Video is an incredibly useful tool in the writer’s marketing toolkit, and video hosting sites — predominantly YouTube and Vimeo — make sharing your video content simple. Video provides an opportunity for your fans to get to know you as a person. When you’re first starting out as a writer, you need to build up a fan base, and people are more likely to become your fan if they know you. People can get to know you through video interviews, or through video blog (vlog) entries. When they get to know you, they’ll support you just as much as your work.
Before going into the specific video services, let’s discuss what kinds of videos you can make, and how they can help you and your book’s visibility:
What kind of video content can I make?
A book trailer functions similarly to a movie trailer: a 1-3 minute (or more) video captures the essence of your work in order to generate buzz. We here at VidLit create custom book trailers that are uploaded to YouTube and can be easily shared through Twitter, Facebook, or your Blog/Website. Book trailers are a quick and effective way to communicate both the content and the tone of your work. Check out our collection of VidLits.
If you’ve ever been interviewed on camera, there’s a chance that video exists online somewhere. If you’ve been interviewed on national television, great! Find that interview online and post a link to it on Facebook or Twitter. If not, there are a ton of bloggers online who could interview you, even through a video-chatting service like Skype. Any video that gets made can be uploaded and shared.
*Video blogs (vlogs)
Vlogs are a great way to communicate directly with your fans, and they can be about anything you want. Some people use vlogs to update their fans on the progress of a work, while others use vlogs just to share more of their personality with their fans. Vlogs can be created using your laptop webcam, or even your cell phone on the go. Just remember, you’re a writer, so while a smattering of vlog entries can help with your exposure, make sure they aren’t taking up more of your time than writing does.
Be creative! There are so many different ways to communicate yourself and your ideas through video.
The video sharing platforms:
YouTube turns 10 in 2015, and is the second largest social networking site after Facebook (Pew Research).
YouTube is a straightforward service, and the one on which you should be posting your video content. Some people are active on their actual YouTube pages, while many people just upload and embed their videos on their blogs or websites. As a writer, you’re most likely going to use videos to augment your marketing strategy, so your YouTube page should not be the primary place people go to see your video content. Instead, once you’ve uploaded your video, use YouTube’s embedding tools to put that video on your website, and link to it on Twitter and Facebook.
Vimeo is a video upload service like YouTube, but with a focus on art and filmmaking. If you were to make a longer-form video (in the vein of a book trailer) to support your work, you might consider Vimeo. You wouldn’t post your vlog entries or interviews here, but whatever you upload here should be uploaded to your YouTube account — and to Facebook and Twitter — as well.
*Important note: One of the biggest issues faced by the video content creators is copyright law. Users are advised to only upload clips for which they are authorized, but since YouTube does not view the clips before they are posted it is up to the copyright holder to issue a takedown notice.