Video Book Trailers as Book Marketing for self publishing authors
The time of social media has arrived (many would argue it arrived quite some time ago…) and has dramatically changed how most of us communicate. Under the right circumstances, and when done well, social media will drive traffic to your website, help the market perceive you as an expert, and ultimately sell more books. Social media must be part of any comprehensive book marketing plan – especially for the author self publishing their book.
How do video book trailers fit into the world of book marketing?
Author engaged in self publishing must take an active role in book marketing. A video book trailer is the ‘multimedia backbone’ of an authors social media book marketing plan. Video book trailers are short (usually no more than a minute or so) videos that are essentially a ‘commercial’ for your book. A good video book trailer includes a number of multimedia elements including music, subtitles, imagery, and in more elaborate cases voice overs and custom-filmed action video. The goal of the video book trailer is, of course, to get the viewer to purchase the book.
Why use a video book trailer in my social media book marketing plan?
Everything old is new again – I’m using that cliche to mean that many of the ‘old’ marketing rules really still apply in the ‘new world’ of social media marketing. As always, it’s about the content. And a video delivers more interesting content to you potential readers than any amount of book cover copy ever could.
Here’s some simple starting points:
- Video is far more interesting (and therefor more engaging) than static text.
- Online, a potential consumer will spend more time with an interesting video than they will with text.
- Video will strengthen the SEO of your site – readers are more likely to follow a video link on a topic of interest than a text link.
- Did you know that YouTube is now the second most popular search engine after Google? Online video is something they are beginning to expect when making a purchase decision.
- Promoting a book with a video truly fits the behaviors of our ‘multimedia’ world.
Video book trailers are something that is easily promoted (as part of your book marketing campaign) via places like Facebook, Twitter, and the myriad other social networks. A video book trailer has the opportunity to reach hundreds (or even thousands) of potential readers through the web at very little cost.
Video book trailer distribution
Dozens of sites exist on the internet for the distribution of video – and distributing your video book trailer is much the same. There are some places that cater to book trailers specifically – but why narrow your audience? Hit the big ones: YouTube, GoogleVideo, MetaCafe, DailyMotion, Blip.tv. Your video book trailer will of course be on YOUR site and your publishers, right?
Video book trailer tips
Creating exactly the right video book trailer can be confusing and challenging – much like the publishing process. Most authors will benefit from hiring a professional video production company to produce their trailer. Here’s a few things to keep in mind, whether you create your own or hire a professional:
Check out other video book trailers. If you search for ‘book trailer’ on YouTube, thousands will come up. Check for titles within your genre. Look for things you like and things you don’t. If the video engages you, then it’s probably a success… if it’s boring… enough said. However, be reasonable – some trailers you will see had budgets in the tens of thousands of dollars. Some had budgets of hundreds.
Tied to the above is ‘Understand what you want’. Just like any other part of your book marketing campaign, your video book trailer must have a purpose and focus. Most self publishing authors won’t have a budget to create a viral video (one in which the product is almost secondary and the entertainment value of the video is extremely high) but will be creating an informative video designed to engage viewers and get them to purchase the book. An extreme example of a viral video is Liquid Mountaineering – try and guess the brand being promoted (or for that matter, even the product…). However, it’s been viewed over 7 MILLION times. A nice example of an informative video is the video book trailer for A Templar’s Journey – clean, engaging, and a great representation of the book.
While an informative video might go viral, they are really built to be an entertaining ‘commercial’ for your book. The video book trailer is another way to grab a reader and literally SHOW them what your book is about. The trailer provides potential readers with an opportunity to SEE why your book is for them.
Build the video with your potential reader in mind… and remember that you MUST accomplish the task in less than 90 seconds. Lousy images, poor quality, inappropriate music, and amateurish transitions will all drive readers away. Watch out for making your video too much of a commercial. Keep in mind that viewers want to be entertained and engaged, not to be ‘sold’ – even if that is the ultimate goal.
Some final video book trailer thoughts
- Why wouldn’t someone want to watch your video book trailer? Because it’s boring or poorly produced.
- What makes a ‘good’ video book trailer? Interesting and engaging information about your book, images and music that ‘fit’ your genre, and leaving them with a ‘hook’.
- If it can’t be done in 90 seconds, don’t bother
- Use the ‘description box’ to drive traffic and set up SEO – you can add links to your site, your blog, etc.
- Put your video on your laptop, phone, iPad – take it EVERYWHERE!
- Almost everyone watches videos online… why not yours?
Will your video book trailer drive more book sales? It’s hard to say – just like any other element of book marketing. It is, however, part of the book marketing arsenal – and when done well, and with a little luck, just might work wonders.
Interested in getting a video book trailer for your book? You can find video book trailer production services at Dog Ear Publishing.
Filed under: book marketing, Book Marketing Plan, self publishing, Social Media, Video book trailers | Tagged: book marketing, book trailers, self publishing, social media, video book trailers | Leave a Comment »