Get out the popcorn and dim the lights! As an up and coming bestselling author, it’s time to promote your book the old fashioned way: with a promotional trailer.
Whether your book is a fictional story or it’s the true story of a brand, passion or success philosophy, your book ought to be in pictures. Posting book trailer videos online is a solid step on your path to publishing success.
Seriously, take a look at the way a single movie can bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in a single weekend. How did you first hear about the movie? Was it social media, a movie critic or word of mouth?
The same dynamic of movie awareness works equally for books. So it is important for you, the author, to get the ball of momentum rolling with a book trailer to tease interest in your book.
To get people to spend a week or two reading your book, they are going to have to want it… bad! So your promotional activity will need a hook, which often starts with your book trailer video.
From the Big Screen to the Screen In Your Hand
Video promotion on the internet is far less expensive than traditional advertising, and after a few preliminaries, many authors can do it. As an author with a book to promote, this includes you. About 1-2 minutes of video is all you need to get your message across to smartphones and tablets everywhere. With the right planning and a little push, these mobile devices are where you book may be read as well.
You can use inexpensive tools to make your book trailer if you know which ones to shop for, such as EasySketch Pro or VideoMaker FX. Because they’re user friendly and widely available, using these tools may mean that your video ends up looking the same as everyone else’s. The difference is how you use the tools. Creativity is key. If you can hire someone to create a quality book trailer for you, so much the better.
Making and sharing your own videos does seem exciting to a lot of authors, and I admit it can be fun. But before you cast yourself as the next John Huston or Cecil B. DeMille, take time out to do some planning.
Think about your process and map it from start to finish. The video production process includes only a handful of steps, but each one is key to your book trailer’s success.
First, start with your book trailer’s concept. Decide ahead of time what the viewer’s key take-away will be. Create a clear call to action that is the natural conclusion for the message they’ve just seen.
Next, decide how much of your story you want to reveal in your book trailer. What’s the heart of your video? Where do you want the viewer to begin and end? Script it, and have a clear idea of the visuals you plan to use. Video production professionals call this step storyboarding.
Record the audio first, then use it as the anchor for your video. It’s much easier to sync the video to the audio, instead of the other way around, and the results are more professional. Whatever approach you use, there’s almost always a creative solution for any production obstacles you find.
Online Traffic = A Packed House For Your Book Trailer
Now that you have a finished video, it’s time to get the word out. Though it’s not the only game in town, YouTube is the obvious distribution channel of choice. It’s where the viewers are, and viewers are what you want most for your new book trailer.
YouTube has so many astounding statistics, it would be a waste of space to try to name them here. If you want to research it, here’s a link to the source itself.
I will add, though, that YouTube.com boasts more than 1 billion unique users, or one-third of all people who use the Internet. That’s nearly as many people as inhabited the planet 100 years ago, when the movie industry was new. It’s 1/7 of the world population today. You don’t have to convince people to go to YouTube. You just have to get their attention.
To get your share of viewers for your trailer, start with a keyword rich title. It should include your book title or central character, as well as any other descriptive information or keywords you’d like to capitalize on.
Next, your description should also be keyword rich. Begin the first line with a link. This should coincide with your call to action, either to the page where viewers can join your mailing list, or where they can buy your book directly. Your description should be as long as a full article for best keyword optimization and Google juice.
Finally, give a clear compelling call to action, such as subscribing to your YouTube channel, joining your mailing list, or simply buying your book. It may seem obvious to you, but your “call to action” won’t be to your viewers. They’ll be too mesmerized by your masterful storytelling prowess!
If optimizing your videos is too slow a process for you, advertising opportunities abound on YouTube and Facebook as well. Find videos on the site that have an audience similar to yours, and buy inexpensive ads that attract a crowd to your own video. You’ll find hordes of people showing up on your channel, hungry for more.
After that, what more can you say – except, “Pass the popcorn.”
Bryan Heathman is the President of Made for Success Publishing. Bryan works with best-selling authors in the role of publisher and marketer, including the late Zig Ziglar, Chris Widener and John C. Maxwell. Bryan is the author of Conversion Marketing, a marketing book that condenses knowledge on website conversion from 7-years running an online ad agency. Bryan’s Fortune 500 experience includes running high impact marketing campaigns for Microsoft, Eastman Kodak and Xerox.