Create a YouTube channel and publish a video

YouTube channels can be handy for book trailers, videos of you being interviewed about your books, videos of your cats playing…whatever makes sense for your author and/or publisher persona. 🙂

Prerequisites

  • You already have a Google account, and therefore a YouTube account.
     
    If you have an existing Google account you want to use, you can log in to YouTube.com with that account.

    If you don’t have an existing Google account (or if you have one, but don’t want to use it), go to YouTube.com, click ‘Sign in’ in the top right-hand corner of the screen, then click ‘Create Account’ to create a new Google account.

  • You have a video to upload to your soon-to-be-created channel.

YouTube channel types

There are two types of YouTube channels:

  1. A personal channel owned by your Google account. Only you can manage this account.
  2. A channel owned by a Brand Account. Multiple people can manage a Brand Account.

YouTube allows you to create one channel owned by your Google account; all additional channels must be owned by a Brand Account.

You can move a channel to an existing Brand Account, so if you start off by creating a personal channel you can always move it to a Brand Account later if desired.

Note that creating a Brand Account also creates a Google Plus account.

Creating a YouTube channel

  • Sign in to YouTube.com
  • Click on your profile image in the top right-hand corner of the browser.
  • In the pop-up that appears, click the gear icon.
  • If you have no existing channels:
     

    • Click on “Create a new channel.”
    • A pop-up will appear asking how you want to use YouTube.

    • If you want to use your Google account, click ‘Create Channel.’

      If you want to create a Brand Account, click ‘Use a business or other name.’

    If you have one or more existing channels:

    • Click on “See all my channels or create a new channel.”
    • You’ll be taken to your channel list.

    • Click ‘Create a new channel.’ You’ll be asked to create a Brand Account.

    • Enter the desired name and create your Brand Account; this will also create your channel.

Upload a video to a YouTube channel

Select either your Google account or, if you have one or more Brand Accounts, the appropriate Brand Account. Make sure the profile icon in the top right-hand corner of the page matches the account/channel you want to upload your video to.

  • Click on the upload icon at the top of the page.

  • Click on ‘Select files to upload’ and navigate to your video, or drag and drop your video file.
  • Select the visibility for the video; the default is Public.
  • Enter whatever values you’d like – a description, tags, etc.

  • Click ‘Publish’ to publish the video to your channel.

References

Adding a video to your Goodreads author page

Videos will appear in the left sidebar on your Goodreads author page, underneath your profile photo and the list of your followers.

Prerequisites

  • You already have a Goodreads author profile.
  • Your video is hosted on YouTube.com or Livestream.com.

Adding a video

  • Navigate to the ‘Add a Video’ page. There are two ways to get there.
    • Option #1
      • Go to your Goodreads author profile.
      • Click ‘Add New’ in the videos section in the left sidebar.
    • Option #2
      • Go to your author profile.
      • Click ‘Edit My Author Profile’ at the top of the right sidebar.
      • Click ‘videos’ in the left sidebar.

     

  • Add a title and the video URL (aka the URL from YouTube or Livestream).
  • Add a description if desired.
  • If your video is about a specific book, select the book.
  • Select the channel – trailer for a book trailer, etc.
  • Select tags for the video if appropriate.
  • Click ‘save’ to save your video.

Viewing and modifying your existing videos

  • Go to your author profile.
  • Click ‘Edit My Author Profile’ at the top of the right sidebar.
  • Click ‘videos’ in the left sidebar, and then your videos will be displayed.
     
  • To edit a video, click on the name of the video, then on “Edit this video.”
  • You can also add comments to your own videos by clicking on ‘Add a comment.’

Create a username for your Facebook page

When you create a new Facebook page, the URL will look something like this.

https://www.facebook.com/The-Beneath-the-Waves-bundle-432987423709780

And here’s the custom URL to the same page. beneath.the.waves.bundle is now the page’s username:

https://www.facebook.com/beneath.the.waves.bundle

You can set up a username for any page – your author page, a book page, your publishing press’ page, etc.

The username will appear below your page’s name and image in the left-hand sidebar.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Why create a username for your page?

