Creating A Book Video Trailer

Movie trailers, music trailers, book trailers, online video is all the rage. Over six billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth.

Increasingly, marketers are turning to videos to engage customers. If you have been thinking about creating a video trailer for your newest book, but are feeling like you can’t afford to create one, I have good news for you.

One website, Animoto, allows you to create a video in a few east steps: upload photos, select a video style, select music, add a few words of your own, and then, download, embed, or share your video via Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, and more. Animoto has a very reasonable pricing structure. In fact, you can create a free 30 second video using the site.

Book video trailers don’t have to be long or complicated. Check out this book trailer that is just about 30 seconds in length. It is simple, yet compelling.

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The Disappearing Print Book

The disappearing print book—it’s the subject of publishers and book sellers worries these days. Much angst and thought is going into how to preserve both print books and brick-and-mortar bookstores.

Following are two interesting marketing campaigns aimed at doing just that. One is by a publisher and one is by book sellers. Interestingly, both of these entities are not located in the United States, which just goes to show that the disappearance of print books is not just a concern for Americans.

Books are My BagBooks Are My Bag

The United Kingdom’s Booksellers Association is launching the “Books Are My Bag” campaign that will run from September 13 through Christmas. The goal is to use cotton bags printed with “Books Are My Bag” to increase awareness of the importance of bookshops.

U.K. Publishers can join the campaign by ordering bags, use the “Books Are My Bag” banner on your website and in your emails, include the “Find Your Local Bookshop” button on your website, and join the social media campaign by following “booksaremybag” on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, and through using the #booksaremybag hashtag.

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Disappearing Ink

One publisher in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is launching “El Libro que No Peude Esperar” (The Book That Can’t Wait) campaign. This publisher is printing books with disappearing ink in hopes of boosting excitement about real, rather than digital, books. These books will come in sealed packages. As soon as the reader starts to turn the books pages, the ink begins to age and fade. Readers will have about 60 days to finish the book before the pages go blank.

Campaigns come and go. Some are successful, some are not. Time will tell whether these two campaigns affect print book sales. While they may have the impact to increase print sales in the short run, I doubt they will do much to halt the march toward digital books in the long run.

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Hitting the Bull’s Eye

Everyone wants to hit the bull’s eye. Whether you are playing darts or shooting arrows, the bull’s eye is what you are aiming for. The same goes for marketing.

True Color Image True Color Image

Publishers and authors with limited marketing budgets don’t want to waste their precious resources on shooting random marketing arrows that may or may not hit their target audience. So, how does one ensure that your marketing efforts are landing where you want them to?

The key is to know your target audience.

At the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) this summer, CBA placed a number of banners that gave key information about various audiences so that marketing efforts could be aimed at the bull’s eye. Here are a few of the key facts for several audiences.

Boomer Women

  • She thinks “we” not “me”, so give her ways to be part of a cause.
  • She shops for others and has money to spend, so give her value and impulse opportunities.

Millennial Moms

  • They want to be recognized, so engage them personally and through social media.
  • They are frugalists and save to spend, so give them both price and value options.
  • Authenticity and transparency are important, so be real, open, and honest.

The Man-sumer

  • He is a reconnaissance shopper, so show him results.
  • He asks why it is worth the price, so give education and information.

Consider carefully your audience so that you can launch your marketing arrows at the target with the goal of hitting the bull’s eye and reeling in sales.

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How Happy are Your Customers?

I hear so many complaints about customer service. Friends complain about the checkers at the grocery stores not helping them find products. They complain about barristas with bad attitudes who don’t serve the coffee with a smile. They talk about restaurant servers who get an attitude when they point out an error was made with their order.

Customer Service

Customer service is extremely important to a successful business. Whether you are selling coffee or books, great customer service is essential. On average, a business loses about 20% of their customers just by failing to tend to customer relationships.

As publishers and authors, we must also be customer service conscious. From time to time, as Director of Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA), I will field a call from a customer of one of our member publishers. These customers have taken the time to look CSPA up in a desperate attempt to acquire help in getting their issues resolved with a publisher. Usually the complaint has to do with a problem with an order and the publisher is not returning the customer’s phone calls or emails. Sometimes, the grievance is that their emails are not being returned and a phone number is not listed on the publisher’s website.

A recent Customer Experience Impact Report by Oracle found that consumers will commit (or return and buy again) to a brand if the company provides the following:

  • Friendly employees or customer service representatives (73%)
  • The ability to easily find the information or help they need (i.e. phone calls and emails returned) (55%)
  •  Personalized experiences (36%)

Do you want to improve your customer relations? Then start with being available to your customers.

Your website should contain a physical address where you can be reached, a phone number where you can be reached, and an email contact. This allows your customers to choose when, where, and how they want to contact you. Once you have done this, be sure to answer inquiries from customers and potential customers that come to you through these various venues.

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A New Work

Do you feel that God is calling you to do something new?

I recently had the privilege of being a guest on the God in The Midst radio show during the month of July. The host asked me to share with the audience a message that God had laid on my heart. You can listen to the entire message at this link: God In The Midst.

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I shared with God in The Midst’s audience that God has prepared good works for us to do long before we were born (Romans 8:10). When the time is right, God calls us to do these works. We will know that God is asking us to do one of the good works he has prepared for us because it will be outside of our comfort zone, and we will not feel equal to the task.

Looking at God’s call to Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt to a land flowing with milk and honey as recorded in Exodus 3 and 4, I shared the following points about when God calls us to do a work he has prepared for us to do.

  1. God does not command us, he invites us to do the work he has for us. God says to Moses, “Come, I will send you…”
  2. We will not feel equal to the task. Moses’ response to God was “Who am I” that I should go and do this thing.
  3. We will feel scared. When God calls us to do something new that is out of our comfort zone, it feels like more than we are capable of doing. We will be scared and we may even find an excuse not to do the task like Moses did. Moses told God that he was not eloquent but slow of speech and tongue.
  4. God promises us that we will not have to do the task in our own strength. Not only will God be with us, his power will also accompany us. He reassures us that he created us to do the thing he is asking us to do. Just as he told Moses that he would be his mouth and he would teach him to speak.
  5. God will send others to help us. God sent Moses’ brother Aaron to help him. He, too, will send people your way to help you do the task he is calling you to do. People to support you. People to encourage you. People to help you.

Is God calling you to a new work today? Maybe he is calling you to write or publish in a new genre. Maybe he is calling you to start a publishing company. Maybe he is calling you to start a new ministry.

Whatever God is calling you to do, be encouraged. God has prepared you for this task. You will not have to do it in your own strength alone. He will be with you and he will send others to help and support you in the work.

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