Lumen5 — Fast Video Creation for Indie Authors

Content is king. Video content in particular. I’ve read that countless times and I’m sure you have too. But producing video content is time-consuming and potentially expensive, particularly if your interest and experience do not lie in that area. I’m pretty sure that describes most indie authors, otherwise they’d be indie videographers. Fear not, though if you want to use video.  There is a great new video creation tool for indie authors to use in order to produce good, easily shareable video content — Lumen5.

What is Lumen5?

Lumen5 is a web-based video creation application aimed specifically at re-purposing existing blog content into an MP4 video capable of being shared on social media. It is free to use if you don’t mind a short Lumen5 credit added to the end of each video. A paid subscription option is available for those who do not what the Lumen5 branding.

Lumen 5 produces a video with selected text content from a blog overlaying still images or short video clips.

Text is animated and still images automatically employ zoom and pan as Lumen5 thinks appropriate. There is also a fairly large library of royalty free music from which you can select a background track. As of right now there doesn’t appear to be any way you can easily add a voice over.

Images are drawn from the blog article specified (if any) or may be selected from an extensive library of royalty-free images and video clips. Images, video clips, and GIFs may also be uploaded by the user.

The free version produces video in 420p and the paid subscription renders video in 720p. Either is more than sufficient for social media use. Finished videos may be uploaded directly to social media platforms such as Facebook.

What makes Lumen5 so Attractive?

  • First — ease of use.  Everything is drag and drop or selected from menus. You need not worry about video or audio tracks, fiddling with caption placement or any of other features inherent in most video creation/editing tools.
  • Second — speed. Lumen5 has limited editing capabilities compared with most video editors. While limited features might seem a disadvantage, it also means you can produce an acceptable video within five or ten minutes.
  • Third — constant improvement. I signed up to Lumnen5 about a month ago and am amazed at the number of tweaks, enhancements, and features they have rolled out in that time.
Lumen5 -- Latest Changes, @brantforseng, Brant Forseng

Notification Drop list showing latest changes

  • Fourth — cost. Lumen5 is free unless you want to remove the branding or have a need for videos rendered at 720p.

How does it Work?

Creating a video from a blog post follows these simple steps:

Set up your free account, then:

  1. Enter the URL of the blog article (or cut and paste the text into Lumen5)
  2. Lumen 5 scans the blog text and presents it in the editing window
  3. You click the sentences you want to include in the video; you can truncate sentences or add new text until you can the text content in the desired order.
  4. Lumen5 creates slides with images drawn from your blog article (images are loaded automatically when the blog article is scanned); you can swap out images for those in the Lumen5 library, or upload your own for inclusion in the video
  5. Tell Lumen5 where to position text on each slide, or just accept the default placement
  6. Add background music
  7. Add any branding you want (typically a slide at the end of the video
  8. Preview and edit as desired
  9. Publish the video
  10. Upload the video to social media sites or download to your computer

Lumen5 keeps a library of the videos you have produced along with any images, videos, or GIFs you have uploaded. You can edit previously rendered video as well.

Lumen5 Video Editing Screen, @brantforseng, Brant Forseng

Lumen5’s Video Editing Screen — Text has already been entered and edited; here is where music, images, and text placement are controlled.

What can you use it for?

Re-purposing blog content — this is what Lumen5 was built for — taking text content with associated images and rebuilding it as a video, and it does a pretty damned good job

Scratch-building video — you need not start with blog content; you can type in your text from scratch to create a video

Book trailers — use Lumen5 to create quick book trailers; this could be of particular interest to indie authors with only limited financial resources, those for whom even Fiverr is too expensive.

What’s Missing?

Two things that I would like to see added to Lumen5 are:

  • Narration — right now there is no easy way of added narration within Lumen5
  • Greater control over text animation — Lumen5 makes all of the decisions regarding text animation; some control would be nice

Now, that said, the more features added, the more complicated it becomes to create a video quickly. 

However,  even as it is, Lumen5 is a strong contender for the video needs of an indie author.

Here’s an example of video I created in seven minutes.  It took longer than five minutes because I uploaded a couple of images to use in the video.

 

So what about it, readers?

Would you use Lumen5 to re-purpose some of your blog articles?  Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading and I will see you again soon.

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