my weak areas at the same time.
    It allows you to say more visually, even with fewer words, and I came to that realization when the script for orignal welcome video concept was clocking at over 1 and 1/2 minutes, and I still wasn’t at the end. I still like the idea for that video and tucked it away for later, but went back to the drawing board with a tighter script that will come in just over a minute (Around 1 minute, 25 seconds) which isn’t bad for someone who struggles being concise in other areas of my life, if you’ve seen my blog, you know what I mean, but just like you did with your podcast, I accept my blogging style is long, but conversational, so I try to make other aspects of my content more tight and punchy, like my welcome video.
    We don’t have to depend on our words alone for video in the same way as in more text-centric mediums like novels, not to say picture book writers like you don’t face that in some way, too, Katie.
    I still say a Hail-marry in your honor every time I think about that podcast you had your husband on for “Little Chicken’s Big Day” and how you had to redo that illustration for the car seat so many times…It reminds of hearing Lynn (who did the FBOFW comic strip) say in interviews of how she hated having to draw the wheelchair for the characters who had them for similar frustrations you were voicing, and she had to fit it in that tiny panel in a newspaper, even in the big Sunday editions, that’s still a tight space to work in.
    My loose handwriting would taking HALF the Sunday comics spread.
    I definitely plan to do more videos for my site and YouTube.
    Okay, I’ve rambled enough, take care,
    Taurean (Taury)

    • Katie
      May 29, 2013 - 9:09 am · Reply

      Taury, as you know, you’ve earned a place in my heart for your courage and enthusiasm! You’ve been a joy to have in the course, too. 😎

  • Damon Dean
    June 2, 2013 - 10:44 pm · Reply

    Mark my words…one of these days Tim McCanna will have his own cable-tv channel, internet-video extension (probably “.tmc”), and world-wide fast-food-spaghetti restaurant chain.
    And I will be able to say I saw him first here, on Brain Burps About Books. Wow.

Leave a Comment

Enter your info below if you want to…

  • be a better writer
  • learn from live critique workshops
  • have access to interviews with experts
  • learn the how-tos of writing
  • be in a community of like-minded writers.