Videos for Readers: 5 Steps to Video Success

I'm making videos again—specifically, videos for readers.

What is a Video for Readers? Simply put, it's a book blurb that's a mini movie.

Today, I have 5 Steps to Video Success to help you make a video too whether for a book or other project. 

I've done many videos over the years for myself and for others, but only a couple in the last few years due to circumstances beyond my control.


I was cleaning up my Playlists this weekend and noticed the thousands of views some of my past videos received. I watched them all on my Smart TV and remembered how much fun I had making them.

I set a goal to make more because I have a lot more books I've written plus so much more information to share about blogging, writing, and publishing.

As with any new goal, one must immediately take action. So I made a video for STONE ANGEL, my Kindle Vella that currently has 55 episodes available. Today, I'll be publishing episode 56 aka Chapter 56 of this paranormal romantic thriller.


Can a Video sell books? Not usually.

So why make them?

They can bring attention to your book and increase name recognition hat's always a good thing.

Personally, I make them because it's fun. I love presenting the emotion, tone, and premise of a book in a mini-movie.

I carefully choose the images, music, and text into the perfect package to represent my vision of a book or an idea.

I've done several videos for box sets in which I participate. I leave the video up even if the box set is no longer available because each individual book mentioned in the video is still available for sale. In the description of those videos, I encourage viewers to visit the respective authors' book pages.

Now, let me give you some tips on video production. 

Come back tomorrow, and I'll give a step by step breakdown of my new video for STONE ANGEL and how it fits my 5 step formula.


1. Focus

A book blurb can't tell everything about a book just as a movie trailer can't reveal everything about a movie.

It follows that a video for readers can't tell everything either. A book video should be focused on the main points like that 1-2 sentence concise summary every author should write for his/her book.

A good video should showcase: main character, goal, conflict, genre, tone, author style, and a good ending hook that makes a reader want to know more—wants to click the book link in the description and go grab it from Amazon or wherever it's sold.

2. Visual representation

How do you show all of that—character, goal, conflict, genre, tone, author style, ending hook—in a video? Especially in a 30-60 second video which is the ideal now. You select images that portray all of that.

Images that look like your character as you imagined him/her physically. Images that show conflict in action. Images that can represent the genre and the tone. An image that creates a stunning ending hook.

3. Text

In most book videos, you'll find text either as voice over, text on the screen, or a combination. Use the fewest words possible and make them resonate with the reader. Make them memorable. Avoid the mundane. Think sound bite. This is the element that can show the author's voice, tone of the book, and genre.

4. Music

The music you choose is critical and can establish the tone of the book, the genre, set the mood, and captivate the viewer.

5. Length  and Attention Span

I touched on Length in #2. My first video was for Old Enough to Know Better, produced in 2013, was over 2 minutes long yet it still had over 1,400 views. In the ensuing year, attention spans have grown shorter, and video length has had to adjust.

Call it the TikTok effect if you wish, but videos for books over a minute in length rarely get watched from beginning to end. Your video should aim at 60 seconds. Yes, it's difficult. That's why focus is so important.


Come back tomorrow for the breakdown, step by step, of my video for STONE ANGEL . I'll show you how it fits my 5 step formula and also give other tips to help you either create a video or know what a good visualization of your book should look like in case you decide to pay someone to make a video for you.

Joan Reeves participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for websites to earn advertising fees by linking to products on Amazon.