Thursday, June 11, 2009

Posting Video Interviews for Book Marketing

Interested in posting a video to promote your book? I've heard people say that posting to places like can generate a lot of interest in your books and bring in a lot of Web traffic to view your books. Since it's free, I'm all for it. Here's how I went about it. I'll tell later what impact, if any, I think it had on book sales.

1) Get a decent video together. One person who works with video recommended doing something unprofessional, like with a home video set. He said that young people particularly like the realness of it. In under five minutes, tell something about your book or have someone interview you about the book.

I went the professional route, but paid only $40 per video. I was fortunate that my publicist set me up on CBS News and Fox 5 News. The interviews were under five minutes each and looked very professional. All I had to do was to pay a service (ask at the TV station who records and sells rights) to get the rights so that they could e-mail me a digital copy. I'm told that getting it this way gives a better copy than trying to download it from the TV station and putting it directly on youtube. Here are my three videos:

Fox 5 News on young people and finances

CBS News on financial management for teens and college students

CBS News Followup on personal finances for young people and Generation Y

I'd recommend giving viewers unique, useful information. I doubt they'd come just to see you talk about your book, unless you're Steven King. Each of my videos are on something specific, like how young graduates can land jobs and succeed with their finances. (It's graduation season as I write.) Those are topics that people might search for information on in Google. My book and Web address are mentioned unabnoxiously by the interviewers.

2) Brainstorm search terms and phrases that people might use in searching for your video. Put some of them in Google Adword's Key Words Tool to find more terms and to find out how many times different terms/phrases are searched. (Example: do people search more for "personal finance" or "personal finances." To decide which term to use, find out how many times each is searched.) You'll use these terms in the fourth step.

3) Sign up for a YouTube acount at (Click "SignUp" on top right menu. Just follow their instructions. My video typically failed to upload all the way the first time or two, then succeeded on the second or third try.)

4) Use the search terms you came up with in my second step. In your YouTube account, on the page where you're uploading your video, use key words in your title, description, and in the box where you can add descriptive words and phrases.

5) Include a link in your description to your author site, media page of your publisher site, blog, or to your book on Amazon.

6) Ask friends and family to watch it on their computers. If they like it, have them rate it on YouTube and tell why they liked it. (If they don't like it, tell them skip the rating process and instead take a film course so that next time around they can recognize real quality when they see it.) The higher it's rated (and the more people who rate it), the better your chances of being found.

7) Link to the video from all your blogs and sites. The more incoming links, the more important search engines think you are. Thus, more people will likely find you in a search.

8) Don't expect immediate results. Google only "dances" once a month, when it updates its algorythms and data.

9) Let me know any of your good or bad experiences. If this doesn't help authors to sell books, we could all save time by not fooling with it!