Sunday, June 5, 2011

Online Book Marketing

It's instructive to look at ways that authors are promoting their books online. Let's consider a couple of video promotions

Previously, I posted about a video promo for Backbite, a video trailer that uses a sequence of stills and spooky music to pique the potential buyer's interest.

First up in this post, Erik Qualman explains his book about "Socialnomics" in a youtube video.

Qualman uses two elements in this promo. First, he uses a zippy video that explains the importance of social media economics. Then he switches to man-in-the-street interviews where he explains his book during book promotion events. The first part of this video gives the potential buyer the impetus to learn more about social media, the second the reason to buy this particular book.

The next example comes from William Barry Leslie, the author of Psychotic Pleasures.

Leslie takes a different approach from Qualman. Rather than tell the potential customer the reasons to buy the book, Leslie reads from his book to give the potential customer a sample. There are two important lessons from this video. One is to start reading earlier. Youtube statistics tell us that most viewers watch one minute of video, then move on. Second is to provide links to a bookstore everywhere you promote your book (those links are missing on Leslie's youtube post as of this writing).

You can be the judge of which type of promotion works for your book. Non-fiction books generally have easier promotion hooks than fiction works since non-fiction can leverage an existing well-edited news story or short video piece to explain the book's topic. In any case, consider finding existing video whose owner will allow you to excerpt it for use in your own promotion.

Another approach that writers can use to promote their stories is the story-behind-the-story. It is easy to blog about writing your book. If you're writing, say, a travel adventure, you can blog about all the locations in your book, why you chose them, what a visitor might explore when traveling there. You also can make a video that tells the story behind the story, but that probably will cost a few thousand dollars per minute for a well-conceived and executed video.

Also, don't forget giving away sample sections or chapters in text format (rather than video or audio format). This can be done simply by providing a link to a blog post, as Leslie has done, or to a scribd listing.

Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business

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