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Publishing Author Challenging Marketing

5 Ways to Use Video to Market Nonfiction

ON Apr 23, 2014
POSTED IN Marketing, Web
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As writers, we’re often most comfortable working behind the page (or the screen) — blogging, writing articles and books…anything that involves the written word puts us more or less in our comfort zone. But there are distinct advantages to using a multimedia approach in book marketing, and these should coax us out from behind the screen to engage with our audience on a more personal level. One way to bring a personal touch to marketing is, of course, making appearances at book signings, events, and conferences. But these aren’t always possible or practical. In that case, what can you do to bring that personal touch to your marketing strategy?

The answer? Use video.

Video marketing is like making a conference appearance, but it’s always available and costs next to nothing to do. And because it’s always available, your audience has the ability to connect with you on their schedule. Video has similar benefits to an author appearance in that it gives your audience a more personal engagement with you and your material. They get to hear your voice, see your face, your smile, and feel connected to you in a way that words just can’t provide. And this connection can be priceless — after all, at the core of every successful marketing strategy lies the know-like-trust principle. If your readers know you, like you, and trust you, they’re more likely to buy your books and say wonderful things about you to their friends. It stands to reason, therefore, that anything we can do to engage our audience on this kind of level is valuable.

So what are some of the best ways to use video when marketing your nonfiction book? Consider adding these five ideas to your toolkit.

1. YouTube

YouTube can be used for a number of different strategies all at the same time. One of the best ways to use YouTube, however, is to create short, informational videos about topics based on your book’s content. Choose topics that are value-added for the reader/viewer — they should give some kind of takeaway that your audience can immediately apply or use in some way. At the end of the video, you can direct them to your book…and the next video in your series. These types of high-value snippets help to increase the know-like-trust matrix, since as your audience sees how generous you are with your knowledge — and that what you have to say really is impactful in their lives — then that increases trust, and ultimately can convert to sales.

YouTube is also a great platform for other extra content that you can tie to your book. You might want to do interviews or give short demos of your products/services, or offer commentary on other pertinent issues in your field. If you’ve done your homework and know your target audience, then consider what kind of content they might find valuable and useful.

2. Webinars

Webinars can be either video-based or just a voice-over with a slide presentation. Depending on your book’s topic, you may be able to create a longer webinar or even a webinar series. Webinars are designed to teach your audience something new, and they can be a terrific way to augment or supplement your book.

While YouTube is publicly accessible, webinars can be a great way to build your email list. As you register people for your webinar through your website, you can add them to your newsletter or general mailing list. Offering a free webinar is likely to garner more initial registrations, and then once your audience sees the high quality information you have to offer, you can add a paid or subscription series from there.

The webinar strategy thus accomplishes several things: first, it boosts your email subscriber list, second, it builds your audience’s interest in your topic and your book, and third, it can work to create a passive income stream. Win-win-win.

3. Vlogging

Vlogging — also called video-blogging — can be a fun way to mix up your blog content. Again, video blogs work to create a more personal connection with your audience, and they create interest. And the possibilities for vlogging are really endless. You don’t have to sit in your office in front of your computer screen — you can take your vlog on location. If you have a travel book, for instance, take your blog to some of those places and show your audience. You could do a vlog interview with interesting people or experts in your field. You can then post your vlogs on YouTube if you want to have your content available on multiple channels.

4. Book Trailers

Book trailers are becoming very popular for fiction, but you can create a trailer for your nonfiction book as well. This isn’t so much about fostering a personal connection with your audience, but it can be very effective for generating excitement and buzz about your book.

As you consider how to put your trailer together, consider the previews you see on TV or online for nonfiction documentaries. If you watch a few of these, you’ll see that it really is possible to create an exciting trailer for a nonfiction book! Your trailer should be created firmly in reference to your target market, your genre, and your subject, but don’t be afraid to think a bit outside the box.

5. Interviews

In this instance, I’m referring to you getting out there and finding opportunities to be interviewed yourself. As a nonfiction author, you are an expert in your field. Work on building a media list, and then offer your availability for interviews. These may be print, radio, or TV/web interviews, so you’ll need to be savvy about how to conduct yourself in each of these instances. Interviews help to establish your credibility and boost your visibility, and these factors once again contribute to that know-like-trust matrix I’ve discussed above.

Be sure to have a press page on your website with information on how media people can get in touch with you. You can include a few different author pictures, images of your book cover(s), useful articles, videos, and anything else you might want the press to have access to. Writing is a craft, but publishing is a business…and publicity is a necessary part of running that business successfully.


As you get ready to launch your nonfiction book, or if you’d like to boost visibility of a book you already have in the marketplace, consider the many advantages of using video as part of your marketing strategy. It’s never too late to generate buzz and to engage with your audience — give some (or all!) of these strategies a try and see what benefits they bring to your author business.

S.K. Valenzuela

S.K. is a freelance writer and novelist, and, together with her sister and fellow author J. Leigh Bralick, she launched the SisterMuses Press in December of 2013. You can find her blogging about writing and the writing life on the SisterMuses website ( and at She released the final book in her New Adult science fiction Silesia Trilogy in December 2013 and is now working on a New Adult dystopian novel titled Final Origin. She also has several historical fiction projects in the works. When she's not writing, she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and drinking good coffee.

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