Oscars for Indie Author Book Video Trailers

Oscar Awards Academy AwardsAnd the Oscar goes to… *nervously opens envelope*

In a previous blog post, indie authors of all genres sent examples of book trailer videos for us to enjoy and learn from collectively. Among the analysis, these questions were presented (some authors even had answers):

  • How was it made?
  • What did it cost?
  • Has it sold books?
  • What advice can you give for making one?

We saw wonderful videos and some dreadful ones too, which seems par for the course in the indie author crowd. At the bottom of this post are YouTube tips that could have helped them all do better with results (SEO, views, book purchases, etc), but the Oscars have been chosen purely for cinematic reasons. (Props to a great author, Charlotte Abel, for suggesting this.)

Due to Academy rules, my all-time favorite book trailer video is exempt from voting. Instead here are 6 excellent videos, each winning a specific category.

Best RomanceWait For Me by Samantha Chase

Made by Animoto (Plus Plan, very affordable). Currently ranked #433 in paid Kindle store. Wow! The author says she’s “not sure it’s helping” but my feeling is the opposite–definitely worthwhile.


Most Views – Time-Lapse Photography by Ryan Chylinski

36,426 views and counting! Made entirely by the author. Selling books and worth it.


Best ThrillerThe Cancer Code by Andrew Findlay

Made from low-cost stock footage, rights-free music and has helped the Vimeo version rank on Google page 2 for the title’s keywords (a search term that attracts 74,000 searches a month) in just a few weeks. It all works, this stuff! (Yes, it does, Andrew. Well done.)


Best 4-Legged Friends genreJust One More Day by Geoff Bain

Pictures, text and music used in effective simplicity. Powerful result. Free to the author. Great promotional video.


Best CinematographyThe Publicist by Christina George

Received high marks for setting, live action, intrigue, music and overall effect.


Best Beyond Low BudgetToo Close by Elizabeth Krall

Extreme basics (only one image) accomplished in just 25 seconds! Made in less than two hours. Props for pushing boundaries on what we don’t like to think about but is entirely possible. Refreshingly disturbing, as one Amazon reviewer said.


Tips for how most of these videos could have been more effective on YouTube at converting viewers to book buyers:

  • better SEO in YouTube title with words like Book Trailer, Book Video to help YouTube’s search engine (world’s 2nd largest) link searchers to what they’re looking for. Unfortunately most authors don’t practice smart and simple SEO.
  • add hyperlinks in the description to the Amazon page or author’s website. This baffles me, but many authors do not include this even when those YouTube description hyperlinks become active.
  • higher view counts can be had with more promotion. Just because it’s on YouTube doesn’t mean people will see it. Authors must make the effort to direct traffic.

These small tips are displayed in this example video on YouTube.

Thoughts or comments? Do share.

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Smashwords Research 2013 Highlights

Smashwords 2013 sales graphWhen Smashwords CEO Mark Coker talks ebooks and sales, indie authors listen. Here are highlights from a recent study:

  • Most books don’t sell well, but those that do sell really well (how do you get that ball rolling?)
  • Longer Books sell better than shorts (top sellers averaged ~ 115,000 words)
  • books with Shorter Titles sell better than Longer Titles (just slightly)
  • $2.99 most common Price Point (not a surprise since 70% royalties begin there)
  • Low Price sells more (usually, but $1 to $1.99 is an under-performing price range)
  • Free Books still get downloaded like hotcakes
  • $3.99 is surprisingly good price point for sales
  • Indie Author advantages continue to strengthen over traditional model (well, yeah, good)

Mark Coker asks us to share this info. If you found it useful, share it with others. Click for original post.

Thoughts, comments?

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Writing Goals and Resolutions

From Indie Authors #38, Writing goals and New Year’s resolutions–how to make the most of them. Featuring host, Jason Matthews and manifesting expert, Jana Matthews, with authors, Alana Woods, Emily Hill and Lisa Grace.

