Author Resources
Free Publishing Guide

Bring Your Book to Life with Online Video

Video Terms to Know

Author Video: Usually an interview focusing on the writer behind a book

Book Video: A preview or advertisement that teases the plot, characters or themes of a book

Caption: The text that appears onscreen during a video

Clip: A portion of a video

Embed: Taking video from an online provider (i.e. YouTube) and using it somewhere else online (i.e. your website) so that the video is playable from the new location

Frame: A single photographic image in a video; it typically takes 24 frames to equal one second of video

Online Video: Digital video available for use on the Internet

Viral: Describes a video that has been viewed and sharedextensively online

Vlog: A blog that contains videos

Voiceover: Spoken narration that explains or enhances the visual elements in a video

It’s the craze that’s here to stay. Research shows that 84.9 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience viewed online video during the month of July 2010.

According tothis recent datafrom comScore, Inc., a company that analyzes the digital world, 178 million U.S. Internet users watched online video content during the month of July 2010–that’s an average of 14.7 hours per viewer. And authors are tapping this audience of millions through video interviews and book videos.

Authors who want a meaningful presence online cannot afford to ignore this valuable audience of online-video viewers.

“With the market being as oversaturated as it is, and technology advancing as fast as it is, we have to find new ways of attracting consumers,” said Marcus Chait, director of New Media for Author Solutions. “Authors can do a quick search of any major online bookstore to see that video marketing isn’t a wave of the future, but rather a wave that is upon us here and now.”

In this Q&A, Chait shares why online video is an essential marketing tool for your book.
Marcus Chait
Marcus Chait, director of New Media for Author Solutions

AuthorHouse: Why is video important when marketing a book?

Chait: Having a video component as part of your marketing campaign is, quite literally, what’s going to make your book jump off the page. With video, we have the opportunity to engage potential customers on a level that they can’t ignore. We can make our video marketing message more creative, more personal, and quite frankly, more exciting than a static ad could ever hope to be.

AuthorHouse:How and where should authors use video to promote their book?

Chait: Any way and as often as they possibly can! Social media websites like Facebook and MySpace are natural outlets for video promotion, as is YouTube. An author’s goal should be to get their video marketing component out onto as many platforms as possible. If the video is produced in a compelling way, people will start talking about it.

AuthorHouse:What is a good measure of whether or not the video was helpful?

Chait: An increase in book sales would be the obvious answer, right? Bottom line, authors want to sell books. One of our goals is to create videos that are compelling enough to get the nonreader to pick up a book. If we can accomplish that and have it translate into book sales, then I think we’re doing a pretty good job.

AuthorHouse:Is there a certain video type that seems to garner more interest?

Chait: Everyone seems to be sitting up and taking notice that video is having a rather profound effect on the publishing world right now, no matter the specific product. Author interviews are striking a chord with the book-buying public because they give readers more of a sense of where the book came from.

Book videos are proving valuable to authors on a number of levels. First of all, they are generating interest from potential book buyers because they give a quick and hopefully compelling glimpse into what the reader can expect if they read the book. But our trailers are also helping our authors push their books towards other media, most notably film and television.

AuthorHouse:Will video be an effective medium for all authors? Does it work across all genres?

Chait: I've seen Author Interviews made for cookbooks that are just as effective as trailers made for political thrillers. The important thing is really having a clear sense of who your target demographic is. If you know who it is your video is speaking to and if you have a clear message that you know you want your video to convey, then I don't care if you're the author of a self-help book or a romance novel, a well-produced video is only going to help you.

Want to see how authors are using videos to promote their books?View samples of video interviews and book videos.