  • It’s a lot easier to remember something like “beneath.the.waves.bundle” than “The-Beneath-the-Waves-bundle-432987423709780”.
  • It looks nicer. 🙂
  • Your page becomes more likely to show up in searches because of the way Facebook indexes information.
  • The URLs fb.me/your.username and m.me/your.username will be created. For example, http://fb.me/beneath.the.waves.bundle takes you directly to the Beneath the Waves bundle’s page, but http://fb.me/The-Beneath-the-Waves-bundle-432987423709780 (which uses the non-custom URL) does not – it just takes you to the main Facebook page.

Prerequisites

  • You have an existing page.
  • You’re an admin for this page.
  • The page does not already have a username (since it can’t be changed once set).

If you look around for other instructions, you may see comments saying your page needs to have 25+ fans before you can create a username. This may have been a requirement in the past, but I’ve successfully created usernames for several pages with less than 25 likes.

How to set up a custom username

IMPORTANT: You only get one chance to set a username. If you don’t like the one you selected, you can’t change it. So think through what you want ahead of time, and make sure you don’t accidentally make a typo!

  • Go to your page.
  • Click the three dots under your cover photo, then select Edit Page Info.
  • An ‘Edit your details’ window will pop up. Click on ‘See All Information’ at the bottom of this window.
  • In the About section, click on ‘Select a Username’.
  • Enter your desired username. If it’s not available, you’ll get a warning message.
     
    Username restrictions:

    • 5-50 characters long
    • Can only consist of alphanumeric characters and periods (dashes are not permitted).
    • Can’t contain generic terms or extensions, like .com or .net.
    • They’re not case-sensitive, so while you’re welcome to always type in lower/uppercase, both will work when someone types in the link to your page. The different case letters will, however, appear the way you entered them on your page (your username will be displayed at the top of the left-hand sidebar).
  • Click ‘Create username’ to save.
     

     

If you get an error message saying “This page isn’t eligible for a username.” try creating the username with another Facebook account. For example, you could give a friend temporary admin access to your page, have them create the username, then remove their access.

Important note

Facebook can remove your username because of inactivity. It’s unclear what ‘enough’ activity is 🙂 so just keep this in mind.

Reference

Facebook’s help page on creating usernames

Pinterest profile basics

There are several simple things you can do to customize your Pinterest profile to emphasize you as an author.

Prerequisite

You have an existing Pinterest account. This can be either a personal or a business account.

Steps

  • Log in to your author profile, then go to Settings.
     

     
  • Click on “Profile” on the left-hand side, or scroll down a little to get to the Profile settings section.
     

     
  • Your name should have been stored when you created your account. You can modify it here if you’d like.
    If your account is set up as a business account, the field name will say “Business Name” – but don’t let that confuse you. This is where your author name goes.
  • Select a unique username, which will be displayed in the URL for your Pinterest profile page. Remember that your readers will see this, so make it something that can easily be associated with you.
    In my case, I chose “jamieauthor,” so to get to my Pinterest profile page you’d type https://pinterest.com/jamieauthor.
  • Enter a short biography, or whatever text you deem appropriate, in the “About you” box. Note that this text is limited to 160 characters.
  • If you’d like to enter your location, it goes in the “Location” field. Note that this is a freeform text box, so if you enter “Planet Earth” that’s exactly what will be displayed on your profile page.
  • Enter your website. If you click the “Confirm Website” box, Pinterest will provide you HTML text that you can add to your site which will allow you to see what pins people save from your website, and will add your logo to any pin that comes from your site.
  • You can choose to showcase up to five boards, which means those boards will be displayed at the top of your profile page. One board will be displayed at a time, and the boards are automatically displayed in rotation.
     

     
  • Click on “Save Settings,” and you’re done!

Create an Amazon Author Page

An Amazon Author Page is very easy to set up, and requires little to no work to maintain after the teeny, tiny amount of time you spent setting it up in the first place.

Why have an Amazon Author Page?

Your Author Page lists all of your books in one place, making it easy for someone who likes one of your books to find other things you’ve written.

