“How-To” Videos on YouTube for Self Publishing Authors

Over the past several posts I’ve been discussing different methods a writer — or anybody, really — can use to add video content to a YouTube channel for the purposes of self promotion, book promotion, company promotion, and/or search engine optimization. We have already discussed television commercials, book videos, book teasers, and platform videos.

The final method I’m going to discuss is the creation of “how-to” videos. These are typically low-budget, self-made, videos you shoot in the comfort of your own home using a home video camera, such as the affordable $200 “flip camera.”   Set-up the camera on a mini-tripod aiming at your mug, add a main light source and a secondary light source (so both sides of your face are illuminated), and then record away.

So then the question becomes, what do you record?  It depends upon the content of your book, or the purpose of your video channel.  Non-fiction authors have an advantage here, since the content of their books are more conducive to “how-to” videos.  But even fiction and poetry authors can create how-to videos by drawing a connection between the content in their books and a self-help concept. For example, an author of romantic fiction or poetry could record a series of “how-to” videos about how to behave on a first date, or how to dress for a fancy dinner, etc.

The point is, how-to videos are relatively popular on YouTube and do not need to feature expensive production values. In other words, the value is high in relation to the entry-barrier, which is low.  Another good idea is to feature the work or ideas of someone else, and then provide the appropriate attribution. This serves two purposes: 1) it gives your videos some credibility and 2) it may even persuade that other individual or company to promote your video to THEIR marketing lists, increasing your video exposure tremendously.

Lisa Orrell, a marketing coach, did just that with her “how-to” video that discusses methods for increasing book sales on Amazon.  Her video highlights ten of the tips I explain at length in my book Sell Your Book on Amazon.  Instead of canniblizing my ideas, she plugs my book very nicely in her video, in such a positive manner, I’m likely to promote her video (and therefore her company) to my lists.   Kinda like I’m doing now.   The result?  She creates a great video and gets further exposure for her business. In fact, the very nature of the way in which she leveraged these exact marketing concepts in her video impressed me so much that we partnered with her to offer a Social Networking Webinar to our authors.  It’s coming up on November 2nd, and the details are in our blog here.

Here’s her “how-to” video: