Does Your Book Have a Book Video on Amazon?

Shopping and watching videos are among the most common activities people engage in on the internet. So it stands to reason that if you can combine those two activities, your chances for increasing engagement improve. Amazon has made that relatively simple by providing a number of different ways to add videos to help people shop for (and buy) your book.

The first way you can add videos to your products (or books) on Amazon is in a section on your Product Details Page called “Related Video Shorts.” This section appears directly below the “Product details” section. Next to the bold heading that says “Related Video Shorts” is a blue link that says “Upload your video”. When you click on that link you are taken to a category selection screen where you must choose the most appropriate category for your video.  

If you’re reading this blog, presumably your “product” is a book, so in most cases, the appropriate choice is probably “other” although if you have a non-fiction book and a “how to” video related to your subject (which you should), then the “how to” selection may be the most appropriate.

Once you select your category, a pop-up screen will appear showing a directory of your computer’s hard drive.  While not instantly obvious, this is where Amazon is expecting you to select your video file for upload, which it accepts in a variety of formats, although .mp4 is probably the best.  If your Amazon account is in good standing, your video will appear in the “Related Video Shorts” section of your product details page relatively quickly. Potential customers who are considering buying your book will then be able to see your video, which may help close the sale.

The next way to add a video is on your Author Profile Page. In the “Author Updates” section you will see the link.  This method doesn’t require you to select a category and appears to be less “restrictive” on the type and length of videos that are allowed.

The third way is using your blog and then setting up your RSS feed through your Author Profile Page. This is the least restrictive method, and you can upload any video you want this way, since Amazon doesn’t censor blog postings from 3rd party RSS fees. Of course, if you update your blog constantly, the video posting will quickly disappear from your Amazon Author Profile Page in preference to your newer posts.  A trick around that is to set-up a free blog (on WordPress for example) that is specifically meant for your Amazon Author Profile Page. Simply upload one posting of the video you wish to display on Amazon and don’t post anything else to that blog. Your video will reside permanently on your Author Profile Page because of the RSS feed setting.

Of course, all of this presumes you have a video (or videos) about your book to upload. There are a lot of methods to create those, but that’s a topic for a different blog posting.  Good luck!

youtube video illustration

brent sampson
In 2002, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Semi-Finalist Brent Sampson founded Outskirts Press, a custom book publishing solution that provides a cost-effective, fast, and powerful way to help authors publish, distribute, and market their books worldwide while leaving 100% of the rights and 100% of the profits with the author. Outskirts Press was incorporated in Colorado in October, 2003.
In his capacity as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, Brent is an expert in the field of book publishing and book marketing. He is also the author of several books on both subjects, including the bestseller Sell Your Book on Amazon, which debuted at #29 on Amazon’s bestseller list.

In Your Corner : Lights! Cameras! Action! Taking your book to the movies

There once was a time when book marketing was mostly a print and maybe occasionally a radio affair. Then came television, and the publishing world absorbed the change. Later came the internet, and the publishing world was faced with a new dilemma: how to make use of the new platform and opportunities provided by the internet to build successful marketing campaigns? Always one step ahead of the curve, self-publishing authors began to look for websites like Youtube and Vimeo as possible platforms to connect with new readers and share their book trailers. And they have been wildly successful!

A book trailer is, in short, a kind of movie trailer for your book. Because videos tap into two fundamentally important human senses–both sight and hearing–at the same time, they have the power to both introduce new readers to your book and inspire them to purchase it.

A good book trailer presents images related to the book’s theme and content in an entertaining way, and is set to music that conjures up the appropriate atmosphere. A mystery novel might be set to a brooding tapestry of minor-key notes, while a romance novel might take advantage of a light-hearted upbeat tempo to clue readers into the nature of its story. Just as moviegoers might find themselves on the edge of their seats at the theater, your potential readers will wait with bated breath for the chance to pick up a copy of your book. It’s all about creating that “buzz” around your book’s release.

YouTube Screenshot

Crafting a book trailer that connects all of the dots in order to inspire this kind of reaction is, of course, quite a challenge. Video editing demands a certain professional creative skill set, complete with a deft hand at image placement, talent with text arrangement, and a nuanced way with transitioning from one frame to the next. And the timing must be precise: the entire trailer must take place over approximately sixty seconds in order to communicate all that it needs to and command a viewer’s attention.

The value of a well-made book trailer is, however, unquestionable. Short movies are the most portable of marketing tools, and are easily shared across all of the major social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and elsewhere. They can be embedded into blog posts or the link distributed by email. And chances are, nine out of every ten video links you’re going to click in the coming year will lead to something on YouTube–a website which generates its own enormous slice of direct internet traffic and has proven a reliable source of many “viral” marketing campaigns already. But you never know what the next video application could be–even Amazon is getting into the video game these days.

As a self-publishing author, you’re already strategically placed to take advantage of video–but creating a book trailer? That might be outside of your comfort zone or even fully beyond your abilities. There are, of course, hybrid publishing companies that offer these services as part of a package, or you can commission someone to assist you. If you opt to pay for assistance, your music selection, image identification, and text integration will all be taken care of for you, and a draft of your book video trailer delivered to you. As I recommended last week, check the fine print: as author, you should retain the right to review the draft and suggest changes before final modifications are made. You should also own any and all rights to the final book video trailer outright and therefore use it throughout your marketing efforts–by uploading it to Yahoo! Video, MySpace, Daily Motion, Twitter, Metacafe, and other popular video hosting websites.

Book marketing is all about human connection, and your book video trailer is no different. A book trailer puts all of video’s greatest assets–its immediacy, its ability to convey a lot of information succinctly, and its visceral impact–at your command. Movies have the power to move people, and a book trailer has the power to capture your reader’s attention and then translate that attention into engagement on social media as well as drive sales. Your book video trailer is a backstage pass into who you are as a writer, and an all-access ticket to the theme park of your book’s greater universe!

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.

Self-Publishing Week in Review: 12/02/14

As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry. This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Tuesday to find out the hottest news.

Defying the Traditional Model: Crowdfunding in Sci-Fi and fantasy

While the publishing industry has seen a number of changes over the past few years, the impact of crowdfunding on the sci-fi and fantasy genres is potentially game-changing. This is an interesting read for all writers in these genres.

Sidestepping the Slush Pile: PW Talks with Tricia Donovan

In this interview, indie author Tricia Donovan talks about how she leveraged Kickstarter, a book trailer, and a little help from her friends to bring her novel to market. This is a fascinating read for all authors.

Five Digital Publishing Questions for Jane Friedman

This post is part of the “Digital Publishing Questions” blog series featuring Scratch Magazine publisher Jane Friedman. The series is intended to help lay the groundwork for conversations that will take place at the Digital Book World Conference + Expo, kicking off on January 13, 2015.

If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at

Weekly Wednesday Podcast: Using Video Marketing as Part of Your Book Promotion Strategy

Today we’re covering:

  • What is a book trailer and why should you use one as a part of your book promotion strategy?
  • How long should it be?
  • What to include in the trailer?
  • Where to upload/promote your trailer?
  • How can they benefit you, as an author?
  • Should you have someone else create your book trailer for you?

Here’s today’s podcast:


Here is an example of a book trailer:

Here is an example of the book teaser you can win by entering our Facebook contest:


DISCUSSION: What would you like us to discuss on next week’s podcast?