Amazon Author Pages:
Emily Hill – http://www.amazon.com/Emily-Hill/e/B004GRK21A/
Alana Woods – http://www.amazon.com/Alana-Woods/e/B0061UWNN0/
Lisa Grace – http://www.amazon.com/Lisa-Grace/e/B003H8CMBW/
Jason Matthews – http://www.amazon.com/Jason-Matthews/e/B004A8W4BG/

Jana Matthews – http://newmoonmanifesting.com/
Emily Hill – http://www.EmilyHillWriter.com
Alana Woods – http://www.amazon.com/Alana-Woods/e/B0061UWNN0/
Lisa Grace – http://www.lisagracebooks.com/
Jason Matthews – http://ebooksuccess4free.webs.com

G+ Pages:
Jana Matthews – https://plus.google.com/101843370808029116484/posts
Emily Hill – https://plus.google.com/115897756622234367963/posts
Alana Woods – https://plus.google.com/114531688710125871848/posts
Lisa Grace – https://plus.google.com/103935289635198255908/posts
Jason Matthews – https://plus.google.com/117850331447734054313/posts

Click here for the home page of How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks All for Free.
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Addicted to Ebooks for Readers and Indies

Victorine E. LieskeVictorine E. Lieske knows ebooks. She’s a New York Times Bestselling Indie author, a fantastic cover designer, and an avid blogger for things related to publishing. She has sites dedicated to helping Indie writers achieve success like Why Isn’t My Book Selling? And she does all of this while running a busy household with four kids and a home-based business.

addicted to ebooksAddictedToEbooks is another Lieske creation, great for Indies to submit books and for readers to find diamonds in the rough. From the author;

I’ve always loved books, and the invention of the eReader was perfect for me. Now I can carry around all of my books in one little gadget. (I admit, I’m a gadget lover.) However, I quickly found out I could spend quite a bit of money on eBooks. This website is perfect for readers like me, who want to watch their book budget.

This website also allows the author to rate some of the content of their book. I want to know before I buy a book, what is the level of profanity, violence or sex within it. I’m excited that authors can now rate their books for the readers.

While we check the price of an eBook when we list it, prices do change quite often. Be sure to check the price before you purchase an eBook.

The Little Universe by Jason MatthewsMy novel, The Little Universe, has the honor of being a featured book today. There are some guidelines for submitting a book, namely theses:

1. Books must be$5.99 or less.

2. No Erotica at this time, sorry.

3. If it’s a short story, please be clear about that in the description.

4. Duplicate submissions are not allowed. Just submit a book once, thanks.

5. Books must have at least five reviews on the Amazon US website before you can submit.

6. After submitting your book, please share the website on Twitter and Facebook, and everywhere else you can think of to help spread the word. You’d want people to be sharing the website on the day you’re featured, so do the same for others!

At AddictedToEbooks, you can search for books by Content based on levels of profanity, violence and sex. You can search by Price and there is also a Free Kindle Section. It’s clearly one of the better sites I’ve seen for submissions, probably because it’s run by someone who cares about publishing and already has a large following. Makes sense to me. Stop by and submit a book or find a new gem to read.

Click here for the home page of How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks All for Free.
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NY Times Bestselling Indie Victorine Lieske Interview

This interview of NY Times Bestselling Indie author, Victorine Lieske, is packed with helpful information as Vicki shares the secrets of her success. Featuring host, Jason Matthews, also joined by R.M. Prioleau and Samantha Fury.

Victorine Lieske – http://www.indiebookcovers.blogspot.com/ http://booknotselling.blogspot.com/
R.M. Prioleau – http://www.RMPrioleau.com
Samantha Fury – http://www.samanthafury.com/http://samanthafury-authorsden.blogspot.com/
Jason Matthews – http://ebooksuccess4free.webs.com

G+ Pages:
Victorine Lieske – https://plus.google.com/105046030519207908520/posts
R.M. Prioleau – https://plus.google.com/109039979934042787673/posts
Samantha Fury – https://plus.google.com/101015850943623419980/posts
Jason Matthews – https://plus.google.com/117850331447734054313/posts

Amazon Author Pages:
Victorine Lieske – http://www.amazon.com/Victorine-E.-Lieske/e/B003J4VTKO/
R.M. Prioleau – http://www.amazon.com/R.-M.-Prioleau/e/B008I3ABFU/
Samantha Fury – http://www.amazon.com/Samantha-Fury/e/B00418GSVC/
Jason Matthews – http://www.amazon.com/Jason-Matthews/e/B004A8W4BG/

Click here for the home page of How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks All for Free.
Subscribe to this blog for updates on what Indie authors can do to sell ebooks.

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+Jason Matthews author

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