daisywhitney (daisywhitney) wrote in 10_ers,
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daisywhitney
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How to Market Your Book with Video

With all the talk about book trailers recently, I figured now would be a good time to weigh in with a post on video strategy. Here's why I'm writing about video strategy. My day job is working as a reporter, consultant and strategist on online video and new media. In that capacity, I advise video bloggers, TV studios and media companies on video strategy.

That doesn't mean what I say is gospel. It just means I've seen enough of the good, bad and ugly to know what works and what doesn't work. Plus, I host a weekly podcast called "This Week in Media" and my panel of experts regularly provides quick ideas for businesses and entrepreneurs on how to use video to market their services in the best way possible. We call it "Blendtec your Business," which is a reference to the video series by the blender company Blendtec that has become a Web phenomenon.

Now, when it comes to books I am a big believer in developing a video strategy. I'm sure some authors will disagree with me and that's totally cool. But I do think I authors SHOULD at least consider video in their marketing plans. But now I'm going to say something that might seem contradictory. Just because you can do video doesn't mean you should. OK, what does that mean? It means don't make video just to make video. Don't create a book trailer just to have a trailer. Don't do a vlog just to do a vlog. Quite simply, whatever video you make should be germane and specific to your book.

Let's take Suzanne Young's The Naughty List as an example. It's a story about a group of cheerleaders who catch cheating boyfriends. I'm using her book because I have read it and because I know Suzanne and her skills. Suzanne is comfortable on camera. In her case, I would recommend she create a regular video series in which she answers readers/girls questions about how to catch a cheater. These would be done tongue in cheek style -- which is the style in which the novel is written. These could be real questions from readers/girls. They could also be questions Suzanne comes up with on her own. But they should be fun and they should be answered in a playful way. She would answer them as herself, similar to how Liz Lemon answers "Deal Breakers" questions on "30 Rock." I like this idea because it's ongoing. She can use it to build an audience and to broaden an audience beyond her existing readers. These videos also have the potential to go viral as teens pass them around to each other. They drive interest in the book, but they are also broader than the book so can be used to sustain interest in the series and the author.

You can also do the John Green style of video blogs. If you go this route, you should probably be someone who is innately funny and has a sense of the rhythm and timing of short personal style vlogs. Knowing their humor and blogging style, I am betting writers like Stephanie Perkins and Kiersten White would be good for this style of vlog video series.
There are other options too. Jay Asher used video to great effect for Thirteen Reasons Why by creating a YouTube series in which a girl read some of Hannah's tapes. The videos were passed around YouTube and became viral. Are there aspects of your book that naturally lend themselves to a series of videos?

What if you're not comfortable being on camera? Then think about the elements in your book that you could extract and base a video series on. Is your lead character a star athlete? An opera singer? A musician? Could your character narrate a video about their expertise? Maybe your character bakes awesome cupcakes. You could do a how-to-bake-a-great-cupcake-by your-character video. You could narrate and use various videos as b-roll (that's the video that plays under the narration). My point is there many creative ways to market your stories using video. And just to prove my point, I'll Blentec your books right here! If you want to throw out a synopsis and ask what would be a great video or video series, I will read them all and respond with ideas off the top of my head!
Tags: daisy whitney, kiersten white, marketing, stephanie perkins, suzanne young, vlogs
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  • Tenners Are Flying!

    As excited as I was to be featured as one of this season's Flying Starts on Publishers Weekly, I was even more excited to see that three of the four…

  • Huzzah to Kody and Kiersten!

    Sorry I've been AWOL -- busy, busy! But look what's in the September 2010 issue of RT: THE DUFF by Kody Keplinger - 4.5 stars TOP PICK "Kudos…

  • New Release Date!

    PARANORMALCY will now come out on August 31st, instead of in September! Surprised? I was, too! Who knew publishing is sometimes ahead of schedule?…