Using Book Video Trailers to Sell Books

Now that you’ve had your book video trailer made, and you’ve followed all the guidelines for making it as effective as possible, it’s time to promote the video, which in turn will help to promote your book. Following are some ideas for how you can get notice for your video and in turn for your book.

Your Website:Your website is the obvious place to use your book video trailer. Place it on your home page at least during the initial first six months to a year when your book and the video are new. Make sure it is large enough on the website for people to watch, and make sure it only starts to play if people choose to play it. Nothing is more annoying than audio or video that automatically and unexpectedly starts playing and startles the viewer.

Don’t stop at the homepage of the website, however. People who do Google searches may land on a different page of your website first. Make sure you put the book video on the page devoted to selling/buying your book, especially if you have more than one book and different pages for each book. If you have done a lot of radio or TV interviews, you might want to create a “multimedia” page on your website and include the video there as well. Placing the video on your website in three different places isn’t overkill at all-if people have already watched it, they’ll skip over it on other pages, and if not, you have more possibilities they will see it, and it will entice them to purchase your book.

YouTube: YouTube is definitely the video website. Your video may well get more attention there than even on your own website. You will want to make sure the video includes your website address so anyone who sees it will then be able to go to your website to find it. Ask that the creator of your video place it on YouTube. The video will then have a code people can copy so they can promote the video on their own websites-you never know who might like it and want to share it with his own website visitors. (You might even choose to use the embedded code to place it on your website as the easiest way to make it work there.) YouTube also keeps a count of views so you can check to see what kind of attention the video is getting, as well as whether anyone chooses to “like” or “dislike” it or leave comments. Ask your friends to go to YouTube to view the video and write comments about it. That way, other viewers will be more inclined to think well of it and it will look more popular. Make sure you tag the video so it is relevant to other videos. For example, if you’ve written a history book, tag it to other videos about the same area, place, or time in history, or if a romance novel, you might find other videos about love, romance, or other romance authors’ videos.

Presentations: If you do a book signing or you give a talk, bring a computer along or a CD of the video to play for your audience. While your presence as author already builds buzz for your book, the video can give your presentation that extra dose of professionalism and appeal.

Book Fairs and Arts and Craft Shows:Ask the producer of your video to provide you with a CD that loops (repeats) the video so it will play over and over again. Bring your laptop or a TV to these events and play the video. Even if you’re concerned that the repeating audio will annoy the other sellers beside you, you can just play the video without the audio, and you can ask visitors to your table if they would like to see it. Just be sure you look at the screen periodically so your computer does not go to sleep or the video ends and doesn’t repeat. The visual effect of a video will give added credibility to your book and people will be tempted to stop and watch even if only for a minute.

Other Websites: Many other websites exist where you can upload your video. Social networking sites that allow for video uploads include Facebook and MySpace. Put your video on them for all your friends to see. Share the video with all your social networking friends when you first upload it, and then later, as people visit your page, they will have the option to view it. Don’t forget that you can ask your friends to “Share” your video so it ends up on their pages and more and more people see it.

The company who made your book video may also have a website where it showcases the videos it produced so ask whether it will place your video on its site-if it doesn’t have such a page, suggest that it come out with one to showcase its work.

Finally, if you belong to an authors association, the association might also have a place where it announces member events so ask that the release of your video be announced-the association might even have a video page where you can upload it.

Emails and Press Releases: Just as you would with any event, send out an email to your mailing list announcing the creation of your book video trailer and provide a link to where it can be viewed-it’s one more way to make contact with your customers and in a visual way that many of them may be more receptive toward. And there’s no reason why you can’t send out a press release as well. You never know who might find your book video interesting. The local newspaper might never have heard of a book video and want to do a story about it, or viewing the video might be the deciding point for a TV host whether or not you’ll be a guest on the show.

Television: Contact the local television station and ask the advertising executive about doing a commercial. Tell him or her that your commercial is already made and work with the ad executive so your book video trailer, or part of it (commercials tend to be 30-60 seconds and book video trailers closer to 2 minutes), appears on your local television station. We rarely see television commercials for books, so chances are your audience will take notice.

In short, a book video trailer is one more wonderful way you can promote your book and appeal to a larger group of people. The more places you make it possible to view the trailer, the more people who are going to see it, and the more chances you have that your books will sell.

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