You can also add a biography, link to your blog so that previews of your blog posts are displayed, and add videos, photos, and events.

Once your Amazon Author Page exists, your name will appear as a link to your Author Page on any title you’ve published or participated in.

Readers can also find your page by searching for your name in the Books or Kindle Store categories – both your books and your Amazon Author Page will come up in the search results.

Prerequisites

You’ll need a regular Amazon account to sign up for Amazon Author Central. You can use your personal account, or create a new account that you’ll only use for your author persona. If you don’t have an account set up, or if you want to create a new one, you can create one during the steps below.

I created a separate author account so that I could keep the different mes separate, but it’s totally fine if you want to have only one account.

Steps to create your Amazon Author Page

  • Go to Amazon Author Central.
  • Click “Join Now.”
  • Sign in with your amazon.com account credentials.

    If you don’t have an existing Amazon account, select “I am a new customer” and create one.

  • Enter the name your books are published under. A list of books will be displayed. Select your books from this list.
     
    If no books are displayed, but you have one or more titles published on Amazon, you can search by title or ISBN.
  • After you select your book(s), Amazon will send a confirmation email to verify you’re really you.

Notes

  • If you write under more than one name, you’ll need to create a separate account for each name.
  • Every time you publish a new book, it should show up automatically on your Author Page. If it doesn’t, follow these steps to claim your title on Amazon.

Reference: Amazon’s help page on Setting Up Your Author Central Account

Linking your blog to your Amazon author profile

If you have an author blog, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t associate it with your Amazon author profile! Plus it’s super easy and quick.

  • Log in to Amazon Author Central.
  • author page.
  • Click on ‘add blog’.
  • Enter the RSS feed for your blog.

    In my case, my URL is http://jamieferguson.com/feed. The URL to your blog’s feed may be in a different format depending on how your website is set up.

Previews of your blog posts should start appearing on your Amazon author page within 24 hours. They’ll be in the Author Updates section, along with any videos and/or images you’ve uploaded. If someone clicks on one of the preview images, they’ll be directed to that post’s page on your website.

Setting up International Amazon Author Central pages

Just because you have an Amazon Author Central page doesn’t mean your page appears on all of the amazon.xx domains. But don’t panic! This is very easy to fix.

There are multiple Amazon.xx domains, but not all of them offer Author Central. This can and will change over time, so you’ll need to keep an eye on which domains do provide this option.

Here are the currently available Amazon Author Central sites.

Consider creating a profile on each of these sites.

Note that you don’t have to use the same content on each site, so if the French version of your bio contains a catchy French idiom, you can use that on your French profile and leave it off your German profile.

What to set up

  • Create an account with each site if necessary.
    Your existing Amazon Author Central credentials may work on the various international sites; if they don’t, you can create a new account for that country.
  • Your biography.
    You can use Google Translate, or another translation program, to convert your existing page’s biography to the desired language. If you know someone who speaks that language, it’s definitely worth confirming that the text translated correctly.
  • Configure your social media feeds for each site. Check the allowed feeds, and adjust your settings accordingly. For example, one Amazon site might not offer integration with your author blog, even if the others do.
  • Make sure to look at what content has/has not copied over. For example, my titles appear on my amazon.in author page, as does the video I posted recently – but my blog does not. Don’t assume something is/isn’t there – verify it.

(Note that India does not yet support Amazon Author Central pages – I just found it interesting that the video was there, but was not on my UK profile.)

Why set all this up?

You can have readers across the world, not just in whatever country you live in. Take advantage of this – and help your readers find you!!! 🙂

Adding a video to your Amazon author page

You can add up to eight videos to your Amazon author page. These can include book trailers, footage of your cats napping – anything is fair game as long as it adheres to Amazon’s content guidelines.

Prerequisites

  • You already have an Amazon author page.
  • Your video must be:
    • Less than 500 MB.
    • In one of the following formats: AVI, FLV, MOV, MPG, WMV, or MP4.
    • No more than 10 minutes long.
  • You have an actual video to upload; embedding videos on sites like YouTube is not supported.

