In a previous column, I explained how to claim your author page on Amazon.com. Then, in a second column, I showed you some excellent examples from some of our authors. Hopefully you took this advice to heart and you’ve claimed your author page and you’ve been posting regularly to that valuable Amazon real estate so that you are building an audience of interested readers.
Now it’s time to step up your presentation and add a short video. Amazon has been actively encouraging authors—and all of its sellers—to add videos, because customers can quickly learn a lot more about a book—or other product—through a brief clip. In short: Good, relevant videos can boost sales.
What Kind of Videos Should I Upload to Amazon?
There are all kinds of videos that you can upload to your Amazon author page. Have someone capture on video the moment you open the first box of your books that arrive at your house. That’s a special moment for every author; share it with your readers. Publication day is another special day in an author’s life; share that with your readers as well both on your author page and in your social media with the hashtag: #bookbirthday.
Did you have a book signing or make some other kind of public appearance? Those videos show that you’ve already got enthusiastic readers—and those videos also can show other event planners what you’re like in a public setting.
Examples of Author Videos on Amazon
New York Times Bestselling author, Martha Hall Kelly has a video on her author page of two librarians from the Darien Library recommending her book, Lilac Girls.
Our own author, Victor Begg, author of Our Muslim Neighbors just uploaded a video to his author page. It’s just a brief scene, showing Victor playing his Native American flute. That music is both a part of the inspiring final chapter of his memoir—and also is something Victor likes to do during his public appearances. Victor’s video is a great example of an author relating to his readers and sharing his engaging personality.
What Should I Avoid in My Amazon Author Video?
According to Amazon.com, your videos should not include any of the following:
- Obscene or distasteful content.
- Phone numbers or e-mail addresses.
- Comments relating to book reviews and content visible on the Author Page and detail pages.
- Other people’s material—your thoughts and opinions are what matter.
- Profanity or spiteful remarks.
- Advertisements, watermarks on videos or promotional material.
- Availability, price or alternative ordering/shipping information.
- Solicitations for helpful votes or positive reviews on your detail pages.
- Spoilers! Don’t reveal crucial plot elements in your books.
For other prohibited types of content see Amazon.com Content Guidelines. Author uploaded videos are subject to removal without notice at Amazon’s sole discretion. The video example on Martha Hall Kelly’s page seems to contradict the rule about other people’s thoughts—so you might have to experiment to see what the Amazon folks decide you can post and what you can’t.
Can I Post a Video to Amazon from YouTube.com?
According to Amazon’s help pages “you cannot embed videos hosted on YouTube directly to Amazon.com Detail pages or Author Pages. However, if you’re the original source of uploading the video you can upload the video through your Author Central Account and it will appear on your Author Page, as long as the content stays within the Amazon.com Content Guidelines.”
How Many Videos Can I Post to Amazon?
According to Amazon, “You can add up to eight videos and choose the order in which they appear on the Amazon.com Author Page.
OK, I’m Ready now. How Do I Upload a Video to Amazon?
Select videos that meet the following guidelines:
- In one of the following formats: avi, wmv, flv, mov, or mpg.
- No more than 10 minutes in length.
- Smaller than 500 MB.
Then, on the Author Central Profile tab, click add video.
- Click Browse and select your video.
- Click the box to confirm that you own or have cleared all rights to the video you are adding, and then click Upload video.
- Wait for processing to be complete. This can take up to 24 hours. Amazon will send you an e-mail when the video is processed and ready for review.
- Review and approve your video:
- Click the box that verifies you’ve reviewed the video.
- Click Approve video.
Can I Control What Still Image Appears in My Amazon Video?
Amazon says: “When you upload your video, the image that appears by default for the video on your Author Page is randomly selected from the beginning of the video. If the image isn’t correct, try removing the video and uploading it again, or making sure that your video starts with an appropriate still image that displays for several seconds at the beginning of your video.”
How Do I Move or Remove a Video from Amazon?
Within your Amazon control page, next to “Videos,” click manage.
- Select the video you want to move or delete
- To change the order of videos, drag the video to the desired position.
- To delete a video, drag it to the bottom section.
- Click Save.
Want to Give a Shout Out to a Great Author Video?
Post it to our social media Facebook or Twitter (@FrontEdgePub). Better yet, make one for your book, and share it on your author page—and share it via our social media. We love to support authors and the great work they do each and every day to sell more books.