How to make a great promo video (it’s easier than you think).

The rear LCD display on a Flip Video camrea

The rear LCD display on a Flip Video camrea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A promo video is a great way to improve your online searchability, and it has the potential to go viral when it is shared and reshared via social media. But best of all, when viewers can see and hear your passion about your book, it can help drive sales.

Don’t have any experience doing a video? It’s much easier than you think!

You’re on camera! There are lots of options, none of which are expensive or difficult. Small “flip” style HD video cameras retail for under $100, and are very easy to use. Here’s one for just $89. But you don’t even have to go to that expense. You can use your built-in or separate webcam on your computer or laptop. You can even get a decent quality video with your smartphone or tablet.

Optional equipment. It is nice to have a tripod to steady a video camera and get a good angle. A separate microphone is a nice-to-have (under $100) but if not just turn the on-board mic all the way up and record in a quiet environment.

Don’t sweat the editing. You don’t have to be a professional to get a good end product. Programs like iMovie and Final Cut Express make editing very simple. Or make it simple on yourself and get one continuous shot so you can just add a title to the beginning.

When and where. Choose a time when there is good light in your space and you’re not lit from behind. Pick a day when you have time to devote to several “takes” and you’re not rushed. Where is anywhere you feel comfortable and relaxed — your office, library, living room, or even a comfy chair at home.

Telling your story. Here’s some great news. You’re a writer! So you can use your God-given talents to write great content. Keep it brief –1-2 minutes is best. Make it personal and passionate. People want to see and feel your enthusiasm. (You could have a friend help and do a Q&A format if you’re not up to a solo shot.)

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Introduce yourself and tell us the title of your book
  • What was your inspiration
  • Who is this book for
  • What makes your book unique
  • Is there an event or season that makes it important (eg. Year of Faith, Advent, etc.)
  • Where can a person buy the book

But be creative — if you have another way to tell your story, go for it!

Uploading the video. If you already use YouTube, upload your video, then email me the link and we will share it far and wide through our social media channels. If you haven’t used YouTube before, it’s simple. You just create an account and follow the instructions on the site.

Get more views. It’s not hard to up your views online. Put the link to your video on your blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, and any other social media site. Ask your friends to share the link to the video. Put the video on your Amazon author page. And ask friends to “like” the video and post their own positive comments about the book.

Here are some examples.

In this video, the author had access to a university’s video capabilities. The thing to notice here is how he communicates his excitement for the book.

In this video, notice how the author holds up a copy of the book. Also it’s much more simply produced.

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