SWA Content Provider Specs

We’re excited to offer you this page full of information to help you sell your courses! It will be updated regularly, so please bookmark this page.

The targeted audience for the Serious Writer Academy is writers and authors who want excellent instruction on the craft and business side of writing. Our audience market is primarily female, so our target “avatar” is a conservative female with strong values and is willing to invest in her writing hobby or career.

Because our audience draws from both the Christian Booksellers Association and “clean” general market American Bookseller’s Association, no erotica will be accepted. Courses that contain elements of violence, horror, and language will be evaluated on an individual basis and given a rating or warning beneath the course description.

We want to be transparent about our faith as we appeal to both audiences, so if your courses have a strong faith element, we ask that your course title and description reflect that. In the same way that the CBA and ABA have specific guidelines, you have the option of filming two versions of your course to fit each market.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Included on this page is an abundance of information regarding the videos for the courses and modules. We will also have a video tutorial coming soon so you can see how Serious Writer Academy from the student’s perspective.


Course Length:

We’re looking for classes in a variety of lengths and price-ranges. We believe that having an entry-level introductory class is a great way to build your audience for more advanced classes. Because we want to launch with several courses, these lower-level classes will be less time-consuming to film.

Each course will be broken down into “modules.”

  • $29 class – approximately 30 minutes of instruction (5-6 videos)
  • $49 class – approximately 60 minutes of instruction (6-8 videos)

We will add longer courses and higher price points. We’re still working out the details for the $99 – $249 course breakdowns.

Handouts

Handouts are an excellent way to provide value. We recommend one PDF per video in the course.

Suggestions:

  • Outline for students to take notes
  • Resource List
  • Step-by-Step instructions from video
  • Slide images from the module

Specifics:
Many students will print their handouts, so font size, style, and color should be clean and easy to read.

Comments

Each module has a place for students to comment and ask questions. We believe these comments provide valuable feedback and offer great questions to be included in a FAQs page for your course, as well as provide insight to material for future versions of that course or even an entirely separate course.

Submissions

With each course, provide the title, a brief description, and a video breakdown for each module.

Ex: Course Title: Introduction to Canva

Video 1: Inside of Canva
This module provides an overview tutorial inside of the free version of Canva and the subscription model Canva for Work.

Video 2: Choosing Your Layout….

Recording Specifics

There are several options for recording your videos. If you’re new to filming, we recommend using Zoom to film your courses. It is a free program that allows you to record yourself or your screen. Additionally, it saves your recording as both an MP4 video file and M4A audio only. Once your courses is finished, you can upload it into our drive, which will we include here shortly.

Note: The maximum file size for video uploads is 2GB

We request that you record in HD resolution (720p or higher) because this will offer the very best user experience.

Extra Information

Our platform is able to encode and display many common file formats but for the most consistent performance, we recommend uploading files in the MP4 format.  We will have a Google Drive folder available for you to upload your videos into.

The aspect ratio of the video is 16:9 or 4:3 – this just ensures that the video will fill the entire frame of the video player.

If you have specific questions about a different format, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Lighting

Be mindful of the lighting while you film. Keep the light in front of you so that you aren’t backlit.  There are ways to add additional light without casting a shadow on your face.  Sometimes just moving to a different position in the room or filming near a window can add enough extra light to make the video much easier to watch.

Camera

The perfect angle for the camera is similar to Goldilocks Syndrome: not too high, too low, too close to your face or too far away!  An ideal position is right in the center of the screen!

Camera steadiness
To avoid a shaky video, use a tripod if you are filming with a phone or tablet. If you’re using your laptop, placing the webcam on a desktop of similar will keep it steady as well.

Background
Think about the background – you can have a blank wall, or neatly decorated area, but consider not having clutter around.  Clutter can be distracting to your user.

Screen Share
If you will be sharing your screen, remember that everything is shared, including open tabs, software, emails, etc. We recommend turning off notifications while you film.

Software

Some video/audio recording software programs are easier to use than others.  We are happy to provide a list of programs that can video, screencast, and edit for both windows and Mac. For example, Zoom is a great option with the screen share option.

Also, if you have a Mac, it’s easy to edit sound and video within iMovie.

Slides

Slides can be created in Canva, PowerPoint, and Keynote. These are great to insert in your video to introduce content, or to share important bullet points you want your audience to receive. Additionally, slide information can also be easily converted into the PDF’s you are creating for your module.

Microphones

We recommend using a separate microphone for recording video.  Unfortunately, when using a computer’s internal microphone, the fan noise from a laptop, or other background noises can’t be controlled. Wearing headphones (or earbuds) with a microphone attached [ex. Apple headphones] can prevent feedback and sound issues.

There are a variety of inexpensive options for microphones that can be easily plugged in a USB port on your computer or laptop and are ready to go very quickly. We are happy to provide a list of microphones if you are looking to make that purchase.