Put a Video Trailer on Amazon’s Author Central

Author Central


I created an author video and uploaded it to Amazon’s Author Central today. If interested, you can check it out on my author page:


It’s incredibly simple: You just make a video, upload it to Author Central, and wait up to 24 hours for the video to be processed and approved (mine showed up on Amazon in less than an hour).

On the background, you can see a white dry erase board installed in a spare bedroom. I used a Sony camcorder (surprisingly small and inexpensive, compared to 20 years ago), which recorded the video in MP4 format. If you have a smartphone, you might be able to use that instead. Or maybe you can borrow a recording device from someone. Many computers even come with basic video editing software, in case you need to edit the video or add effects. (Though sometimes keeping it simple works best.)

I mounted the camcorder on a tripod, adjusted the angle, level, and zoom. When I was done, it was easy to transfer onto my computer and then upload to Amazon.

For me, the ‘hard’ part was the ‘simple’ things that I had never thought about before:

  • It’s allergy season, so I was trying desperately all morning not to rub my eyes and make them any redder.
  • Unlike writing a book, you have to give a little thought to your appearance.
  • Lighting, reflection, shadows. Sunlight entering through windows, overhead lights, not too bright, not too dark, reflection from lights on the dry erase board. It takes some thought, patience, and effort to combat these issues.
  • Noise pollution. If you’re writing, noises disrupt your concentration and train of thought. But if you’re filming a video, you have to do another take. Even if you wait until the house is empty, the phone or doorbell will surely ring, or a garbage truck will stop by.
  • Then you have to figure out what you’re going to do or say. I got all my props together (books, since it’s my author video), placed them nearby with bookmarks in key pages, turned my Kindles on and opened books (just before pressing record), and wrote some words on the dry erase board in the background.
  • I found myself a little camera shy at first. Surprisingly, for me it’s easier to stand in front of 80 students than it is to stand in front of the camera. (Normally, I find it difficult to be among large groups of people, yet somehow I love to be in a large class and teach.)

Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t let authors post book trailers on the product pages. But you can post an author video (or book trailer) on your author page.

The author video doesn’t show up on your product page. But if a customer clicks on your author profile from your product page, in order to pull up your author page, your author video will show up on your author page.

(Evidently, Amazon can ‘invite’ an author to post a book trailer on a product page. Good luck receiving an invitation. The next best thing, which requires no invitation, is to post a video on your author page.)

Do you have an author video on Amazon? If so, please post a link to your Amazon author page so that we may check it out.

I actually installed the dry erase board and invested in the camcorder so that I could create books with instructional videos. The free Kindle Textbook Creator tool allows you to embed videos in your Kindle e-books. I’m going to try it out with some math and science e-books. You may see a post about embedding video in an e-book in the near future.

Write happy, be happy. πŸ™‚

Chris McMullen

CopyrightΒ Β© 2015

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.


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22 comments on “Put a Video Trailer on Amazon’s Author Central

  1. Well done Chris! Your video is cool! I didnt realise you had written so many books… kudos to you! I dont have so many books to show, but maybe I could do a reading from one of my books instead…

    • Thank you. The way I feel is if a prospective reader finds your author video on your author page and plays it, they want to learn more about you or your books. Anything that accomplishes this in a way that it inspires most to then check out your books is a plus. If you try it, I hope it works well for you. πŸ™‚

  2. I can’t wait to see what you’re going to do when you write fiction!

    Sadly, my homeschooling days are long over – so I don’t need your workbooks, but will recommend them if anyone asks.

    It was nice to see you live and kicking – human peoples write books.

    I wouldn’t have thought of this one, but it’s a great idea.

    • I’m in the habit of writing nonfiction, so it’s easy to get in a groove where it just rolls of my fingers, and I have the confidence to go with it. Fiction is a challenge to my habits, but I’ll get there, though perhaps slowly.

      That’s a great thing about the author video: your humanity shows through. That can also be a scary thing about the author video. But we shouldn’t be afraid of being human. πŸ™‚

      • Competence in a physics teacher is a visual thing – if he looks and sounds as if he knows what he’s talking about, that’s good enough.

        Fiction, however, can be and is written by very shy souls with great imaginations, and all kinds of other people who would not look good on video.

        I’m glad you did it – it was fun seeing you.

    • That’s a good idea. It looks like there may be value in what will show for the video image, i.e. if you want to provide a visual clue about what to expect in the various videos. I wonder what the video limit is; it’s 8 for photos. Thank you for sharing a link to your videos. πŸ™‚

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