Testing Book Trailers, Part 2
by Dawn Carrington
If you decided to follow the advice on testing a book trailer that I offered last month, you may be eager by now to track your video’s effects on sales. You can begin to trace sales to a video when it’s been in circulation for a month, but to do that you’ll need more than your current sales sheets.
You’ll have to have points of reference. How were the book’s sales in each venue before you began the video campaign? Which venue provided you with the most income before the video launched? Collect your Web stats for the prelaunch month or, even better, for the previous two or three months, and make a list of the places where most of your traffic came from during that period.
When the video has been out for a month, review the list of external sites. Write down the places where you know you had your video uploaded. Count the direct click-throughs you received as a result. On the days when people clicked through, did sales increase?
Then check monthly sales stats from your Web site and your trading partners. Have there been any bumps in sales at Amazon, for example, or to wholesalers or retailers? If so, which venues showed an increase?
What if your Web site hits increased exponentially, but you’re not sure if they equated to an increase in sales? First, congratulations on the increase. Exposure is always a good thing, and the more people you can bring to your site, the better your chances of turning visits into sales.
The process of turning hits into sales involves giving your readers/visitors a reason to buy your books after viewing the book trailer. Go back to the places where you uploaded the video and add an insert in the information guide: If you’ve watched this video and would like to buy the book, visit our Web site and use this code for a 10 percent discount.
Those people who have commented on your video? Post a comment on their YouTube sites or their Vimeo pages with the same offer.
Head on over to the referral sites and offer the same value. For example, since we sell romance books (among other kinds), we get a lot of traffic from The Romance Studio. If our hits have increased because of a video, I’ll post a quick note to the visitors at theromancestudio.com, letting them know they can watch the book video and get our books at a discount.
Digging to See If It Worked
As you evaluate the effects of your video, ask others—and yourself—some questions.
• Ask your readers—via your blog, Facebook, or however you talk to them—if they purchased any of your books because of the video, or if they were in any way influenced by it.
• If they answer Yes, ask them where they purchased your book. It’s worth pressing for answers, because what readers report could have a major impact on whether you choose to utilize book videos again.
• Ask your authors where most traffic to their sites is coming from according to their Web stats. Were any visitors referred directly from the video? Have the authors received any new positive reviews or ratings at places such as Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, or Fictionwise?
• Consider asking other publishers who use videos whether they believe their sales have been directly impacted and whether they can give you additional tips on how to evaluate results.
In light of all the information you’ve gathered, ask yourself whether any additional money you made from the video compensated for the work and the modest amount of money you put into it. Weigh the evidence carefully before you decide to keep using videos. And if you do have positive results with your book video campaign, as we have had, please let me know. I’d love to congratulate you.
Dawn Carrington is editor-in-chief at Vintage Romance Publishing. To learn more, visit vrpublishing.com, or find her at facebook.com/vintage2004.