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YouTube mayhem, or an author’s guide to tecchie horrors

For a while now I’ve been trying to figure out how to do excerpt readings of my books on YouTube. Prior to the figuring, I was thinking about doing it. That went on for some time because the very thought of the technological challenge was enough to make me give up before I started.

This is the kind of hefty basher I first used

I am old school. Back when I learned to type, it was manuals only. Six hours on a manual typewriter does horrible things to your shoulders, so when electrics came in, I was delighted.

Remember the golfball?

The golfball typewriter, with switchable balls for different fonts. Magic!

Loved that thing. My speed increased until I was bashing away like a maniac. Then came electronic, followed in short order by the word processor.

I was positively whizzing once I got used to the flatter keys. The transition to a PC ought to have been easy, right? Keyboard, check. Screen, check. Control keys, check. Only Word was completely different to Wordperfect (which was different again to Wang, my first encounter). Let’s not go into the learning curve that nearly drove me to jump off a tall building.

See, this is why I love my Alphasmart. Simple, no distractions, perfect for a first draft.

Alphie, the easy-peasy little computer with four lines of type

Then came the World Wide Web, and eventually Windows. By that time, I had got pretty good on basic functions, learned to love the net and only hit brick walls when I had to try something new. Thus, for an oldie, I’m actually able to muddle through. Yet I still couldn’t face the thought of finding out how to video myself and upload the thing to YouTube.

I won’t go into the trials and tribulations of trying to get audio to match up with a video on my webcam. Couldn’t even find sound. Then I thought maybe, just maybe, I could do a video on my phone and upload that. There’s a share function to YouTube, ‘cos I’d seen it. But I had only just started doing selfies and videos were a world away.

Manic moments on the webcam

Nevertheless, I took the plunge. I explained it was a test and did a poem from Rupert Brooke. Lo and behold! Once I had a decent video, I found the share icon, clicked on YouTube, and much to amazement, the video uploaded straight to my channel without a hitch. Hallelujah!

Last week, I did the first video featuring one of my books and uploaded that. Terrific. All working nice and dandy. I can keep doing this until I have a whole library and promote away happily.

Then came the crash. Technology hit me in the teeth with a vengeance.

Google told me to empty my cookie cache. Like a good little customer, I did as I was told, carefully following the instructions. All my saved links vanished, but I was ready for that. I signed back into Google only to find they were asking me to create a YouTube channel. Argghh! Where did my channel go?

Fortunately, I had sent a link to my newsletter subscribers and was able to click on it and there it was. But now I had two channels and Google refused to recognise the old one and kept sending me to the new one. Was I going to lose all 12 of my brand new subscribers? How do I fix this?

My actual YouTube channel with two vids and my precious dozen subscribers

After an hour of trying to find solutions on the net and tearing my hair out, I resolved to ask my tecchie nephew for help. After I’d calmed down it occurred to me to try signing out of Google and starting over.

I signed out. My PC has an auto go to Gmail on Chrome already set up (not by me, I hasten to add, my tech guy did that). Next thing I know, it’s telling me to click Restore, which I did. And there I was, connected back to my old channel. Phew!

I’m all set again. Except with a brand new trepidation that anything I now do might wreck it all over again. One thing I can tell you: I will not be emptying my cache again any time soon.

You can check out the channel from this link – I hope!

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