Monday, April 19, 2010

Youtube, video and selling books!

There is clearly nothing new about the concept of using Youtube to promote products. In fact, self-publishing authors have been doing it for awhile. I first came across the idea when visiting Morris Rosenthal's blog on self-publishing.

Rosenthal is an advocate of selling non-fiction books by giving away valuable content. One of the ways he engages in this practice is through the use of homemade videos on a specific topic that he films and then posts on Youtube and embeds on his website.

The majority of my book sales are related to coaching basketball and video is a medium that lends itself to sharing information with other coaches. However, writing, scripting, filming, editing and producing a film can be a daunting task. It does not have to be though.

My goal in creating short videos to link to my coaching website is not to sell the videos to other coaches. These videos are not meant to be 75-90 minute instructional videos complete with game footage, practice footage, staged demonstrations and video of my talking about the specifics of the content being shown.

Rather, the videos I have created are meant to be stand alone 4-8 minute segments of me discussing a single topic of interest to basketball coaches. They are not for sale and I am much more interested in providing coaches with information that is valuable to them than I am in producing a short film that is worthy of technical praise for its quality. I am sure that with time my little films will be of better quality because, for me, anything involving technology has a learning curve involved.

Thankfully, I have a Macbook laptop computer which comes with its own camera and in my case, the software for the film editing program iMovie came with the laptop. You can film directly into the program via your computer camera or you can film with a conventional digital camera and download the footage onto your computer. The software is fairly easy to learn and I am sure the more I use it the better videos I will be able to produce.

Each of my videos will end with a short commercial for one of my coaching books. I figure the information I am providing entitles me to include the commercial! This is worth experimenting with and if you have iMovie on your computer, it might be a valuable marketing tool for your book. I encourage you to think about the possibilities!