One of my absolute favorite ways to create content is by recording a video. Because I have the help of a content team, I’m able to just spend time outlining and recording videos so I don’t need to do the actual repurposing myself.
I love that I can record a 5-minute video or a 20 minute video, knowing it will be repurposed in half a dozen different ways. With the help of my content and editing team, we’ll create blog posts, various short video clips, audio segments, social media posts, etc.
However, this blog post is about doing the opposite: taking a piece of content, in this case your book, and turning it into different videos.
This is the 3rd post in a series about how to repurpose your book into other types of content. If you haven’t read the previous two posts I suggest you do so here:
Did you know that videos outperform other forms of traditional marketing? Video content often gets 10 times the reach and engagement than typical text and image posts.
According to BuzzSumo, out of 777 million Facebook posts that they studied, they found that video performs, on average, 63% better than any other type of media.
Luckily, in 2019, you don’t need a professional to help you record nor do you need professional equipment. Your smartphone will work just fine.
Before we get into what types of videos you can create using the content from your book, let’s talk about some general rules in terms of video length.
Twitter: 240 seconds
Instagram: 60 seconds
Facebook: Videos with unlimited bitrates, up to 1 Gigabyte in size. The max file size and time lengths are 1.75 GB and 45 minutes.
Snapchat: 60 seconds
YouTube: 15 minutes (you can upload videos longer than this, but around 15 minutes is ideal)
LinkedIn: 10 minutes
Remember, if you record a 15-minute video for YouTube, you can absolutely take a 60-second clip to post on Instagram. Or if you post a 45 min Facebook video, you can take a section of it to post on LinkedIn, and so on.
That being said, let’s jump into some great video ideas:
- Promo Video
Because video performs so well online, book publishers and authors are increasingly leveraging the medium to tap into an exploding audience.
Promo videos are a great way to introduce people to your book, but be warned: a bad promo video is like a bad book cover— it cannot be unseen and can ruin a reader’s expectation of a book before they’ve even had a chance to crack into that first page.
Here are some key considerations to make so you can successfully produce and distribute a book promo video that sells your book:
- Create a clear and solid outline before you record it.
- Tease the audience, but don’t give too much away. You want them to want to purchase the book.
- Leave them wanting more.
- Keep a high production value (not to be confused with a high budget. Your shot just needs to be well lit, well-framed, and have decent audio).
Many non-fiction authors prefer to do an author video that showcases them as an expert or thought leader. These are often “talking head” videos in which they primarily feature one person talking.
You can also get creative and produce more of a book trailer in which there are a storyline and voice over. You know your book’s tone, purpose, and audience better than anyone else so make sure your video reflects that.
- Vlogs (video blogs)
For those of you that are not familiar with the term, the act of “vlogging” is when one produces and publishes frequent video content on an owned website or sharing platform. They’re typically videos in which the recorder is talking to the camera.
It’s becoming more and more popular because it’s a cost-effective tactic that increases visibility and online engagement with customers.
I like it so much because it adds a personal touch. For a small business or a large company, the underlying benefit of vlogging is that it provides a human face to your company. This means you can offer a customer a personalized experience when they’re purchasing. It gives them the feeling that they’re purchasing from you as an individual, not just a website.
Another reason I’m a fan of vlogging is that it’s so easy to do. You absolutely do not need to hire anyone nor do you need any fancy equipment. Vlogs have a bigger emphasis on content than production quality.
If you have something worthwhile about your book you can share, you just need to pick up a camera and start shooting.
You can take this in many different directions: you can create a series about the process of writing your book, you can make a vlog about why you chose to incorporate a certain idea in your book, you can talk about the importance of a particular chapter, etc.
- Video Interviews
This idea may not be applicable to all authors. If you’ve mentioned a person, brand, or product in your book you can reach out to them and ask to interview them.
If you haven’t already told them that you wrote about them in your book, that should be the first thing you mention when you ask for an interview.
I’m assuming you’d only mention a person, brand or product in your book if you like them/use them so this is a great opportunity to geek out with someone about why their tool is so amazing or how you enjoy using their product, etc.
You can also ask them about the history of the tool/product/brand, etc., how it was made, why it was made, what exactly it does, if they have any other offers, etc.
A few things to keep in mind: try to keep the conversation on the appropriate topic, write out your questions beforehand, and make sure you and your interviewee record in quiet rooms.
And remember! The reason you’re doing this interview is that you mentioned this person/brand/product in your book. Make sure you make this connection in the interview and talk about why you incorporated them in your book.
- Tutorial videos
When thinking of a tutorial video, the first thing that comes to mind (for me) is searching YouTube to find out how to make a background transparent in Photoshop or how to make a clip in Premiere appear to be slow motion, etc.
Did you know you can create tutorial videos for your book?
Regardless of your industry, instructional videos are the best delivery method if you’re serious about teaching others, growing your business, or building an online course.
Before you start to think about asking a video tutorial, here are a few things to ask yourself:
- How many videos do you want to do?
- How much are you willing to spend?
- Where will this video be published?
These answers should help you determine if you’re going to record by yourself, with the help of someone, or by hiring a company.
The typical instructional video should be 1-6 minutes in length, but there are people who prefer longer videos up to 20 minutes. This all depends on your topic and your audience.
Can you break down a chapter in your book into a series of instructional videos? Can you give enough information to someone and leave them wanting more (and want to purchase your book)?
- Audio Waveform Animations
With tools like Headliner, you can take a piece of audio (typically under 1 minute is best) and pair it with a clip of the wavelength of that audio.
You can record sections of your book (that are quotable and make sense when taken out of context), edit them down to a minute or two, and share them on any platform you’d like.
These videos can also have subtitles (I actually prefer that they do in case I find myself without headphones).
It’s possible to create these kinds of videos on your own without a tool, but they make it so easy I don’t know why one would want to open the Adobe Suite.
All you really need is a decent mic. You also want to be mindful of how you speak when recording the audio. No one wants to listen to someone read from a page in a monotone voice—boring!
One of my favorite tips for recording audio is from none other than radio legend and This American Life host Ira Glass. He said that you should talk to a microphone like you’re talking to a friend. You just want to sound natural.