When you start to think about ways to market that incredible new book you just wrote on the Internet, “filming a series of videos and hosting them on YouTube” may not be a technique that jumps to mind immediately.
It should be!
There are a number of truly killer ways that you can leverage YouTube to market your book that are absolutely worth exploring moving forward.
Best Practices for Non-Fiction Book Promotion on YouTube
The actual methods you’ll use to market your book on YouTube will naturally depend on what type of book you’ve written in the first place. If you’ve written a non-fiction book, for example, relevance to your subject matter and the accuracy of the included information are your two most valuable assets. They’re also the core elements you’ll lean on, for promoting your book!
1. Start Teaching People About Your Book in Smaller Chunks
By far, one of the best ways to promote a non-fiction book on YouTube involves teaching people about what the book is about via short, bite-sized videos. First, record a video about the over-arching theme of the book – tell people what it is, why it’s important and give them an idea of what they can expect to learn.
Then, break down a chapter or two into a series of smaller videos and provide insight into smaller portions. Don’t give everything away – you want people to actually buy and read your book, after all. But touch on important insights or processes that people will learn about in a way that allows each video to feel complete on its own. Then, end each video with a compelling call to action – something along the lines of “If you’d like to learn more about this topic in far greater detail than we can ever get to on YouTube, you can purchase my recently published book.” And you would, then, drop a link in the description, so that people can check out your book!
The major benefit of this is that so long as each video feels “whole” on its own, you’re not just talking about an effective form of self-promotion. You could also eventually turn each video into a series of educational lessons about the larger topic, unlocking a powerful new opportunity for video monetization along the way.
2. Partner With Influencers
Another great way to market your book on YouTube involves finding influencers who already have a following in the topic area and partnering with them in any way that you can. Do a search on YouTube for keywords that are related to the book you’ve just written. Find YouTube channels with a lot of views and followers, then reach out to the people behind those channels via the messaging system and let them know more about your book.
The step you’ll take next will vary depending on the relationship you’ve formed and who you’re forming it with. If you’ve written a book on health and have reached out to a medical professional, for example, you could collaborate on videos that talk about how accurate your book is and how it could potentially help people. You could also get these influencers to compare and contrast the information in your book with their own real-world experiences, creating an experience that supplements and compliments the book without giving too much away.
3. Get Experts to Review Your Book
Along the same lines, you should absolutely reach out to thought influencers in your topic area and get them to review your book on video. This is a great way to take the proven, positive effect of word-of-mouth to the next level.
Reach out to credible people – either on YouTube or in “real life” – and send them a copy of your book to read. Ask them if they’d be willing to talk about your book on camera and review it for people to see before they make a purchase. Not only is partnering with an expert a great opportunity to get more views on YouTube, but it’s also a perfect chance to lend more credibility to both yourself and the book in question. It’s a move that will pay dividends the next time you write a non-fiction book, too, as people will already know that what they’re about to read is accurate.
The Keys to Fiction Book Promotion on YouTube
If you’ve written a fiction book, on the other hand, you’ll obviously want to take a different approach to how you market it. It isn’t enough to just make a killer YouTube video – you’ll want your self-promotion and marketing efforts in this regard to be every bit as fun, as creative and as exciting as the book itself.
4. Film a Trailer for the Book
One great way to promote a fiction book on YouTube involves filming a trailer for it, similar to the type of trailer that you might find in a movie theater. Think about the story of your book as if it were a feature film and pick out key moments that help highlight the story, the characters and the tone. Then, film just those pieces and put them together with the right type of background music in a way that gets people excited for its eventual release.
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This is actually very similar to what the Coen Brothers did for their first film, “Blood Simple.” They took their script and shot a trailer for a movie that, at that point, technically didn’t exist yet. They made a trailer so compelling that they were able to find financing to actually make the movie. While you’re not trying to make a movie, you are trying to get people to make a purchase – and this technique is a great way to do exactly that.
5. Film a Series of “Book Readings”
Book readings are a time-honored way to promote a book because they let people hear your words in exactly the same way they sounded in your head when you wrote them. You may not be able to get yourself booked down at the local Barnes and Noble for a proper reading event, but thanks to YouTube you don’t actually have to.
Pick a few of your favorite passages or even your favorite chapter and film yourself reading from it. You can even do a series of videos – some that help show off the plot, some that give a good sense of the characters or some that allow you to read from passages that you’re really proud of. Then, upload them to YouTube to build anticipation for the upcoming release.
6. Host Your Own “Inside the Author” Series
Finally, one of the best ways to leverage YouTube to market your book is, for many of your soon-to-be-readers, among the most personal. Sit down in front of your camera and host a series of “behind the scenes” author insight videos, giving people a chance to dive beneath the text and straight into the brain of the person who wrote it.
Let people know more about you, what inspired the story, why it means so much to you and what you were trying to do. Talk about your love of the genre and what spawned it and don’t be afraid to dive deep into your inspirations and similar topics. This will give people the opportunity to get to know you as an author, giving them an additional layer when they enjoy the actual book that they wouldn’t have otherwise had access to.
Amir Shahzeidi is the social media manager at Uscreen who’s abnormally intrigued by all things marketing. He’s also a composer and pianist who’s rarely loved by his neighbors because all he ever plays is atonal music. But cats love him so it’s fine!
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