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Sell Books by Making A Video

When it comes to convincing a reader to buy, sometimes there’s nothing more compelling than a good sales pitch. Yes, you can have excellent back copy, a stunning cover, but nothing makes a reader morph into a buyer quicker than a hefty pitch that pushes every single hot button (and even a few they didn’t know they had). Video as a means to promote a book is a great sales pitch, but only if it’s done right. What do I mean by “done right”?

With all the talk today about using video to promote your book, it’s easy to get caught up in a YouTube-driven world. It’s a great idea certainly but there’s one catch: you’ve got to make your viewer feel something. An example of this is a video posted to Yahoo videos (it also landed on YouTube) about a contestant (Paul Potts) on Britain’s Got Talent. While not an author (yet) the video shows us clearly what we mean by emotion. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself.

The video became so popular that within a few days it made it to the U.S. and into the hands of millions of viewers. Why? Well, let’s think about this. If you’ve ever watched an episode of American Idol or a version of the program you know that the most favored contestants are the underdogs, the ones who just show up and blow the judges away. That’s the biggest emotional hot button on any of these types of shows and that’s why the Paul Potts video made such an impact online. Of course, he had talent, but talent in the absence of a true underdog factor wouldn’t have made this video as successful as it was.

In fact, not only that but every major media outlet was searching for an interview with Paul. He became a sensation. The video gave him exposure to people globally and it tapped into an emotion — but more than that, it tapped into the right emotion. That is key. If the Paul Potts video had been scary, or disturbing, or flat out boring, who would have cared? So, if you’re considering doing a book video for your own, don’t sell yourself short by just “telling the story,” Do it in such a way that grabs your reader, engages them and hits them right in their emotional hot buttons. Know the triggers your audience responds to and incorporate that into your video.

I tried this.

I did ok, but I could have done SO MUCH better if I had followed these steps.

Here are some ways to make the most of your video:

1) Have you ever created a YouTube video? If you haven’t this is the #1 place to load your book video.

2) Put your video on your own website, don’t let a single visitor land on your site without getting the “touch and feel” of your book.

3) Send a sample of your book video to every media contact you pitch.

4) Got a social networking page? If you do (and you should) add the clip or a link to it on the page. All of them!

5) When you pitch the media, don’t forget to insert a link in your email. Don’t send it as an attachment; chances are an overaggressive spam filter will have it for lunch.

6) Blog about it every chance you get. No, I’m not talking about repeating a blog over and over but blog on what success you’ve had thanks to your video. And oh, yes, add a link to the book video too.

7) Trying to get a signing but have been unsuccessful? Let your book speak for itself, literally. Drop off a copy of your book video to a currently unconvinced bookstore owner and I can almost bet you’ll get a signing in the store.

8) Ready for your close-up? There’s no quicker way to a potential producer’s heart than through his eyes and ears. Seeing a book come to life can sometimes be a great way to sell someone on the concept of turning your book into a movie.

9) If you’re doing a signing bring the book video to show while you’re signing books. I’ve seen authors who’ve done this, and they sold almost twice as many books. The video really pulls in readers!

10) Just like you can tell a book by its cover, you can often tell a book video by its packaging. Get your thumbnail to as perfect as possible, don’t skim on the first impression! You can create your own on

Of course, these are all suggestions. Whatever you choose to do to promote your work is up to you. However, I hope this has helped you in some small way.

🧡 Shine Bright, Kayla

Originally published on July 2022

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