Promote Your Books with Video

Expert: Dana Lynn Smith

Did you know that YouTube is the third most popular website in the U.S. (behind Google and Facebook) and the second most popular globally? Uploading a book promotion video to your website and to video sharing sites such as YouTube is a great way to capitalize on the huge popularity of videos.

Google includes videos in search results, and users can also search Google specifically for videos. YouTube, which is owned by Google, is the top spot for posting your book promotion video, but there are many other online video sharing sites.

One of the most powerful aspects of video marketing is that people who enjoy videos often forward the link to someone else, creating viral marketing opportunities.

Video book trailers and free tutorials are the most popular type of book promotion video, but there are several other ways to use video on your own website, including:

• Video blog posts (vlogs)

• Video greeting on your website

• Video testimonials from customers

• Video bio for your online media room

Book video trailers, similar to movie trailers, are brief promotional videos for books. They usually combine graphics, text, music and/or voice over. Book video trailers can be used for both fiction and nonfiction, but I think they are especially effective for fiction.

You can create a book promotion video with a webcam, the video capture feature of your digital camera, a digital video camera, screen capture software, or video creation software. Here are some tips for getting the maximum benefit from your book promotion video:

• Shorter videos get watched more often, so keep your video under three minutes. About 30 to 90 seconds is ideal for most videos.

• Use important keywords in the video title and description.

• Place “call to action” text at end of the video, inviting viewers to buy your book or visit your website. It’s a good idea to offer a free bonus as an incentive for visiting your website.

• Include your book title and/or website name and full URL (including http://) in the “About This Video” section on YouTube.

• Mention your book title and/or website name during the video.

• Display your website URL throughout the video using a footer or watermark.

• Include a text version of the video on YouTube.

These are my recommended resources for learning how to produce and distribute videos:

The Book Trailer Manual, by Darcy Pattison, is a great guide to planning, producing and sharing book video trailers. My favorite thing about this guide is the detailed instructions for creating the storyline and incorporating audio and visual elements, but the ebook also offers advice on recording equipment, editing software, and places to upload videos online.

YouTube Marketing for Authors, by Shelley Hitz, explains how to create effective “talking head” videos, where you record yourself speaking. This type of video helps you relate on a more personal level with your audience, and it’s especially effective for nonfiction authors. The ebook also includes instructions for using the YouTube video editor, creating your YouTube channel, and posting videos on YouTube for maximum marketing effectiveness.

Don’t be intimidated by the process of creating and sharing book promotion videos—it’s not hard to learn and it can be a lot of fun!


Dana Lynn Smith, The Savvy Book Marketer, helps authors and indie publishers learn how to sell more books through her how-to guides, blog, newsletter, and private coaching. Get her free Top Book Marketing Tips ebook at BookMarketingNewsletter.com, visit her blog at TheSavvyBookMarketer.com, follow @BookMarketer on Twitter, and connect on Facebook at facebook.com/SavvyBookMarketer

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