Publishing

Look, Ma! I’m on Video–and My Book Sales Are Booming!

This article is being written for a blog. I’m communicating information that may help you market your business book to a large audience of eager readers. I’m writing it on a blog.

A blog is a webpage meant to create engagement through sharing opinions, allowing anyone to offer a comment on the original comment for all to see and comment on, in turn. Unlike a static webpage that merely conveys information, a blog invites feedback. The interesting part of blogging is that it’s an integral part of the Internet these days, and the Internet, as we know, is a visual medium, so…where are the visuals?

On my other blogs, I always add pictures to go with my writing. I don’t do so much here, as the writing stands on its own, pretty much. Pictures could be added, I just don’t know that they would be worthwhile or helpful. We all know what books look like. We all know what pens and pencils are. We’ve all seen pictures of haggard writers melting over a keyboard. You get the drift. Pictures added to this blog post would be superfluous.

Now, video…that would be fun, wouldn’t it?

Well, I’m pleased to announce that videos are coming. No! — Videos are here! The Internet has caught up with the book marketing world. Some of you may already be aware of this new, exciting, visual way to get your book out there. It’s called a book trailer, and it works much the same way a movie trailer does because it’s video preview of your book, made by you and distributed by you (if you’re in charge of your book, as you should be.).

Wikipedia describes a book trailer thus: “A book trailer is a video advertisement for a book which employs techniques similar to those of movie trailers.”

This article by Jane Y. Kim describes a video film series, where more than one author participated in a group discussion that was offered at a small independent bookstore in Colorado, to an audience of about 50. The unique part of this story is that one of the authors had passed on months earlier——but the audience saw him, nonetheless, and had a chance to listen to him read from his book, all because the trailer was made months earlier. Kim goes on to say that, “Out of the Book, produced by Powell’s Books, a prominent used bookstore in Portland, Ore.,” is on the same track and offers free 30-minute shorts of writers and their works.

This is obviously a growing trend, and self-published authors can embrace it easily. You only need a webcam and a few minutes. You can practice to your heart’s content, if you like. But when you get it right, when you get that 10 minute video done, complete with some readings from your work, you have just created a connection to your readers. They see you, they hear you, they can feel the energy and passion you bring to your work, and that can sell more books than a dozen press releases.

Future Perfect Publishing, a blog about “Exploring new trends and possibilities in book publishing” says the book trailer “may supplant the venerable book cover.” This after stating that covers are the most important marketing tool authors have – a cover, you know, is worth a thousand words. Oh, wait…that’s a picture, but a cover is a picture. And a video is… a moving picture. Which do you think is going to be more powerful to viewers???

If you are eager to see a book trailer that works, hop over to Joe Wikert’s Publishing 2020 Blog and watch the popcorn trailer. I call it that because it’s about Why Popcorn Costs So Much at the Movies. The author, Richard McKenzie, does a popping-good job showing readers why they should buy his book. He’s a bit dry but, since his book is about hidden truths in marketing and he demonstrates the popcorn truth so well, you definitely get a feel for whether or not you might want to buy this book. It’s definitely a cut above a review online.

Sooooo —– do you have a book trailer in you? Yes? Great! Now, where are you going to display it? And how are you going to get my eyeballs to look at it?

Well, that’s a story for another day. Stay tuned.

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One Response to “Look, Ma! I’m on Video–and My Book Sales Are Booming!”

  1. Book marketing newbi June 5, 2008 at 12:51 am #

    Excellent post. I've heard about video book trailers or online book videos, but have yet to fully wrap my head around them and how they work. Thank you for clarifying this and helping me understand. Very appreciative.

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