Video Marketing for Authors: A Beginner-Friendly Guide

Video marketing for authors

You’re alive in 2019, which means the following two things are true:

  1. The assassins have failed
  2. You need to consider video marketing for your book

Video marketing isn’t just for big businesses. It’s for author-entrepreneurs, too. If you have a book to sell, using video can get you in front of so many more eyeballs than other marketing efforts. Yes, do a book giveaway on GoodReads. Yes, pay to promote yourself on Facebook. But don’t overlook videos in your marketing plan.

In this guide, we’ll help you get started with video marketing— even if you’re a complete beginner and don’t know the first thing about videos. Let’s go!

Here’s Why You Should Consider Video Marketing for Your Book

Not completely sold on the idea of using video to sell your book? Before we discuss how, let’s go over the reasons why video is a great medium for marketing.

Let’s start off by talking about YouTube, the number one destination for video marketing your book.

Unless you’re living under a rock and go by the name of Patrick Star, you’re already familiar with YouTube. Google-owned YouTube is not only the largest video-sharing site on the Internet, but it’s also a search engine. Behind Google, YouTube is actually the second largest search engine on the web. If you’re hoping to reach an audience of prospective readers, you can’t ignore YouTube and its almost 2 billion monthly users.

YouTube is great for exposure and getting seen by people who may not have stumbled upon your book otherwise. But there’s also another powerful reason to consider YouTube for marketing: It’s basically free.

While you can pay for marketing on YouTube in the form of ads that run before and during others’ videos, you can also get a ton of traction for free.

Create a channel. Upload your videos. Start building an audience organically. It’s a lot easier to build organic traffic on YouTube than it is on Facebook or other social media platforms. That said, Facebook is still an important consideration for video marketing as we’ll discuss later in this post.

But there’s more! If the above reasons weren’t enough to consider video marketing, consider this: Video allows you to forge an emotional connection with your audience.

That matters because readers are more likely to buy your book if they have a connection with you— even if that connection is a three-minute video. Getting to see you and hear you talk about your book or witnessing your passion for the characters and the story will help your audience feel like they know you and can trust you.

Finally, people love watching videos. Videos are easy to consume and multisensory. Think of video as a way to reach out to your audience in a way that’s more personal and immediate than a book blurb on Amazon.

But What If I Don’t Want to Be in Front of the Camera?

Camera shy? You’re not alone. I’m not exactly rushing to the spotlight either, but the benefits more than compensate for the temporary discomfort. Remember that there are ways to market your book on video without being in front of the camera. If you absolutely do not want to show your face on camera, consider creating videos with stock photos and voiceovers.

Here are three free video stock libraries to consider:

Video Marketing Ideas

Now let’s discuss how to actually use video to market your book. Here are the most popular types of video that you can create:

Book Trailers

Video marketing for authors

A book trailer is an advertisement for your book in video form. It’s just like a movie trailer where you preview characters and story elements in hopes of engaging your viewer. But don’t worry, you don’t have to hire anyone to act out scenes from your novel. You can simply use a combination of photo, video, text and/ or voiceover to create an atmosphere for your book.

Remember that you can download and use stock video from the free libraries mentioned above. You can also find high-quality music files from one of the following sites:

Behind the Scenes

Show your audience a slice of your life as a writer. You can connect with your fans in these casual videos that require little to no preparation or editing. Discuss your creative process, tour your office or answer viewer-submitted questions.

How do “behind the scenes” videos help to sell your book? It gives you a more authentic way to connect with your audience. Use these opportunities to build trust which will, in turn, help you sell more books.

Interview Yourself

Prepare a few questions and then ask a friend to interview you on camera. This type of video is more professional than a behind-the-scenes video, but it will provide similar benefits. Use this type of video to connect with your audience and show the human behind the words.

Would you like a list of questions to ask yourself? Here are 20 questions to get you started.

Share News

You can also provide updates to your audience through video. Share news about book launches, upcoming book signings, discounts, giveaways, etc.

General Best Practices for Video Marketing

Now that you’re fully convinced to do video marketing, let’s discuss how to make the most of it. When using video to market, be sure that you:

Remember Your Audience

Always be mindful of who you’re speaking to in your videos. Be relatable.

Keep Your Videos Short

It’s easier to connect with your audience in shorter videos, especially if you’re just talking and not offering a lot of visual engagement.

End Every Video With a Call to Action

Give your viewers the next step to take at the end of your videos, such as buy your book or sign up for your email list.

Post Consistently

Don’t just post one video and expect magic to happen. To build an audience (especially on YouTube), you need to post videos on a regular schedule (i.e. once a week).

How to Maximize Your YouTube Videos

Video marketing for authors

When using YouTube to market your book, do the following:

Optimize your title for search engines and take advantage of the infobox. Searchers will find your organically based on the keywords that you use in these fields.

Use a thumbnail that makes people want to click on your video.

YouTube videos should be short in length. Keep your videos under three minutes for maximum engagement from start to finish.

Ask people to subscribe to your channel— and remember to be consistent with churning out new video content. The goal is to create an audience who’s there every time you post a new video.

How to Maximize Your Facebook Videos

When using Facebook to market your book, do the following:

Facebook videos play automatically. Use compelling video to capture your audience within the first few seconds.

Optimize your video for those who don’t unmute. Add closed captioning to your video.

Get on Facebook live for an authentic connection. On average, live videos are watched three times longer than non-live videos.

How to Maximize Your Instagram Videos

When using Instagram to market your book, do the following:

Consider sharing videos on Instagram stories as well as your feed. Videos on Instagram stories are only available for 24 hours. Take advantage of this feature to create more immediate engagement with your followers.

Re-post any comments or videos that mention you or your book. It’s a good idea to add these re-posts into your Instagram story.

Remember that videos on Instagram are automatically muted, just like on Facebook. If you’d like for them to unmute, ask them (in writing) at the start of the video.

Additional Posts

Before you go, check out these related resources:

Don’t forget to download this list of 20 questions to ask yourself for your video interview.

Make Sure Your Book Isn’t A “Long Shot”

Enter your email for your FREE 7-Day Bootcamp and learn:

  • 5 Unconventional Techniques to help you finish your Draft
  • The Key to Getting Readers to Care About Your Characters
  • How to Master Dialogue, even if you’re a First-Time Writer
  • What You Need to Know to Hold Your Reader’s Interest
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

2 Comments

Kenneth Kenney

Still Researching

Reply
paul dolan

NY Book Editors amazes with its innovative advice for authors.
This essay with links to music and tips of all kinds for Facebook and YouTube marketing is remarkable. Exciting input for a new age of book marketing in this digital world.

Reply

Leave a comment