An Epic Guide to YouTube Video Marketing for Authors

YouTube is a powerful platform for being discovered and connecting with potential book readers. But as an author, you might be thinking there’s no freaking way you’re getting in front of a camera and shooting a video. The reason you write, you may be thinking, is to stay behind the screen, not get in front of it. I get it, but I also think video marketing for authors is one of the easiest ways to stand out and build an audience in 2019 and beyond.

When I started shooting videos in 2009 it took me 30+ takes just to get a mediocre video but I kept going. And, I am glad I did. My old YouTube channel helped me sell a lot of books, courses, and make money!

And, it’s not too late. If anything, video only continues to grow importance.

Here are five reasons why I think YouTube video marketing for authors is important today:

Video is not going away. YouTube is a gigantic search engine where you are not getting found right now if you’re an author without a presence on YouTube. And by the way, who owns YouTube? Google! So you’ve got an already gigantic search engine being owned by an even bigger search engine, you got to get on there.

YouTube isn’t just a great way for you to create a community of people who will buy your books. YouTube supports you creating multiple streams of income as an author. And shooting videos will help prep you for the insanity that happens when you do live media interviews. Doing a quick segment on a local or national news show is probably the craziest experience you’ll have when you promote your book. And, if you’re comfortable in front of the camera already, you’ll be much more likely to do a great interview.

Finally, YouTube is where people are actively, seeking to solve problems. Most people mindlessly scroll through Facebook or Instagram. YouTube tends to attract viewers who want to learn something or they have a problem to solve.

So, now you know why I highly recommend creating a YouTube channel for video marketing to promote your book. What should you do?

7 Tips to use video marketing as an author:

Number one, choose your channel name wisely.

I wouldn’t name it after your book. Personally, I’d do it after your business or your own name, so you can build a community around it, and use it to promote what you do beyond the book. It probably won’t be the last book you write, and a year from now, you might be tired about talking about your book.

You want to stay in touch with the subscribers you’ve worked so hard to connect with, so choose your channel name so it fits the area of your book but allows you room to expand away from your book in the future. Your own personal name can work depending on your business.

Number two, start your channel before your book comes out.

If your book is out, it’s not too late. But if you can start your channel three months before your book launch so you can begin to build up an audience to share your book news with, that’s ideal.

Number three, plan your content.

Look at your book and pick 10 to 12 tips you can pull out of your book, and turn into three to five-minute long videos.

Here’s a few ideas:

  • The single important tip to achieve x result.
  • Five things you don’t know about this subject, but you should.
  • Or, three myths about this subject.

You already have this material in your book, just grab those short soundbites, and sketch out key points for your video.

And, if you’re worried or wondering about creating videos without giving away your best content, check out this video:

Number four, block aside a whole day to shoot your first set of videos.

The first time you shoot videos you’re probably going to scrap a dozen takes before you start to get rolling, and really get in a groove. And then once you’re in a groove, you can shoot four or five or more and then you’re set for a month of weekly author marketing content. If you want it to look like you’re shooting videos on different days just change clothes.

Number five, invest in some lighting and a mic.

A shotgun mic for your iPhone is fine. Shure has some great products to help with this. It’s a small amount of money for a big difference in quality on your shoot.

Lights I’ve used:

Shure mic for iPhone:

Mobile Lighting Kit:

(These aren’t referral links … just sharing exmaples of what I’ve used).

Number six, I recommend hiring a video editor, but in my early days I did all my video editing myself.

I bought Final Cut Pro and spent hours on YouTube learning the ropes. But there’s plenty of iPhone apps now that allow for basic editing for your videos, and make a fast upload. Just keep it simple. It’s far more important that you start posting, then you worry about perfection. And if you don’t want to worry about perfection at all, go live. Right now it’s still acceptable to go live without high production value. Just be well lit, with good sound, and pay attention to what’s in your background, and go for it.

Number seven, plan to post at least once a week, every single week for the time leading up to your book launch, and ideally for the months afterwards.

Consistency is so critical, I can’t emphasize it enough. And if you want to get the absolute best tool to help you improve your channel and track your progress as you go, I highly recommend MorningFa.Me.  I love Morningfame’s analytics and recommendations.

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