In case you’re not familiar with YouTube, it is a website on which users upload, share, and view videos. Posting and watching videos is free. Users can search YouTube for videos on selected topics; in fact, it’s the second-most often searched website (after Google). So there’s plenty of traffic on the site from people who want to hear about your book-all you have to do is create compelling video content that will engage viewers.
If you’ve never made a video before, don’t worry-neither had a lot of other authors who are now pros at making and uploading videos that help sell their books! Get some practice by just talking about your book: Why you wrote it, the plot or message, and how readers will benefit from reading it. youtubeuser If you aren’t comfortable in front of the camera, ask a friend to sit off-camera and interview you; you’ll probably forget you’re on video after a few minutes. If you’re determined not to be filmed, you can talk about your book while walking through a location associated with the book or even use a slide show of photos that relate to the book. The important thing is to get started, because practice will help you create better videos.
Tips on creating your video:
· Keep your audience in mind. Don’t just try to sell your book-think about what readers would like to know about you and your book. This is an opportunity for potential audience members to start getting to know you and what you have to offer. How-tos, answers to FAQs, expert interviews, insights on characters and their development, and entertaining stories are all popular on YouTube.
· Keep it short. YouTube users have short attention spans; it’s much better to have five three-minute videos than one 15-minute video. More videos also provide more varied marketing opportunities.
· Optimize your listing. Make sure the title, tags, description, and category are complete. Include a link back to your website at the end of the description so viewers will be able to easily access your other content.
· Reach out. Connect with other authors who have large followings on YouTube. If they’re in a complementary market, a cross-promotion partnership might be very helpful as you build your own audience.
After your video is uploaded:
· Embed your YouTube video on a page on your website (there are easy instructions on YouTube, but if you have trouble, your web designer can take care of this in under two minutes) and then promote the page. For example, you might write a short blog that relates to your book’s topic and embed a video about your book at the bottom so readers can learn more. You can repurpose that content further by sending out a newsletter to your readers that includes a link back to your blog.
· Brand your YouTube channel. You can do this yourself or have it done for a small fee, but a branded YouTube channel sets you apart and makes it clear that you are committed to engaging with your viewers.