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.

Using Book Videos to Market Your Books

youtube video illustration

Everyone knows Google is the #1 search engine. Any guesses for #2?


Video is quickly become the de facto way in which people interact with the Internet, which means you are missing out on a world of opportunity if you don’t have at least one book video (and preferably more). The good news is that it is easier than ever to make videos.  In fact, you probably have everything you need in your pocket right now.

Every major social media site (SnapChat, Instagram, and Facebook included) is jumping on the video bandwagon and most of them are following in the shadow of the one that popularized it all: YouTube.

Youtube is for authors, too.

The YouTube app makes it easy to record videos on your mobile phone and then upload them to a channel that you can create exclusively for your book. If you write multiple books, you may be better off creating a channel about you as the author and then include videos about all your books in one place, rather than uploading them across multiple channels, since managing multiple YouTube channels is more trouble than it’s worth.  And besides, you’ll already be busy uploading the same videos to Instagram and Facebook and other video sites, like Vimeo.

You can easily download the YouTube app from the iTunes App Store, but if you prefer not to use the YouTube App, it’s still easy to record videos on your phone and then upload them directly. Another alternative is a webcam. Nearly all laptops and tablets come with video cameras nowadays.  Just aim and shoot and upload. Of course, you can always go “higher-end” with a GoPro camera or something even higher-definition, although the price and the complexity makes it less worthwhile. Start small, start cheap, and as your experience with shooting videos grows, so too can your budget and quality.

The technical aspect is actually the easy part.  More difficult is deciding WHAT your video is going to accomplish, or what it is going to say.  While it is certainly simple to record yourself reading passages from your book, that may not make for the most exciting video to watch.  

Entertaining and/or educational videos are the way to go.

How-to videos, for instance, are very popular. This means authors of non-fiction how-to books have a large pool of content from which to draw.  Every chapter could be its own video; heck, perhaps even every page if you wish to make a series of shorter videos (which are more popular than longer ones, and drive more subscriptions to your channel to boot).  

Children are almost as popular as cats in videos, so children’s book authors … rejoice!  Let the little ones be your stars and reap the rewards for their cuteness. If you’ve written a cookbook, you’re golden. Film yourself cooking some of your recipes.  The point is, no matter what kind of book you have written, you can create a book video to market it. If all else fails, use stock photography sites to pull some still images down and edit them in with memes or quote cards and tell the story of your book or summarize its plot or message.  With the right selection of music, even these can be effective. and Animoto are two third-party video sites that make this process relatively simple and relatively inexpensive.

Once you make one video and upload it, make another one, and make it unique. Then, track the views and comments to see which type of videos are most popular with your audience.

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: 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.

How to Promote Your Self Published Book Using Video

Video is one of the hottest tools in advertising and marketing right now. Thanks to YouTube and smart devices, people are watching tons of videos, and this tool offers great marketing opportunities for self publishing authors. Here are three ways you can use the power of video to market your book.

Create a book trailer

Book trailers are a hot marketing tool right now. They are like commercials for your book. They are a great item to include on your website and social media pages, and they often increase exposure because readers can easily share videos they enjoy with their friends, family and social media followers.

Record yourself

Video isn’t just used to sell your book; it can also be used to sell yourself as the author. This is especially useful if you write about a topic you are an expert in. For instance, if you wrote a book about weight loss, you could create videos sharing weight loss tips with your readers.

Make it funny

Many of the online videos that go viral include humor. While this technique isn’t appropriate for all books and authors, most people can improve their video ratings by including some humor in their videos. Don’t be afraid to look silly.

I’d love to know, how do you use video to promote your self published book?

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the 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: Book Video Marketing Essentials/Contest Winner Announced

Today’s topic is: Book Video Marketing Essentials.
A couple of weeks ago, we talked about how to use book video marketing as part of your book promotion strategy. Today, I’m covering what you need in your video a bit more in-depth. You need all of the following:
  • Title
  • Author name
  • Image of book cover
  • Image of author
  • Price (not if it could put buyers off)
  • Availability (Amazon? B&N? Website?)
  • Call to action (put at the end so that it’s the last thing on their mind)
  • Additional creative images/video (trailer)
  • Synopsis (trailer – get your audience interested)
Also, the winner for our “Boost Our Blog Facebook Contest” was chosen. Here’s more about the winning author and her book:

The Veiled Mirror by Christine Frost

Book Title: The Veiled Mirror: The Story of Prince Vlad Dracula’s Lost Love

Author: Christine Frost

Publisher: CreateSpace

Date of Publication: October 22, 2010