Guest Post: Marketing Your Book Using Vine: A Self-Publisher’s Guide | Jeremy Hess

As more and more people connect to the information superhighway, it’s becoming both easier and harder than ever to reach potential customers.
The seemingly always accelerating pace of the web-connected life has been driving down the average attention span for years, leaving the producers of all manner of products an ever shrinking window of opportunity in which to sell their products. In fact the Associated Press reported in April 2013 that since 2000, the average attention span had decreased from 12 seconds to eight, a second less than that of a goldfish.
With that in mind, Twitter’s Vine platform (which according to the company has more than 40 million users) can be a powerful weapon for your marketing arsenal. Vine allows users to record, edit and upload looped six-second videos. With a Twitter account and a smartphone or other mobile device it’s easy to take advantage of Vine’s potential.
Vine posts can be shared instantly to a user’s Facebook and Twitter profiles, and they can be embedded in other websites. Additionally every other Vine user (unless you specifically block a user or set your posts to “protected”) can share your posts as well.
A six-second video may not sound like the best way to sell a book (or anything else for that matter) online, but with a well thought out plan, a little creativity and a good social media strategy; you can reach millions of potential customers.
As with any social media campaign the virality of your Vine videos will in large part determine the success of your pitch, so you want to make your Vine posts as engaging as possible. The following is a simple guide to help you get the most out of your Vine campaign for your book.
It’s best to start with a plan.
        Ask yourself, what is your call to action; what do you want your readers to do after watching this?
        What is the message you want to convey? Can it be simplified – remember you only have six seconds.
        Set aside a lot of time. Think in frames. You have an unlimited amount of frames to use, but they need to be carefully planned and adjusted. It will be time consuming.
Developing Your Message
Your message can likely depend on the type of book you’re trying to sell. Maybe you’ve got a great coffee table book full of vivid images; you could highlight some of the most stunning ones in the short clip and include a link back to your website where the work can be purchased in the 144 character tweet that accompanies the post like a caption.
Or maybe your book is a how-to guide. Is there something you can show readers how to do in a six seconds? Remember it doesn’t all have to take place in a continuous shot; you can cram as many video clips or still images as possible into those six seconds. In fact many of the most successful Vine videos use stop-motion animation.
If your book is more traditional, a novel or short story collection, a biography or other non-fiction work – can you find a way to condense the overarching theme into a short video? Burts Bees used some of its products in a series of videos retelling the stories of some literary classics like “Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” and “Little Women.”
Advantages of Using Vine
       This is a great way to go viral with your content and drive traffic to your site. Not only can you embed a Vine on your website, you can also embed it on your Facebook page, making sharing even more accessible to your audience.
        Viewers can be anywhere between 64-85% more likely to buy after watching a product video.
        Boosting engagement. This makes it easy to get feedback from your readers.
       The content is short, making it edible for consumption in today’s busy world.
Tidbits to Remember
        Vine is designed for mobile phones. Make sure your message is unique for this outlet.
        Remember Viners are twitter users as well.
       While using vine will help your content go viral do not have the expectation that just by posting your video that it will automatically drive tons of traffic to your site. Authors need to be strategic with their posts.
       Hashtags and Keywords are a given at this point, but don’t overlook them or underestimate their sharing power
        Always invite the audience to interact with you. Don’t be shy to say “Follow Me” or “Visit My Site.” Research how other authors in your Genre are getting visitors to their site with social media.
More Video Ideas
        Develop a book trailer
        Give readers a sneak-peak:  give your audience a taste of your book before it comes out.
        Behind-the-scenes: Show readers what it’s like to write. Document your long nights or your book tours. Display the work you’ve put into it.
       Put a cat in your video. Cat videos will truly be America’s 21st century mystery, but they work.
       Conduct a Vine contest with your fans. Encourage the audience to make their own vines using a certain hashtag or theme. Pick the best one and send them a signed copy of your book!
Piecing it All Together:
Regardless of the kind of book you’ve got, there is probably a way to market it on Vine, you just have to figure out what that is, and using and learning from the Vine platform is the best way to do that. Once you’re a Vine member you can explore videos posted by users all over the world to learn the dos and don’ts. The system will allow you to work on up to 10 Vine videos at a time, and you can always delete a video without posting if it just isn’t working out.
While you’re creating your own videos, don’t forget about your intended customers. Vine, like other social media platforms is user-driven. It is a two-way street for communication both to and from other Vine users.
In fact many companies are finding Vine success utilizing their own followers. Some have requested feedback on certain topics to create amusing Vine posts in response; others have asked customers to submit their own Vine posts about those companies or their products.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask your own Facebook friends and Twitter followers to share and respond to your Vine posts. That is what is going to put your Vine videos in front of the largest possible audience.
Key Takeaways:
There are plenty of resources out there to pull from; many companies breaking through the noise of advertising with their Vine videos. There is no reason that you can’t do this with your book. It’s a unique campaign made for our short attention spans. Leverage this video in any way you can across other social media platforms, to maximize potential. It is very important to plan your frames and your time. Develop a clear message with your readers in mind and a clear call to action. Check for the small things before you post, that you might have overlooked, like using appropriate keywords and hashtags. Plan for a lot of time to be used and then add more to that; this will take a while to do if you do it right.
Byline: Jeremy Hess is a self-publisher enthusiast and contributor to Gasch Printing’s blog. His goal through his writing is to help get your book printed. 

Mick Rooney – Publishing Consultant

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