Wednesday, January 15, 2014

5 Benefits of Making a Debut Novel Delivery Video by Keli Gwyn

I came across a fun video of historical romance author Keli Gwyn celebrating receiving the first copies of her debut novel A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California (one I recommend reading, BTW). I asked Keli to relate her experience. Please take a few minutes to watch the video, then she'll explain some of the benefits she's received from it. -- Sandy

Keli: I love reading blog posts and seeing Facebook status updates written by writers who are holding their debut novels in their hands for the first time. Their joy is evident.

In the days when I was a newbie writer dreaming of publication, such messages inspired me, encouraged me, and spurred me on. I have a hunch others feel the same way.

Reasons for the Video

When the day of my debut novel’s delivery drew near, I got to thinking about capturing that milestone moment in action. So many people had supported me, helped me, and prayed for me that I thought it could be a way for them to share in the culmination of my dream, one they helped foster and bring to fruition.

Reactions to the Video

A good number of my friends watched the video on Facebook, liking it and commenting on it, both writer and non-writer friends. Several thanked me for sharing, with many remarking how watching me tear up had them reaching for tissues as well.

Results of the Video

Sandra asked me what marketing effects the video had. I don’t think it attracted any new readers. Those who said they planned to buy the book already intended to. Thus, making a video like this isn’t a very effective marketing strategy.

So, what good is a First Look video?

Here are five benefits.

1. A First Look video captures an author’s excitement and serves as motivation for those who dream of holding their debut novels in their hands. Since I’m all about encouragement, this aspect is important to me.

2. Most people have a dream. Watching the joy another dreamer felt when that dream became reality can serve as inspiration. If my video encourages one person to pick up a paintbrush, enroll in a photography class or seek a piano teacher, it will have served an important purpose.

3. Many non-writers don’t understand all that goes into getting a book into readers’ hands. A First Look video like this lets them get a feel for the glee reaching our goals means to us.

4. A video is a way to become a real person, instead of a two-dimensional image on a screen. Some of those who watched the video remarked about how fun it was to get a feel for what my dear Gwynly and I are really like.

5. A First Look video captures an important moment in a writer’s life. We writers know there can be down days when we doubt we’ll sell a book. Published authors may doubt we’ll sell another book. I know. It’s been three years since my debut novel was contracted. During those times when discouragement came calling, I could watch the video and remember why I’m writing: for the pleasure it brings me and my someday readers.

What was your reaction as you watched the video? Can you see other benefits to making one?

(By the way, Keli just signed a contract for a Love Inspired Historical. Congratulations, Keli!)


Keli Gwyn writes stories that transport readers to the 1800s, where she brings historic towns to life, peoples them with colorful characters, and adds a hint of humor. A California native, she lives in the Gold Rush-era town of Placerville at the foot of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains. Her debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, set in the heart of the Gold Country is currently available at all major booksellers.
When Keli’s fingers aren’t hovering over the keyboard of her newfangled laptop, she enjoys strolling past stately Victorian houses in her historic town, burying her nose in reference books as she unearths interesting facts to include in her stories, and interacting with other romance readers. Her favorite places to visit are her fictional worlds, historical museums, and the Coach Factory Outlet Store.