Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Promoting Your Book

I wrote this article for the WITS Fabulous Friday Newsletter several weeks back and am only now getting around to publishing it here on my blog. I hope you find it useful.

Promoting Your Book Using YouTube

The era of publishers marketing books for authors is gone. Traditional publishing houses are no longer flush with funds and are not willing or able to promote the majority of the books they publish. If you are a self-published author you have always been responsible for marketing your books. Publishers, both independent and conventional, are increasingly advising authors to promote themselves online using virtual blog tours, podcast interviews, book trailers, and through the popular Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube social networking sites. The difficulty arises in knowing how to use these tools. Unless you are a teenager or surfing the Internet has become a major part of your life, you may not see all the marketing opportunities. You probably don’t know what to do, where to go, or understand how to integrate social networking into your marketing strategy as a means of redirecting internet traffic to your author home page, where readers can buy your book.

Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services [WITS] offers authors assistance with promotions, including consultation and management for a growing number of social network marketing strategies. This week we would like to highlight one aspect of social networking that will help you bring your book to the world market of YouTube.

YouTube was founded in February 2005 and has risen to become the world's most popular online video community. YouTube allows “. . . millions of people to discover, watch, and share originally-created videos.” It does this by allowing “. . . people to easily upload and share video clips on www.YouTube.com and across the Internet through Web sites, mobile devices, blogs, and e-mail.”

If you are not familiar with the Internet jargon . . .

YouTubing: is surfing the wave of Internet video posting.
YouTuber: is one who surfs the YouTube wave.

There are an estimated 30 million new video posts uploaded to YouTube every day from across the globe, in every language, with YouTube currently reporting “. . . 2 billion videos viewed a day [and a] . . . user base age range of 18-55, evenly divided between males and females, and spanning all geographies. Fifty-one percent . . . of users go to YouTube weekly or more often, and 52 percent of 18-34 year-olds share videos often with friends and colleagues.” ~ http://www.youtube.com/t/about

This is important to authors because the reading audience is hanging out and being entertained on YouTube and we want them to find, buy, and read our books.

What Can I do as an author to benefit from YouTube?

The first thing you need to do as an author is to have fun! Go exploring. Familiarize yourself with what YouTube has to offer. In the beginning you probably won’t have any videos of your own created or you will need to have a way of attracting YouTubers to your video clips. If you are going to attract attention you need to understand what YouTubers are looking for, to be where they are and to do what they are doing.

• Search for videos related to your own interests, e.g. video clips that share your book’s genre or major themes
• Create your own YouTube login account and channel (see WITS’ channel http://www.youtube.com/Writersinthesky)
• Keep your personal YouTube channel separate from your author channel
• Decide on a focus of interest for your author channel, choosing a genre, topics, or themes that relate to your book or that are in harmony with your book’s message
• Create playlists by theme on your channel
• Surf YouTube, using key words to find video clips you like, and begin adding videos to the playlists you’ve created under your chosen themes. By creating a playlist using other people’s videos, you are tapping into and harnessing pre-established searches. This saves time spent building a following and it places your author interview or book trailers where they can be seen.
• Post your author site URL and information through your YouTube channel to redirect traffic where your book is available.
• Use the subscription functions of YouTube to allow others to become a fan of your channel
• Allow followers to make comments. Even negative comments attract viewers and sell books. Google recommends, for increased search engine ratings and site traffic, that you do not monitor or block commenting.
• Become someone else’s fan and make comments on your favorite video posts. Leaving comments will create a back trail or back-link that allows others to find your playlists and video material
• Begin creating your own video vignettes, between 1-3 minutes in length is ideal.
• Have a trailer created for your book.
• Seek out video interview opportunities like those offered by WITS.
• Use video blogging on YouTube to talk about your book or current projects
• Key word tags are used to assist searching for and finding videos. Don’t forget to set up key word tags to any playlists and video clips you create

In this way you can begin to use YouTube to redirect traffic to an author site where your book is available. YouTube is a key component to integrating social networking into a marketing strategy and it isn’t necessary to have videos of your own created in order to begin benefiting.

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