When authors think about using a video to promote their books and their author brand, their first thought might be YouTube. That has a lot of potential to build a following, and perhaps earn money if you gain enough followers. However, it’s not the only option for video marketing.
What Should You Talk About?
This may seem obvious, but talk about your book, especially if you have an interesting story behind it. This works well for non-fiction. For fiction, an excerpt is a good option. You can also do a Q&A. Try to think about what would get you interested in a book.
You can live stream on YouTube if this is your preferred option. However, you may have different followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. So, if you only use one social media platform for promotion, you won’t reach them all.
It may seem like the easier option to upload to YouTube, and share the link everywhere. This doesn’t always get the most views. It may be time-consuming to do upload video to each site, but it can be worth it. Connecting live with your followers has benefits, too. For example, if you’re reading an extract of your book, you can offer to answer questions afterwards. Even on-screen, people tend to prefer live experiences rather than a recording.
The great thing about Zoom is you can invite your virtual audience to watch. They can interact via the chat and, if you choose, they can ask questions. Being accessible is one of the best ways of connecting with an audience.
Another thing to consider is…some people may not like Zoom. They can still watch your event, however, because you can choose to live stream to your preferred social media channels, including YouTube and Facebook. These can also be shared afterwards for those who missed it.
Creating an Event
If you’re live streaming directly to social media, or via Zoom, you can use Facebook to set up an event. Even if you’re not planning on streaming through Facebook, you can include the link to where your audience can watch the live video.
One benefit of this is being able to “invite” people to your event on Facebook. You could send a message to do this, but setting up an event means anyone who clicks ‘interested’ or ‘going’ will receive a reminder. People have busy lives, and can forget.
Adding Video to Your Pages
If you have pre-recorded videos related to your book, there are websites other than your social media accounts where you can upload them.
If you have a Goodreads profile, you can add videos to it. You can also set up an Amazon ‘Author Central” page if you don’t already have one. Then, you can upload your videos (as long as they don’t direct people to purchase your book to any other site other than Amazon). If people are watching on your Amazon author page, they are already on a website that sells books, or are capable of searching other outlets if they prefer to buy elsewhere. Readings seem to be okay; I’ve had several of my own approved. Keep these videos short, as there is a limit of 500mb, or approximately ten minutes.
The Usual Suspects
Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram, among others, are still options for sharing these pre-recorded videos. You might find you have more success on one channel compared to others. What works best for one person doesn’t always work best for everyone else.
Generally, video is a good way to promote your books, and build your brand. It may take some experimenting with the different options but you should be able to expand your reach by making yourself more accessible, and bringing your words to life.
- How to Get Video and Podcast Interviews to Promote Your Book! – by KM Robinson
- My Adventure Making a Video Trailer for My Book – by Alex Pearl
- How I Make Video Book Trailers – Douglas Boren
- Book Videos Sell Books: How to Make Them By Diane Craver
- Q – “Where can I make short videos to promote my books on social media?”
Amanda Steel is the author of Ghost of Me, which was a finalist in the thriller category of The Author Elite Awards 2020. Amanda has had work broadcast on BBC Radio Manchester and The NoSleep Podcast. She also co-hosts a book review podcast and works as a copywriter. https://amandasteelwriter.wordpress.com
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