Indie Authors: Marketing Books With Videos

With digital media, indie authors can now take advantage of videos to help grab the attention of readers and sell their books.

I’ve been thinking about this topic for a while, and there’s a lot to consider. Videos can be used in multiple ways, such as teaser trailers, snippets of scenes, author interviews, and even chats with big groups. They can be simple or complex, free or monetized.

Regardless of how you intend to use your videos, it’s important that whatever videos you create are high-quality. Publisher’s Weekly posted an article detailing the benefits of making videos and tips on how to create good videos, such as selling the benefits, sharing behind-the-scenes, and telling a story.

Book Video Trailers

It’s hard to make a good book video trailer. It has to be short, snappy, and visually appealing. To get some ideas, check out How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks’ “Oscars for Indie Author Book Video Trailers.”

Video Chats/Author Interviews/Webinars

Authors can set up group events with large or small audiences. For non-fiction authors, webinars can be a great tool to share case studies and pitch ideas, then ask for people to sign up for a newsletter or buy a book. Authors can also conduct interviews via video chat, or hold group events with fans and readers. These group events can involve a Q&A session, or allow the author to talk about the making of a book.

Two helpful tools for conducting these events are Google Hangouts and Shindig. Google Hangouts is free and easy to use. The one potential downside is that the chat highlights whoever is the loudest, which may be distracting. Shindig is currently offering a special beta promotion that allows authors to host a free Shindig (video event). However, I have heard from other indie authors that they require at least 40 participants or else they will cancel the event. (I heard this a few months ago, so it may have changed.)

Monetizing Videos

ReelSEO shares the different options when it comes to monetizing videos. Among the options are using widgets, determining where to place ads in content, and finding the right partner. For indie authors, the simplest way to monetize a video is via YouTube.

The videos themselves can be used to raise funding for books. Good eReader reported about Wizeo, a site that uses video engagement to support crowd-funding campaigns. According to the article, “participants will make a $3 donation to the charity that is supported by the chat in order to connect live with an author.” Self-published authors with a strong enough following are welcome to launch on the site.


How might you use video in your marketing strategy? Please share in the comments!


3 Replies to “Indie Authors: Marketing Books With Videos”

  1. So…have you tried any yet? I know the post went live today, but I wonder about your personal experience. I’m thinking for my upcoming memoir, old photos montaged with a story reading (?) or synopsis would be engaging. Your thoughts?

    1. Not yet, but I’m planning on trying some of these out in the future. Both of your ideas sound intriguing, but I think it will come down to having compelling images and also keeping the video fairly short. If you have the time and resources, you may also want to consider doing a poll, or split testing the videos to see which one more people like.

      1. I have a keen writers group that will share their thoughts on my ideas (and yours). Since they have been critiquing my chapters, they have an insight into what my goal is, what I want to accomplish, and what tools would best make that possible. I’ll be following your experiences with all this.

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