From the Archives: “How to Promote Your Self Published Book Using Video”

Welcome back to our Tuesday segment, where we’ll be revisiting some of our most popular posts from the last few years.  What’s stayed the same?  And what’s changed?  We’ll be updating you on the facts, and taking a new (and hopefully refreshing) angle on a few timeless classics of Self Publishing Advisor.


[ Originally posted: February 27th, 2013 ]

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?

by Kelly Schuknecht

We’ve come a long way in three years!  Even in 2013, however, there was abundant evidence that video was rapidly becoming ubiquitous––becoming more than just another tool in the self-publishing author’s toolbox––and that authors like myself needed to catch up.  We now have an entire generation of megastars whose sole platform and original source of popularity was YouTube: Adam MontoyaAmber Lee EttingerBethany MotaCaspar Lee, and hundreds of others have now become household names in large part due to their savvy use of this one video platform.  If you needed proof that video really did kill the radio star, you have it.

Video is so ubiquitous, in fact, that you can now find embedded YouTube, Vimeo, and Instagram clips on every other social media site.  It’s easy to forget that YouTube is its own fully viable social media platform (for more on that, see my entry for YouTube in last year’s social media primer) because it is so fully conversant with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and so on.  Videos can even be embedded into your Amazon author page, your email signature, and your personal website.  Basically, they can go everywhere and be everything to everyone.

youtube video illustration

In a sense, my original points remain relevant untouched.  They are not, however, entirely complete.  The world of video marketing for self-publishing authors has evolved well beyond where it was three years ago, and while to a certain extent it will always continue to be a moving target, I think it well worth a little time and care to catch up, and cultivate a video presence online.  In fact, I think I’ll make that one of my goals for 2016: in some way, shape, or form, I will boost my engagement with online video marketing.  And of course, I’ll update you on my progress here at Self Publishing Advisor!

In closing, I think the most important tip that I left out of my original list is this:

Marketing your book is all about human connection, and video marketing is no different.  Many of video’s greatest assets––its immediacy, its ability to convey a lot of information very succinctly and sometimes entirely through context––tap into the our deepest emotional centers.  Video has the power to move people.  It has the power to capture your readers’ attention but it must do so quickly, in the first few seconds, or else they will move on to other content.  Human communication is almost entirely non-verbal, and within seconds of clicking your YouTube or Vimeo link, people will decide whether they like and trust you.

That’s a lot of pressure, if you approach video marketing this way.  And while I certainly advocate for keeping these facts in mind, I don’t think fear should serve as your primary motivation.  Instead, think about video as a backstage pass into what you do as a writer, an all-access ticket to the theme park of your book’s greater universe.  No single video will make or break your online presence, so make as many as possible, catapulting off of the energy and enthusiasm you feel for our work, and share them across as many social media platforms as you feel comfortable using.  If posting a video clip feels as quick and simple as posting a Facebook update, you’re doing it right!

If you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them.  Drop me a line in the comments section below and I’ll respond as quickly as I can.  ♠

KellyABOUT 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,

Viral Marketing for Self Published Authors – Tip #3

Viral Marketing Tip #3 – Flow

Assuming you now have a profile on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and/or some other social networking sites, the next step is to ensure that your message can easily flow from one person to the next. Last week I wrote about setting up profiles on social networking sites. Viral marketing does not have to take place on the internet. However, the speed and convenience of the internet advances the effectiveness of viral (or word of mouth) marketing efforts.

Twitter is the perfect example of how people pass on information from one person to the next. Since you have to convey your message in 140 characters or less, this can be challenging, but it allows you to get creative with your audience in order to catch their attention. If you tweet something that people find interesting, they may retweet (RT) that message to their followers, and so on.

As a self-published author and expert in your field, your messages should convey who you are and what you know. Ultimately, this will generate interest and help people understand why they should listen to you (and buy your book).

Good luck and have fun!
Kelly Schuknecht

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Viral Marketing for Self-Published Authors – Tip #2

Tip #2 – Exist

Last week I gave the first in a series of viral marketing tips: #1 – Give Something Away. I gave an example of a current successful viral marketing campaign taking place on Twitter. This brings me to tip #2. You may know what you want to give away (a copy of your book, a service, etc.), but you may not know how to go about that. If so, the first thing you need to do is develop your online presence. As a self-published author, you need to EXIST online.

There are many social networking sites where you can set up a profile and start networking with other authors and potential readers. Here are a few to get you started:


If you’re already on Twitter or once you set up your profile, you can follow us:
Self Publishing Advice on Twitter

If you’re already on Facebook or once you set up your profile, you can find our page and become a fan:
Self Publishing Advice on Facebook

Good luck and have fun!
Kelly Schuknecht

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