Adding a video

Note that the URLs will vary if you’re editing your author page on one of the other Amazon sites (.co.uk, .de, etc.).

  • Log in to Amazon Author Central.
  • Click on Author Profile in the menu at the top of the page.
  • In the Videos section at the bottom of the right sidebar, click “add video.”
  • Select your file, confirm your acceptance of the terms & conditions, and click “Upload video.”
  • Wait. 🙂

It can take up to 24 hours for your video to be processed and displayed on your author page. Amazon will send you an email when this is complete.

The video will be displayed in the Author Updates section underneath the scrolling display of book cover images.

An image will be randomly selected from the beginning of the video to use for the still image that appears when the video isn’t playing.

Reference: Amazon’s help page on uploading videos.

Linking your blog to your Goodreads author profile

There are two options for displaying your blog on Goodreads.

  1. Link your existing blog to your author profile.
  2. Create a blog on Goodreads as part of your author profile.

     
    If you don’t have an author website, and don’t plan to have one, option #2 may be for you. If, however, you do have or plan to have your own website, it’s very quick and easy to link your blog to your author profile on Goodreads.

    Your blog posts will be displayed underneath the biography section on your author profile page.


     
     

    Note: If you’re interested in how I got the social media buttons to display at the top of my bio, instructions are in this post:
    Adding social media buttons to your Goodreads author profile

    Here’s what the reader will see if they click on the name of your blog, which appears in between your biography and your blog posts on your author profile.

    How to link your blog to your author profile

    • Log in to your Goodreads author account, and edit your author profile.
    • On the right-hand side of the screen, click on the “edit blog” link.
    • The “Editing Your Blog” page is displayed.
       

       
      You want to link to your existing blog, so ignore the Title and Description fields.
       
      On the right-hand side there’s an option to set an “External blog feed URL.” This is where you’ll post the link to your blog’s feed (i.e. the stream of posts on your blog). Enter your URL.
       
      In my case, my URL is http://jamieferguson.com/feed. The URL to your blog’s feed may be in a different format depending on how your website is set up.
    • There will be one option: “Show full post.” Select this if you want the complete text of each post to display on Goodreads. If you don’t select this, readers will only see the first part of your post, and will have to expand to view the complete text.
       
      I’ve chosen to not display the full posts in order to have more of my posts appear on the screen, but either option is fine.
    • Click “Add Feed,” and you’re done!

Using Jetpack’s “Related Posts” feature

Jetpack is a WordPress plugin that packages a number of features that are provided to people whose sites are hosted on WordPress.com. If you’re hosting your site on WordPress.com, you already have these features; if you’re hosting your site somewhere, you will need to install the Jetpack plugin (which is free).

The Related Posts feature analyzes previous posts you’ve published on your site, then underneath each individual post it displays links to three other posts that are related to your current post.

If you’ve set a featured image for a post, that’s what will display when it’s listed as a related post; otherwise, an image attached to the post will be used. The image will be resized and cropped to be 350x200px.

Note that if the contextual analysis doesn’t come up with at least three good results, no related posts will be displayed.

Activate Related Posts

In the administrative section of your WordPress site:

  • Go to Jetpack / Settings / Traffic
  • Under Related posts, turn on “Show related content after posts”

There are two configuration options listed:

  • Show a “Related” header to more clearly separate the related section from posts
  • Use a large and visually striking layout
    (This will display an image from each related post.)

Note: When I turn ‘Show a “Related” header’ on, that actually turns it off – although it correctly displays in the preview while you’re configuring Jetpack. 🙂

Here are examples of how the different permutations will look.

No header, no images

“Related” header, no images

No header, display images

“Related” header, display images

Customize Related Posts for your site

You can customize what image is displayed, how the image is resized, change the “Related” header text, modify how many related posts are displayed, and a number of other things.

Most of these changes require modifying your WordPress theme, so make sure you’re comfortable with that (and that you’ve backed up your site!) before proceeding. Jetpack provides detailed instructions on how to modify your WordPress theme on their site.