How Do I Create Videos to Promote My Book? It’s easier (and more powerful) than you may think!

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2019 Is The Year For Video Marketing!

Q: Why video?

An image from one of Susan Stitt’s videos at our Front Edge Publishing YouTube Channel.

A: Because it outperforms other forms of traditional marketing in one study after another on the reach of media, these days. According to Lumen5.com, video content gets up to 10 times the reach and engagement compared to sharing links and images. According to Promo.com, “almost half of consumers now say they watch five or more videos online every day.” BuzzSumo looked at 777 million Facebook posts and found that video performs on average 63% better than any other media type! According to Lumen5.com, up to 70% of your social media content should be video.

Have I convinced you yet?

What is the Lumen5 Video Platform?

Lumen5 “is a video creation platform designed for brands and businesses to produce social content for driving audience engagements online. The goal of the platform is to allow anyone without training or experience to easily create engaging video content within minutes.”

An image from our new video on Anni Reinking’s book Not Just Black and White.

I discovered Lumen5 online last month and I’ve been having fun creating videos for our new releases ever since. I’ve uploaded some of them to Facebook and “boosted” them with a $10 fee. Each of my boosted videos received several hundred views and hopefully that will transfer to book sales.

I’ve also created a YouTube channel for Front Edge Publishing and have uploaded the videos there. Please check it out and become one of our first subscribers so you don’t miss any of our news-via-video in the future.

Want to see a sample?

You should see an embedded, click-able video about Anni Reinking’s new book, Not Just Black and White right here:

Do You Need a Professional to Make a Book Video?

Obviously, professionals make some pretty impressive promotional videos. Just think about the millions of Americans who watch the Super Bowl, in part, to enjoy the new commercials!

But for everyday video promotions? A whole host of new online services are offering inexpensive deals to help newcomers make impressive videos. In fact, Lumen5 lets you start creating videos in minutes—for free!

Want to do comparison shopping? You’ll find lots of choices, these days. Like Lumen5, Biteable.com also has a limited free option, then—also like Lumen5—offers paid plans with more creative choices. Google around for other similar services—but, watch out—a couple of these online services appear to be free on the website’s opening page—until you’ve spent time and created a video you like. Then, you discover you’ve got to pay a fee to actually share it. Based on our experience, we’re recommending Lumen5, here. Find a better one? Let us know! We’re learning all the time!

There Are Rules about Sharing Videos

Before you spend a lot of time in your virtual studio, make sure you know the rules! It’s a bit complicated, these days, because different social media sites have different rules about the length of videos you can successfully upload.

Twitter: 240 seconds

Instagram: 60 seconds

Facebook: You can upload videos with unlimited bitrates, up to 1 Gigabyte in size. The max file size and time length, though, are 1.75 GB and 45 minutes. (Want even more options? You could go beyond a 1 gig file size, then you must limit a 1080 HD upload file to a max bitrate of 8 Mbps, and a 720 HD file must be limited to a max bitrate of 4 Mbps.)

Snapchat: 60 seconds

YouTube: 15 minutes

LinkedIn: 10 minutes

How Do I Make A Great Promo Video?

Promo.com recently asked 13 industry insiders for their top video marketing tips. According to Digital Marketing Consultant, Shane Barker, “You should create videos that are relevant to your audience and can capture their attention within the first few seconds. Your videos should engage people and compel them to take actions such as sharing your content or making a purchase.” In other words, make it short and to the point. Grab your audience’s attention, keep it, and don’t forget to ask them to buy your book and share your video.

Lumen5 makes it easy. The platform offers a built-in media library containing millions of copyright-free photos, videos, and audio tracks. You can also upload your own photos, videos and audio tracks, just make sure that you have permission to use the material.

Book Video Production: What Do You Get For Free?

With no charge, you get access to the Lumen5 standard media library of copyright photos, videos and audio tracks. You can produce unlimited videos at 480p resolution. At the end of each video there will be a Lumen5 advertisement.

What Could I Get If I Pay Lumen5?

Lumen5 has two paying programs, one for $49/month and one for $149/month. Both offer more features, more options, and a larger media library. The $149/month program includes the extensive Getty library. By paying for their service, they also remove their Lumen5 advertisement. I suggest you start with the free program and do your best to make it work.

Creating Book Videos: How To Get Started?

“One of the most important things to know about video marketing is that you need to tell some kind of story. It’s not about selling and pitching, but about connecting with your target audience with meaningful content that they can connect with—and you can achieve that by telling a story and using emotions to draw reactions from your audience.” That’s the advice of Lilach Bullock, online business expert & speaker

I suggest that you start with a brief 14 minute video produced by Lumen5 on YouTube. Then, start practicing. The more you practice, the better you will get. I’ll admit, I’m still learning. Each video is better than the previous one and sharing them with colleagues has been very helpful. They see things I’ve missed or make suggestions that I had not thought of.

Here’s the very first video I produced from my Front Edge Publishing December 2, 2018 blog post.

What Kinds of Marketing Videos Can I Make?

Sharon Hurley Hall recently wrote an article on video marketing for OptinMonster.com. In it she described 9 different kinds of marketing videos:

  1. Explainer Video
  2. Vlogs (video blogs)
  3. Video Interviews
  4. Tutorial videos
  5. Videos of presentations
  6. Product demos and reviews
  7. Video testimonials
  8. Recording of Live Stream
  9. Video Ads

As an author you can use many of these different types of videos to promote your book and writing. Each of them have benefits and will appeal to different potential readers. A video about your book would be an Explainer Video. If you are a blogger and you make a video highlighting your blog, then that would be a Vlog.

My first video, referenced above, falls into the Vlog category. If you are interviewed by someone in the media and you video that interview—then that’s, you got it, a Video Interview. If your book is about your area of expertise, perhaps you wrote a cookbook, you could easily do a Tutorial Video demonstrating one of the recipes in your cookbook. Has an influencer raved about your book? Video their testimonial for a Video Testimonial.

When your first box of books arrive, have someone shoot a live video so that your readers can see how excited you were to finally see and touch all of your hard work. Here’s a video of author Angie Thomas opening a box of her book “On The Come Up” (almost 10,000 people have liked this video).

Add Video to Your Amazon.com Author Page

Have you claimed your Amazon author page as I encouraged in an earlier blog post? Then make sure you post an ‘explainer video’ to your page. This video should show your book(s), ask the viewer to purchase the book, and ask for a positive review!

Now, What Do I Do With All of This Video?

Once you’ve created a video, it’s time to put it out into the world. You can post it everywhere, but that’s not really practical. The world now has many different social media platforms. Your book might not belong on all of them! Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Amazon, Snapchat—they each have their own demographics and target audiences.

Take some time and commit to one or two platforms where you feel your potential readers are the most likely to hang out, in their spare time. Each site has help available, take the tutorials, learn from others and enjoy knowing that you are on trend, doing the best marketing for your book that you can.

About Susan Stitt

Susan Stitt is marketing director of Front Edge Publishing. Over the years, she has guided many authors through the challenging process of launching books and developing strategies that will grow readership. She also has worked widely with nonprofits. Now, she shares her expertise twice each month on our Front Edge Publishing website.