Grace Bridges

Grace Bridges is a New Zealander with partly Irish roots, and has spent many years in Germany. She was homeschooled and spent most of her early learning years reading novels – in the end it made her a writer. Faith Awakened is her first novel, which needed eight years of incubation followed by six years of writing. She also enjoys reading (of course!), culinary improvisation, living with cats, inventing things, web design and graphics, and meeting people both real and virtual. The story is set in Bangor, near Belfast in Northern Ireland, although many familiar aspects of life in New Zealand can also be found in these pages. Bridges is a pen name - Grace is for real!

Viral Marketing

Book Video

Space Pilgrims-Grace Bridges

We’ve all seen them—the video links people send to one another, post on their sites, watch again and again. Occasionally videos go viral—sometimes for no apparent reason. Mostly it’s because they capture the imagination, showcasing something so new and different the whole world wants to see it. Imagine if you could do that with your book trailer. Sure would be a boost to your marketing, right?

This calls for unusual creativity in making trailers. To discover the kinds of things that get into people’s hearts—or maybe their funnybones—check out the most watched videos on your favourite site. If you ignore the music videos and the unsavoury stuff, the top scores go to laughing babies, cute animals, and human-interest social commentaries. Can you relate something similar to your book? I bet you can.

It doesn’t even have to relate to your book. Last year I made a series of videos for my first book, and to date the most-watched episode is the one with footage of my cat. Being funny draws viewers, too. Of the three trailers I’ve made so far for this year’s book, the most popular is the one in which I made myself look pretty stupid. I’m also trying out the music video approach.

A prime example of this kind of campaign is Christian author Jeremy Robinson. Hundreds of thousands of views! How’d he do that? Well, first, he made a bunch of videos. Most of them were funny. He gave them a unified theme and released them week by week in the run-up to his book release. Not only that, but also he uploaded them to fifteen different video streaming sites every Monday. Self-made virality? Maybe. But all those people knew about his book.

His most successful clip is about a carjacking. This sparked much online debate as to whether the incident was real or staged. Of course it was staged! But your average, video-watching surfer might not know that, and it resulted in a huge spread of this particular movie—with nicely integrated book information.

I based my own campaign on this model, with one book trailer and nine funny clips, which all showed the book in some way. I discovered friends with real acting talent, used bad weather to great advantage, and came up with a couple of zany scenarios. Loads of fun, folks, and most likely your digital camera is sufficient for the task. And, hey, if you can write a book, you’re certainly up to a two-minute movie script.

Editing the videos wasn’t as hard as I thought. If you’re reasonably computer literate, you will be able to do it yourself. A friend supplied original soundtracks in keeping with the comedy theme, and although it was hard work, I slotted the clips together in about one evening for each movie.

Masses of viewers are waiting for the next viral video. Could it be yours?