To show your video on the web, it has to be hosted. Most book trailer sharing starts with YouTube, the most popular video-hosting site. It is worth the time to do your YouTube upload right. There are other sites such as Vimeo.com, but the most widely supported in social media is YouTube. YouTube handles converting to various data streams and qualities for different devices and connections. Upload the highest quality you have, YouTube will automatically select the quality and stream for the device.
Once your video is uploaded, you can use the YouTube link and embed codes to place your video on other social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
People can find your video in several ways. They could land on your site and see it embedded in a page. As they are already in your website, there is opportunity to offer more information including how to purchase. But many people browse YouTube, so you want to make your trailer findable. If after viewing your trailer in YouTube, they want more information, you want them to click on a link in the description to visit your website.
A. Create Social Media Document
Your trailer is done, but there is one last writing step before you start sharing: it is time to write your description and tags.
Create a document with your trailer information and save it. When you do the upload to YouTube, you will have all of the details ready. If you upload to other web or social media sites, you will have at hand the information you need.
Social Media Document Contents
- Book Description
- The description tells about your book. A good starting point is the back cover text.
- Complete links
- Author website page for the book or series
- Book website
- Publisher website for the book or series
- amazon.com and any other country Amazon sites
- Search Tags
- Later we will add the links and embed codes to share the Youtube video
Links to your Website
Include a link to your book website with a COMPLETE URL including the http:// or https:// up front. Most video and social media sites will automatically convert this to a link for people to click. YouTube will not know that www.yourbook.com is a web address and just leave it as text, forcing a viewer to copy and paste to the browser location bar. The page you link to should be for that book. Don’t make the viewer hunt through your site. The page you link to should have links to purchase the book. The most a viewer should have to do is click twice (once in YouTube and once in your website) to be on a page to purchase your book. More than two clicks, and many will lose interest. A direct link to a book seller turns it into one click.
Tags are words or short phrases that are used for searching. There are some obvious ones to include:
- Book name
- Author name
- Fiction or Non-fiction
- The book theme/genre – action, romance, thriller, horror …
Upload to YouTube.com
B. Create Google Account
To upload a video, you will need a YouTube (Google) account. Visit YouTube.com and click on the Sign In button in the top right of the window. Put in your Google ID/PW or Click on Create an account to create a new no-cost account.
C. Log In
Then log in. Click on the Upload button in the top right of the YouTube screen.
D. Upload Video
Upload the best quality you have. YouTube will create the various versions for devices and links that need a smaller stream.
The Public dropdown sets who can see the video. This can be changed later. There are three options:
- Public – everyone can see it, and it can be found by searching
- Unlisted – everyone can see it, BUT you need the address. It cannot be found by searching
- Private – Only you can view it when you are logged into YouTube
A common approach is to upload as unlisted, then once you have set all of the options, description and tags, make it public.
As the video is uploading fill in the title, description including your links, tags and who can see it.
If you click on Advanced settings, you can set options related to origin and licensing.
E. Collect Your Three YouTube Links
Once you have your video on YouTube, you need the share link and embed codes. Play your video.
Below the viewer, you will see Share and Embed buttons. If you click on Share, you see
The value in the box (in this case http://youtu.be/F4ReQnbvL2E ) is the link. It is selected, so you just have to right click and select copy. Save this link with your social media document.
While you are viewing the video, get the actual URL from the browser.
Some sites will not accept the youtu.be address and want the real one. Save this address in your document.
Click on the Embed button and you see this.
Below the iframe information, it says: Show More. Click on that to see this. With the checkboxes at the bottom, you can control size and if suggested videos show at the end.
Copy the code in the box. This is the code you use for your website to put in a viewer. In this example:
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/F4ReQnbvL2E?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Now that you have uploaded to YouTube, add the link and embed code to your document. Then you have in one place all of the information you need to spread the word on social media.
- Book Description including complete links to your website, publisher, store…
- YouTube link (youtu.be version)
- Actual URL (www.youtube.com version)
- YouTube embed code <iframe…> </iframe>
Immediate Uses for YouTube Information
- Using the embed code, update your website with your trailer.
- Update your email signature to point to your book website that has the trailer or directly to the trailer on YouTube.
- Add a link to your trailer on any book-seller pages on your book such as Amazon.
- Add your video to your Amazon Author page.
Post on Facebook
Now that you have the link to your YouTube video, you can post it on Facebook. Here is a cool trick. Paste the link to the YouTube video. Wait.
Facebook puts in the description and image automatically. Now delete the address and type in or paste the description you want to show. You can even put in a link to your website. Then click on Post.
Vimeo is similar in concept to YouTube. It is popular with artists, as it doesn’t cater to ‘puppy/kitty’ videos. To upload to Vimeo, you need a free account. Vimeo tends to have a more professional feel to it.
Again, plan your tags and description. Also, put in a complete link to the book website. Then, like YouTube, get the link to and embed codes for the Vimeo video.
If you want some solid critiquing on your new trailer, upload it to BookReels.com, an interesting website all about book trailers. Love their tag line – Don’t judge a book by its cover. Judge it by its bookreel!
There are some strong players here, and there is a great collection of trailers to browse, catalogued by genre.
GoodReads.com is a popular social media site for authors and readers. They offer an author program to promote yourself and your books. GoodReads also has a Book Trailer group that runs a monthly book trailer competition. When posting to GoodReads use the real URL beginning with www.youtube.com.
Tweet to your followers about your trailer. Use the link to your website page or your YouTube video link.
Now that your video is in YouTube and you are prepared with your description, tags and links to your video, you can upload to other sites to gain exposure. There are many lists of sites. Here are a few:
- Savvy Writers – 30 Video Sharing Sites to Upload Your Book Trailer
- I Love Book Trailers! A blog for those who love books and the art that makes them stand out…
- 15 ways to promote your book with a book trailer