Author of Camera Ready: How to Present Your Best Self and Ideas On Air or Online
Location: Brooklyn, New York
BA from Georgetown with double major, English/Fine Arts
I’m a freelance reporter, author and media consultant. My multimedia ebook CAMERA READY: How to Present Your Best Self and Ideas On Air or Online is THE handbook for anyone appearing on camera. My on-camera expertise comes from years of producing and reporting for BBC News, Reuters Television, and other media outlets.
What you wanted to be when you grew up:
In fourth grade I wanted to be an actress. In college I thought I’d go into documentary filmmaking.
What you are:
I guess I ended up sort of being a combination of actress and documentary filmmaker! I’m a video strategist who helps people be great on camera and reach new audiences with on-screen storytelling. I also still do some reporting and moderate conferences.
My eBook Camera Ready is a multimedia handbook on how to making awesome video. Is publishing a book a start-up? I’d argue yes because I decided to go the self-publishing route and invest in myself. Now I’m learning how to get my eBook out there!
Where you are located:
What inspired you?
I’ve been working with journalists, non-profits, and business folks for years to get them comfortable and articulate on camera. I was inspired to write a book when I discovered the publishing platform Vook, which lets you embed video into eBooks. Writing AND video? That sounded like a match made in publishing heaven to me.
How long have you been in business?
I’ve been producing and reporting news since 1994, when I started out in the BBC’s Washington Bureau. I became a freelance journalist, started teaching TV reporting, and doing media training in 2002. I published my eBook in June.
How did you fund it?
Usually an eBook doesn’t cost much to create but mine includes 20 highly produced how-to videos. I used savings to fund the production of the eBook. Now comes the cost of marketing! We ran an awesome Kickstarter campaign to launch the eBook and rally my “tribe”- crowd funding gave Camera Ready a big boost, not just financially.
Do you have a Fairy Godmother (or Mentor)?
Oh, definitely my mom. Despite being a doctor she usually made it home by 4pm to be with us. Now that I’m a mother I see how tough it is to work, take care of children, and stay sane! She takes care of my kids a ton and really made the book possible.
Do you belong to any Business Organization or Networking Groups?
Online News Association and New York Video Meet Up. I belong to the Grind Workspace in Manhattan and try to go to #Journchat on Monday nights on Twitter.
Current Business Challenge?
Marketing. Marketing! Marketing!!
What are you doing about it?
I’m mostly going the social media route. I’ve got some amazing endorsements from people like Google’s Head of Media and YouTube’s Head of Trends . . . but no matter how great Camera Ready is, if I don’t talk about it incessantly online, no one is going to discover it.
I’m also speaking at and attending as many events as possible. A woman I met at a recent panel turned out to be the media producer for a huge organization. She read the book and is going to give it to all the executives who are appearing in the organization’s website videos. You can’t replicate personal interaction.
Favorite motivational quote:
“Don’t give people a problem, give them a solution.” — Malcolm Downing, BBC Foreign News Editor
(I guess I was coming to him with too many problems)
2 small kids and a very busy TV reporter husband who covers New York politics
If so, how do you balance family and business?
Oh, man. Not easy. Lots of help and my flexible schedule make it possible. That’s why I went into business for myself! The autonomy makes working AND seeing your kids possible.
Bridget Jones’ Diary reminds me of a very specific and nutty time in my life, pre-kids and pre-texting.
What do you do to relax?
Read, preferably while horizontal.
What do you want to change most about your world?
Well, it’s already changing. You don’t have to look like a Barbie doll to be an on-camera reporter anymore!
What are you most proud of?
Becoming a BBC foreign news producer, in spite of being American.
What advice would you like to offer other Start Up Princesses?
Every setback, every failure is educational. Oh and for the Type-A’s out there: sometimes you need to settle for “good enough.”
Favorite Magic Wand (tool/resource)?
Kickstarter. And my ninja brush from Sephora (it folds like a clam shell).
If you could design a tiara, what precious stones would you use?
Anything conflict-free. Or rock candy.
Manoush Zomorodi is the author of Camera Ready: How to Present Your Best Self and Ideas On Air or Online. Her on-camera expertise comes from years of producing and reporting for BBC News, Reuters Television, and other media outlets. She moderates conferences on digital technology and hosts live video events, in addition to doing media coaching.