One of the best ways to take your book marketing to the next level is by creating a series of author videos on YouTube. Talk about the writing process, chat about the fictional world you set your novels in, create a new craft from your non-fiction books each week. Videos that tie in with your books will grab readers from a different part of the internet, promoting your work to people who wouldn't otherwise see it. The key is to deliver a clean, professional-looking video each time. The difference between an amateur work and professional one is smaller than you might think. Follow these ten steps to create a video that gives a good impression.
- Get a YouTube account in your pen name, or in the name of your book series. Keep your branding consistent. This allows people to follow you and be informed when more of your videos are ready to view.
- Use good equipment. No, that doesn't mean a laptop camera, but a handheld video camera and set of professional headphones are enough to start.
- Don't skimp on the microphone. Gaming headsets are fine for killing aliens, but if you want to speak with your readers, invest in something that gives a rich, solid sound.
- Look good. This doesn't mean you have to be beautiful, but everyone can be neat and presentable. Wear clean clothes, check your nose for stuff, fix your hair. Avoid obnoxious t-shirts and trendy jewelry unless that's part of your branding.
- Take care of the background. After staring at you for about ten seconds, viewers are going to let their eyes wander around the screen to see what else is going on. Sit at your desk and put interesting things on there for viewers to see. Don't sit in front of a blank wall; that gets boring too quickly. Use props that fit in with your books, and change them up from video to video.
- Be brief. It's better to have a long series of 60-second videos than a set of long, boring ones. Communicate one idea, one topic, one small part of your book's world. Move on to another part in the next video.
- Have a set topic. Much like blogging, creating a series of videos is a way to capture "repeat customers." Concentrate on one niche your readers are interested in, and touch on it a different way during each episode.
- Promote at the end. Save the last ten seconds to promote your latest book, the book coming out, your upcoming cover reveal party, or anything else you want to market.
- Edit wisely. Use simple changes, not fancy swirly dissolves with sparkles and twinkly lights. Use simple text headers, smooth scene changes, and keep it understated.
- Share it. Post your video on your website, share it on social media, send it in your email newsletter. If you don't spread it around, no one's going to watch it.
Keep the Faith and May the Force be With You!