Skip Prichard

How to Stand Out

Like many first-time authors preparing to launch their book into the world, I’ve been studying potential ways to make my book stand out from the crowd. After all, there are thousands upon thousands of books that are released each year. If you’re not a celebrity or promoting your book on your show every day, do you stand a chance?

Complicating my goal is the fact that my book is in a rare class of books that is difficult to categorize. It’s a self-help and a success book for you personally or your business, but it’s also written as fiction. I wanted to write a book that you would read on a plane, and I know that most professionals want an escape from the typical business book—not to mention that the research shows we remember a story much more than we do a list of facts.

Violate the Imagination Rule

Brainstorming promotion ideas with a small team, we landed on one that is somewhat controversial: the book trailer. Many authors will tell you that a book should allow the reader to start from a mental blank slate. A book trailer goes against that rule, pushing images into your thoughts before you’ve had the chance to create and connect characters and settings. Business book authors also tend to have trailers that are more explanatory or even a mini-lecture.

I’ve decided to do both, violating what I call the imagination rule.

First, I allowed leeway in the making of the trailer. It isn’t a replica of the script, much like a movie isn’t always duplicative of the book. In this way, you can watch the trailer but, because of the difference in the words, create your own version.

Second, I am releasing videos that explain the book in a more non-fiction way. These will be more descriptive of the benefits of reading the book. They will include reasons: we more naturally learn from others’ mistakes instead of their successes. We often are frustrated with not achieving our goals.

Consider A Trailer

Why should authors and publishers consider using book trailers?

Here are a few reasons:

1. Video is the rage.

Check out these recent stats compiled by insivia:

  • Video alone will account for 74% of all online traffic.
  • 55% of people watch online videos every single day.
  • 59% of executives will choose video if given a choice.
2. We think in pictures, not words.

60-65% of us think visually.

Source: Tumble Home Learning

3. Communicate your ideas faster.

One minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. That’s according to Forrester Research.

Millennials are 112% more likely to share video ads according to Unruly

4. Get your message across.

According to archive.org, we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text.

5. Encourage action.

According to Forbes, 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product if they have watched a video about it.

6. Encourage sharing.

Visual content is more likely to be shared on social media, according to Bluleadz

7. Differentiate your message from the crowd.

This is another reason to do a book trailer. It’s also one of the reasons I did an audiobook version of the book.

It’s also the reason for yet another trailer we did for the book. This one is purely about endorsements and building excitement.

8. Broaden your audience.

Often quick videos allow a broader exposure to your work.

9. Sell more books.

This is almost always the main reason to do a book trailer.

These nine reasons may encourage you to try a book trailer. It’s fun to experiment and try new ways to reach your audience. Just remember: a book trailer, like any other effort, can also have its drawbacks. Make sure you’re as proud of it as you are of your book before you choose to release it.

Skip Prichard is the author of the Book of Mistakes

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