Marketing Your Book With Video

Guest Expert: Reno Lovison

One of the best ways to build buzz around your book is through the use of video. The business of book marketing is changing and evolving every day. What worked five years ago will not necessarily work today and what worked five months ago may not still be working as well as it did then. The Internet particularly as it relates to smartphones and other mobile devices is a big part of the changing book marketing landscape. Generally speaking, people want information related to purchases to be authentic, concise and immediate. Video is a perfect medium for delivering information about your book in a format and style that relates well to today’s consumer and that can be delivered wherever they happen to be.

There are a number of ways you can use video to promote your book. Some popular uses are testimonials, author interviews and book video trailers. A testimonial might be an endorsement from a reader or reviewer. An interview would likely be the author answering questions in a two person conversation. A book video trailer is an opportunity to craft your message into a concise entertaining production that uses images, music, voice-over, sound effects and titles as needed to emotionally engage the potential reader. This format lets you be in charge of your message and requires that your potential book buyer give you their attention for a short period of time. At the end of the viewing he or she should want to know more about your book, characters or plot, and directed to take action, such as going to your website or buying your book.

Some authors feel that marketing a book using video is an oxymoron. It does have a certain amount of irony but it makes sense. People want to spend quality time reading and savoring a book but they want the decision of which book to buy to be easy and quick. Video is a perfect way to deliver a lot of high quality information in a short period of time. A book video trailer should always be under two minutes, with thirty seconds to one minute being ideal.

Production costs and methods of producing book video trailers vary widely. There are book trailers that involve live actors, location shooting, costumes, sets and all of the technical requirements of shooting a television mini-series. These very high end (typically fiction) book trailers can cost tens of thousands of dollars and are intended primarily for authors who are trying to get their book optioned as a movie. This elaborate format allows movie moguls to see the characters in the flesh. It is a high stakes gamble that can pay big rewards but requires specialized expertise and deep pockets. These trailers are usually reserved for well known authors or those whose books have shown significant advance sales or interest. On the other end of the spectrum there are ways to make do-it-yourself trailers using available software like PowerPoint, Movie Maker or other popular editing software you might have gotten with your camcorder. In between the two is a large playing field where production companies like mine can produce high quality book video trailers at a nominal price using stock images and video clips while giving you the benefit of professional expertise and access to resources such as voice-over recording, royalty free images and music. A good producer can help you with your script, the video production and the facilitation of getting your trailer online where it can be accessed by you and your potential viewers.

An example of a video that uses images, music voiceover very effectively.

Video is the fastest growing medium on the web. Those of us who have been involved in video production for some time, dreamed of a day when there would be high speed Internet access allowing people to view video content on demand. Well, that time is here. The bonus that we never dared consider is the idea that everyone would have a portable viewing device with them at all times. This reality is true for a growing segment of the North American and European markets through the technology of smartphones, laptops, WI-FI and iPads. Youtube has challenged Google as the leading search engine as more and more people seek video content that answers their questions. The consumer is demanding that we show and tell them what they need to know, right now, where ever they happen to be.

The television revolution of the fifties and sixties has run smack into the Internet revolution. Nearly everyone alive today has grown up on television. Video is our preferred method of communication, particularly as it pertains to receiving short bursts of information. Think television commercial. Using video to promote your product, service or (in this case) book is a necessity, not an option. There is a growing expectation that the information your reader seeks about your book is available in the preferred communication medium. If your book is not at Youtube you are possibly missing out on the majority of people who are searching for topics related to your book.

Successful authors are in charge of their own destiny. Whether traditionally published or self-published the author must be in charge of promoting his or her own book. Even if you are a celebrity you need to use every resource available to you to let people know what you have to offer. Your chances of being on John Stewart, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Colbert Report, Fox News or Oprah’s new OWN channel are comparatively slim but you can get your book video trailer viewed on your website, YouTube,, BookDaily, and other sites on the Internet. In this way you create your own syndication, build critical mass and gain the attention of larger promoters and potential book buyers. Create your own buzz and make video a part of your book marketing strategy.

Reno Lovison is the executive producer at and owner of Reno Lovison Marketing. He has been helping clients to use video to market their products and services for over twenty years. As the author of Turn Your Business Card Into Business Reno began searching for innovative ways to market his book and the books of his clients making him a pioneer in the production of book video trailers which have fast become an essential book marketing device.

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