A New Strategy for Reaching Readers with Video

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THIS IS HOW TO REACH READERS in a way most writers don’t.

When you think of using video to promote your book, you probably think of a book trailer.

A book trailer broadcasts out. I want to motivate readers to find me, not just talk at them. Sure, book trailers can be cool, but there’s little to no evidence they motivate people to purchase more books.

Here’s how I added value to This Plague of Days, Omnibus Edition.

The better way is to use video is to thank readers and engage them with a question or a reward. I opted to do both with a link to a secret video at the back of the TPOD Omnibus Edition. It’s three books in one, so, for those who care to, they can make one purchase and save a couple of bucks.

Here are the specifics of my latest launch strategy:

images-11. I’ve just launched two books, This Plague of Days, Season 3 and This Plague of Days, Omnibus Edition.

2. I dropped the price on the first novel to 99 cents and marked the second book down to $2.99. I’m selling the Omnibus (three big books in one) for $6.

3. At the back of the Omnibus, exclusive to those readers, is a link to a private video. In it, I talk about the saga. It’s been years in the making. This is my Star Wars. Putting it to bed is a big deal to me and I give some behind-the-scenes origin information.

4. I ask a sincere question. A secret has been buried in this series from Season One and it pays off late in Season 3. It’s a huge surprise that a lot of people tried to figure out but they only saw it in retrospect. (My beta readers all said the same thing. “Oh! Of course! You dog!”)

5. As long as Omnibus readers answer the question in the comment thread at the private video link this year, I’ll send each of them my next thriller ebook as a gift. Free. No strings or demands for a newsletter sign-up. The new thriller comes out later this summer and it even ties other books together. It’ll be a fun ride and also a solid bridge to my other books even though it’s not in TPOD‘s genre.

6. Video is a more personal way to thank readers. By adding another book to the six-dollar Omnibus, readers won’t just save some bucks. They’ll get four books (three huge ones and one decent-sized novel.) Readers will benefit and I hope to gain readers who are already enthusiastic about my particular brand of crazy.

7. I know this approach trips some fear alarms for some authors. Please don’t tell me I’m devaluing literature by pricing it too low and giving too much away. I’ve lowered the price, not the value. The literature that is devalued most is that which is read least. Times are tough for a lot of people, me included. But I still believe that generosity and helping others wins over greed. Give more and you’ll attract the people you want to be your readers. When they find you, they’ll buy all your books. Don’t chase anyone. Count the giveaway as the cost of advertising, something any business does. Let readers come to you willingly and they’ll bring you joy instead of heartache.

How did I do it?

I used iMovie, but you could use a cell phone. It doesn’t matter as long as it uploads to Youtube and designate the link “unlisted” so only those who have the link can access it. It doesn’t have to be slick and fancy or have a kickass soundtrack that sounds like it’s calculated to accompany an invasion of Libya.

Your video might even be better if it’s not slick. I love my energetic little book trailer, but heartfelt and speaking into the camera? Heartfelt is more important than slick.

Please click the book cover image to read more about Robert Chazz Chute and his novels.

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  • That is very brave – speaking about something so close to your heart. But the likelihood is that someone watching the video WANTS to hear you talk about your baby, has been reading along, cheering for you.

    I, too, hope to eventually find the people who like ‘my particular brand of crazy’ (love that phrase). I don’t know if I’ll be that brave – but it’s a great idea.

  • Caleb Pirtle

    Robert, all writers are searching for new and different ways to reach readers. You have the grit and gumption to go out there and dive into some of the most innovative opportunities in the marketplace. I appreciate your sharing them with us. I’ve never done a video. But then, until a few years ago, I had never written an email. If the opportunity is there, we need to chance it.

  • Very interesting approach, Chazz. I like the notion of a secret video for your fans. I will be working on this.

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