Using YouTube to promote your book
These days, if I miss something funny or important that was on TV, I’m like, “I’ll look it up on YouTube.” This popular site has become so steeped in our culture that it seems to have completely replaced television as a source for news and entertainment. In today’s society of limited attention and quick fixes, one need only visit YouTube for a three-minute visual recap of a hit movie, or to catch up on homegrown underground soap operas created and filmed by everyday people over time and the daring With Google’s recent acquisition of YouTube for over a billion dollars, it goes without saying that this site will prove to be a media powerhouse in the future.
Because YouTube is essentially built by registered members who contribute their own video content, it should also be noted that authors can take advantage of the site’s popularity and ease of use to increase their own exposure. Recently, I have noticed that authors create “trailers” to advertise their books and use YouTube for distribution. It can take a bit of work to figure out how to do it, but using YouTube to promote your books can fuel an effective word-of-mouth campaign that drives readers to your book.
YouTube adds dynamic multimedia to its website. One factor that makes YouTube so popular is the ease with which visitors can share their favorite videos. Send-a-friend links let you alert family and friends to a clip they should watch, while special HTML EMBED code offered by YouTube allows bloggers and site owners to embed videos on their own pages. Since YouTube hosts the video, there is no unnecessary uploading of large files to your site. By hosting a book trailer on YouTube, you allow other users to apply codes and show your videos across the internet, providing a free creative advertising campaign for your work.
YouTube enhances the message of your book. While you can offer compelling blurb, glowing reviews, and an attractive front page on your site, sometimes readers need more to convince them to buy. Offering a well-crafted book trailer for consideration gives your book the star treatment. Ambient music, engaging images and selling slogans draw the reader into the short clip and make them want to learn more about what he has written. Movie companies have drawn many moviegoers to the theater based on sixty seconds of a movie’s premise. It is effective advertising that drives traffic and increases readership.
There are, of course, caveats to keep in mind when thinking about creating a book trailer. For one thing, major media companies are keeping a close eye on sites like YouTube, looking for copyrighted material used for illegal purposes. If you are seriously interested in creating a book trailer for promotional purposes, you should ensure that any music clips and images used are in the public domain, purchased through royalty-free databases, or purchased for use with the permission of copyright holders. . While you might not find it meaningful to wear something for thirty seconds of streaming video, there’s always the risk that someone will catch you and recognize an image or melody. Before you start your book advance, make sure all the materials are safe to use.
For images related to the subject of your book, whether it’s romance or science fiction, a biography or self-help, there are a number of royalty-free photo databases that offer thousands of images to represent every emotion and setting you want to capture. . Istockphoto.com is one such resource, where you can buy photos for as little as a dollar. For royalty-free music, the aptly named RoyaltyFreeMusic.com can deliver the sound you want to accompany your work. If you’re feeling especially daring, you might consider reaching out to a band for a sample clip. A quick search on MySpace, for example, turns up a number of musicians who use the Internet to promote their music. A promotional trade (your credits on your trailer for the use of your music) can be beneficial and can improve word of mouth on your trailer as the band announces where to find their music.
make the video
If you own a PC, you will most likely find that it is equipped with a program called Windows Movie Maker. This nifty tool lets you combine photos and streaming audio, and add titles and taglines to the frames that make up your video. Taking the time to explore similar frame options and transitions (including star wipes and side wipes)
and visual effects (fade-in/fade-out applications, sepia tones) will let you create a unique look for your story. Start with an attention-grabbing tagline, continue with images related to your story, add photo taglines where appropriate, and end with a shot of your book cover and information on your website and where to buy the book. Scrolling the end titles completes the trailer, and before you know it, you have a clip to add to YouTube!
Most book trailers can last between thirty seconds and two minutes. You don’t want the trailers to be too long. For one, the longer a clip is, the more memory it takes up and the longer it can take to load. A viewer who has to wait too long will eventually get frustrated and go to another clip. You want to make sure that your book trailer is recorded with a duration that allows computer users of all Internet speeds to enjoy it. Also, you don’t want to give away too much information in your trailer. Provide relevant information and attract the reader to learn more at the point of sale.
As an interactive marketing tool, built-for-YouTube book trailers are a creative and inexpensive way to get the word out about your book. Include the trailer on your website and the URL in your email signature and show readers exactly what they’re missing unless they buy your book.