These days, if I miss something funny or important that was on TV, I’ll be like, “I’m going to get it on YouTube.” This popular site has become so steeped in our culture that it seems to have completely replaced television as a resource for information and entertainment. In today’s society, short of attention and quick fixes, one only needs to visit YouTube for a three-minute visual preview of a blockbuster movie, or to catch up with the local and underground soap operas created and filmed by ordinary people with time and chutzpah. With Google’s recent acquisition of YouTube for over $ 1 billion, it goes without saying that this site will prove to be a media powerhouse in the future.
Since YouTube is basically designed by registered members who contribute their own video content, it’s also worth noting that authors can take advantage of the site’s popularity and usability to increase their own exposure. Lately, I’ve noticed that writers are creating “trailers” to advertise their books and use YouTube for distribution. It might take a bit of work to figure out how to do this, but using YouTube to promote your books can propel an effective word of mouth campaign that draws readers to your book.
YouTube adds dynamic multimedia to your website. One factor that makes YouTube so popular is the ease with which visitors can share favorite videos. Send to a friend links alert family and friends to the clip to see, while YouTube’s special EMBED HTML code allows bloggers and site owners to implement videos on their own pages. As YouTube hosts the video, there is no unnecessary uploading of large files to your site. By hosting a book trailer on YouTube, you allow other users to apply codes and showcase your videos on the internet, thus lending a creative and free advertising campaign for your work.
YouTube improves your book’s message. While you can come up with compelling blurb, rave reviews, and compelling covers on your site, sometimes readers need more to be convinced to make the purchase. Providing a well-crafted book trailer gives your book the featured treatment. The background music, eye-catching images, and selling slogans draw the reader into the short clip and make them want to know more about what you’ve written. Film companies have attracted many moviegoers to the theater based on sixty seconds of a movie’s premise. It’s effective advertising that generates traffic and builds readership.
There are, of course, some caveats to consider when considering making a book trailer. On the one hand, large media companies are very vigilant of sites like YouTube, looking for copyrighted material that is used for illegal purposes. If you are seriously interested in creating a book trailer for promotional purposes, you want to be sure that the music videos and images used are either in the public domain, acquired through royalty free databases, be acquired for use with permission of the copyright holders. . While you might not think it’s important to use something for thirty seconds of streaming video, there is always the risk of getting caught by someone who recognizes a picture or melody. Before you start your book trailer, make sure that all of the materials can be used.
For images related to the topic of your book – whether it’s romance or science fiction, a biography or personal help, there are a number of royalty free photo databases that offer thousands of images to represent all the emotions and all the contexts you want to achieve. Istockphoto.com is one such resource, where images can be purchased for as little as a dollar. For royalty-free music, the aptly named RoyaltyFreeMusic.com may turn out to deliver the sound you want to accompany your work. If you’re feeling particularly bold, you might want to consider approaching a band for a sample clip to use. A quick search on MySpace, for example, allows a good number of musicians to use the Internet to promote their music. A promotional swap (their credits in your trailer for using their music) can be beneficial and can improve word of mouth on your trailer when the band announces where to find their music.
Make the video
If you have a PC, you will most likely find that it has a program called Windows Movie Maker. This nifty tool lets you combine photos and audio streaming, and add titles and slogans to the frames that make up your video. Take the time to explore the options and love the image transitions (including star wipes and side wipes)
and the visual effects (fade in, fade out, sepia tone applications) will create a unique look to your story. Start with a catchy slogan, continue with images related to your story, add slogans on photos where appropriate, and end with a photo of your book cover and information on your website and where to buy the book. Scrolling through the ending titles completes the trailer, and before you know it, you’ve got a clip to add to YouTube!
Most book trailers can be anywhere from thirty seconds to two minutes. You don’t want the trailers to be too long. For a clip, the longer a clip, the more memory it takes and the longer it may take to load. A viewer who has to wait too long will eventually be frustrated and move on to another clip. You want to be sure that the trailer for your book is recorded at a length that allows computer users of all internet speeds to enjoy it. Also, you don’t want to give too much information in your trailer. Tease relevant information and entice the reader to learn more about the point of sale.
As an interactive marketing tool, book trailers created for YouTube are a creative and inexpensive way to market your book. Include the trailer on your website and the URL in your email signature and show readers exactly what they’re missing unless they buy your book.