Ian Ozsvald has created over 170 screencasts since 2005, from 30 second tours to 30 minute lessons. He co-founded the screencast tutorial site ShowMeDo in 2005 (used by 50,000 people a month) and founded the professional screencasting company ProCasts in 2008. He also blogs at IanOzsvald.com, encourages entrepreneurs at the £5 App event and occasionally lectures on Artificial Intelligence at Sussex University (UK).
I have just open sourced this eBook as a free book (it has been commercial for 3 years) as some of the content (mainly relating to software packages) is looking a little old now. The techniques and processes still look very sensible.
Finally I talk about “Making money with screencasting” – there are several ways to monetise your knowledge through screencasts. They range from selling your knowledge through another site over to building your own knowledge-based site, there are some simple techniques you can use to get started now.
Some of you know that I built my professional screencasting company ProCasts during 2009 into the UK’s largest screencasting agency. I’ve decided to move away from professional screencasting (don’t worry – I’m still working on this Handbook!) and so the business of ProCasts is up for sale.
If you’re building your own professional screencasting brand then consider the following:
ProCasts generates leads for screencasting work every month
ProCasts has great organic traffic (not paid for via adverts!) from Google for key search terms like ‘custom screencast’ in both the UK and the USA
ProCasts has a strong reputation for high-quality screencasting that delivers the right message (and this provides for a nice margin!)
If you’re curious then visit the auction at flippa.com. Full details of traffic, keywords, income (with bank statements) and potential leads are provided. The listing will end in a week so there’s time to send me private questions (through flippa please) if you’d like to discuss the business.
This is exactly the right kind of opportunity for anyone who wants to build their business in both the UK and the USA (and Western Europe in general), this is especially relevant if you don’t yet have a strong reputation and you’d like to buy your way quickly up the ladder (rather than putting in a year or more of hard graft to build the same sort of reputation!).
In the Mic Technique chapter of The Screencasting Handbook a number of ways to improve your narration recording are discussed. In these two videos I’ll highlight the main points. First we cover:
Keeping a constant distance to the mic
Breath in a way that doesn’t swamp the microphone with noise
Use a pop filter to avoid heavy breaths
Avoid lip smack sounds
Drink water carefully
Next we look at the best way to position the mic. In this video I’m holding my sE2200A microphone to show you how the quality of the recording changes if you mistakenly use the mic back to front or at the wrong angle:
“In French, we can find comparative screencasting tools, tutorials devoted to a particular tool (see for example my current folder on screencasting) or this file explaining how to make a good video tutorial. But nothing comparable to The Screencasting Handbook, the most comprehensive guide to my knowledge”
Paul McGovern has written a wonderful review for the Handbook entitled “The Ultimate Screencasting Guide“. Paul is a Lecturer who has a lot of experience with screencasting, he’s written a very thorough review:
“The Screencasting Handbook weighs in at just under 130 pages and takes those completely new to screencasting as well as those that have some knowledge of the area through the processes and concepts involved in professional screencast production. The book deals primarily with techniques and approaches so users of no one application will feel isolated or left out. That said there are specific sections that relate content back to some of the leading screencasting applications Telestream’s ScreenFlow 2 & Camtasia Studio.”
“Throughout the book is clear, concise and very well presented, Diagrams are used to good effect and instruction is clear at all times. Even those with an already good working knowledge of the process will pick up new tricks and tips worthy of the price of investment”
I’m very pleased to announce that the First Edition of The Screencasting Handbook was released this weekend, it covers everything that a new screencaster needs and it’ll teach an intermediate a few things too. This release is priced at a discounted $36 until May 15th when it returns to the regular $39 price, buy your copy now.
As a novice screencaster, I found every section of The Screencasting Handbook enlightening. Particularly helpful is Ian Ozsvald’s coverage of microphone selection for improving audio recording quality. In my case, simply moving from an analog to digital input dramatically improved audio quality and reduced post-editing time to nearly nothing. I recommend The Screencasting Handbook to anyone wishing to learn about this technology or wishing to improve their screencasting skills. I believe every novice and most experts will find something beneficial in The Screencasting Handbook that will easily cover the cost of the book. – Darryl Pendergrass
The Screencasting Handbook is aimed at educators, support staff and business owners who want to learn how to improve their screencasting ability. The Handbook will teach you to:
Understand the needs of your viewer
Plan the screencast that will teach and convince them
Efficiently plan, record and produce your screencast
Host your screencast and distribute it to the right people
The Google Group has over 128 screencasters, you can ask any questions there and I’ll take feedback to put towards future editions of the Handbook.
Having written the Handbook what I could really do with now is some help from you spreading the word to the right people – if you can send a Tweet or make a blog post then I’d be eternally grateful!
If you’re not sure whether you should buy your copy yet then drop to the bottom of the homepage – you’ll find a mailing list that you can join. You’ll receive a few tips and a reminder every time the Handbook is updated (there won’t be many emails, it is low volume).
As discussed in chapter 6 it is important to avoid wiggling the mouse if you want to bring attention to something – it is annoying and distracting. Instead use zooms for pure focus and spotlights if you want the user to focus on something within the context of the rest of the screen.
Darryl Pendergrass has just written a review of the almost-released Screencasting Handbook. He’s also provided a great testimonial which I need to add to the homepage:
As a novice screencaster, I found every section of The Screencasting Handbook enlightening. Particularly helpful is Ian Ozsvald’s coverage of microphone selection for improving audio recording quality. In my case, simply moving from an analog to digital input dramatically improved audio quality and reduced post-editing time to nearly nothing. I recommend The Screencasting Handbook to anyone wishing to learn about this technology or wishing to improving screencasting skills. I believe every novice and most experts will find something beneficial in The Screencasting Handbook that will easily cover the cost of the book.
If you’d like to get your copy you can buy it here, the price rises at the end of the week once the Handbook is completely finished.
The 9th release of The Screencasting Handbook is now out, this release is probably the last before the First Edition is released around the end of the month.
The current price is $36USD, the price will rise to $39USD in a couple of weeks when the final release comes out. Buy your copy now if you want to save a few dollars – you’ll get the First Edition by email in just a couple of weeks. These are the updates since the release a few weeks back:
“How screencasting works” gives a light overview of the technology behind screencasting
“Microphone technique” provides solutions to common problems with mic technique including how to deal with background noise, plosives, sibilants, lip smack and breathes
“Editing Software” is complete, it includes notes for guidance on all the major editing packages
The Handbook has a new graphical skin and at the request of a couple of users I’ve started to add footnotes that show URLs – this helps if you’re using an eBook reader.
If you want to see how well others think of the Handbook take a look at the supportive reviews by Paul Pival and Paul McGovern.
This is a quick post (see the longer post on my personal blog: Open Sourcing “The Screencasting Handbook”). I have just open sourced this eBook as a free book (it has been commercial for 3 years) as some of the content (mainly relating to software packages) is looking a little old now. The techniques and […]
I’ve just started a three part guest post series on Freelance Advisor, the first entry is “Communicating more effectively with screencasts“. The goal of the first post is to show freelancers how they could use screencasts to improve their business, in particular: Avoid meetings by sharing progress reports with screencasts Communicating more effectively with clients […]
Some of you know that I built my professional screencasting company ProCasts during 2009 into the UK’s largest screencasting agency. I’ve decided to move away from professional screencasting (don’t worry – I’m still working on this Handbook!) and so the business of ProCasts is up for sale. If you’re building your own professional screencasting brand […]