In Your Corner: Taking it to the Big Screen

It probably isn’t news to you that video is an important tool in your toolbox as a self-publishing author, so I’ll skip the part of this blog post where I laud the benefits of using video in addition to written means of promotion in order to sell your book, as well as the part where I defend the book trailer as an indefensible part of your self-marketing strategy.  What you’re interested in–and what we’re all interested in, really–is how to use that video to stand out.  How to actually put it to work.  And since we’re sliding into a new month right now, I thought I’d take August as an opportunity to do some serious work when it comes to this whole self-promotion thing.

video trailer promotion

A Miniature Soapbox

Because let’s face it, those “X for Dummies” books have a point, even if they simultaneously belabor the point (thus falling into the whole “defense of X” rut I’ve said I’ll skip, above) and insult readers’ intelligence while at it.  Sidebar: My father gave me the “Photography for Dummies” book almost a decade ago, but I still haven’t really touched it, even though he insisted he didn’t actually think I was dumb.  The real problem with the “X for Dummies” books is that they assume their readers are insecure in their sense of self-worth when it comes to whatever task or object they’re seeking to learn more about.  But let’s be clear: You’re not a “dummy” just because you want to get down to the nitty-gritty of how to make something work.  A lack of information is not a lack of intelligence.

How (& Where) to Use a Book Trailer

  1. Upload your video to your website & on your YouTube channel

Creating a YouTube channel is free, and it happens to come along with a bundle of customizations.  Take a look at the YouTube channel of your favorite musician if you’re looking for inspiration–and then take a look at a variety of different artists’ and musicians’ channels for comparison–and note what customizations work: banner images, layout alterations, etc.  It’s easy to Google templates and tutorials.  Sometimes the simplest changes are actually the most impactful, so don’t overthink it.  Making your YouTube channel beautiful is secondary to making people aware that you have one, so make sure you not only upload your video, but that you promote it too.

  1. Tweet about your book trailer

Fans accessing links to online videos via Twitter watch, on average, an extra minute of video compared to those who stumble across your book trailer via a search engine.  After uploading your book trailer to YouTube and your personal website, tweet about it!  And don’t just tweet about it once, either.  Spread the word across all of your social media platforms–Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and everywhere else you have a digital presence.  This will serve as part of your promotional strategy for raising awareness about your book video trailer, but it also will serve as a boost to your overall digital footprint.

  1. Use Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Before you distribute your book trailer on YouTube and elsewhere, you should understand the basics of search engine optimization (SEO). There’s simply no point in creating a website or book trailer or any other content online if that content can’t be easily found. Which means, when push comes to shove, that you’ve got to start thinking like a search engine.  Each website page or blog post should be optimized so that search engines can find it.  And in the same way you optimize your blog, you need to optimize your book trailer so people can find it.  We’ve written about SEO before, in detail–and it really is worth it to take the time to do this right.

You are not alone. ♣︎

ElizabethABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 18 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, pre-production specialists, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.

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