Video: I Am a Cat

Here’s a cute little video. A celebration of both individuality and community, I Am a Cat by Galia Bernstein shows we’re all more alike than we think… if we look closely enough.

If you’d like to share this video on your site, here’s the embed code:

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allow=”autoplay; encrypted-media” allowfullscreen></iframe>


Video: The Digger and the Flower

Each day, the big trucks go to work. They scoop and hoist and push. But when Digger discovers something growing in the rubble, he sets in motion a series of events that will change him, and the city, forever.

The Digger and the Flower is a new book with a powerful message about the environment from Joseph Kuefler, the author/artist of Beyond the Pond and Rulers of the Playground. This video would be good to share with your story time audience, or teachers of younger classrooms.

Kuefler has an impressive website at and is active on Twitter @josephkuefler.

Cameras at the ready…

A few weeks ago, I was asked to produce a video highlighting all of the 2017 events hosted through my public radio station. The development department wanted to include it in an email encouraging year-end donations. It was a great idea except for two small issues: 1) we had no video footage, and 2) the request arrived on December 27.

Fortunately, we did have quite a few still images and I was able to pull together a slideshow video of sorts. 

Since Mark Zuckerberg continues to push video first across his Facebook family of apps, I continue to think that original video content is important for bookstores to attain higher reach to their followers.

This video really doesn’t consist of much more than photos, royalty-free music, and the ability to tap out an 8-count. I created it in Adobe Premiere, but there are many other programs available. My daughter likes iMovie.

I did resize all of my images to 1920 x 1080 pixels, because that’s the 16:9 ratio that I use for video, too. That way if I did want to incorporate both video and stills, I could maintain the same screen size throughout the video.

Once I had the images gathered and sized, I pulled this video together in about a day. So the main message I’d like to convey is this: Get your cameras ready! It was so affirming to see a year’s worth of events in one place. A year-end video is a nice way to remind your customers of everything you do for the community. But the only way you can do so is if you take photos at your events throughout the year, so take 300 seconds and add “take photos” to your events checklist. And when each event is over, you can process them in Facebook albums or save them in a file for easy collection at the end of the year.

And this is when I turn a corner with my thinking. It took me a day to gather the images, a day to resize them, and a day to produce the video. While I can’t produce a video for everyone, I think I could produce three next December. So, if you would like to enter you bookstore in a video-production giveaway, highlighting your store’s activities and accomplishments for 2018, complete this form. I’ll do a random drawing for three winners on February 1.

Keep in mind, if your store is selected you’ll have to do your end of the bargain: Take photos! Take pics of your staff. Take pics of authors. Take pics of your customers. They really like to see themselves included in social media like this. Remember to follow the photo release guidelines you have set up for your store, especially if kids are involved. And if you win, I’ll set up a Dropbox folder for your store so we can collect the images throughout the year.

Get those cameras ready! And good luck.

New Rules of Engagement Bait

Gone are the days when Facebook was solely used to keep up with direct friends. It seems as our newsfeeds are now cluttered with links to quizzes, articles, and the like that we did not ask to see. Facebook users complained. And Facebook listened. 

Late last month, Facebook announced their new aim to fight the use of engagement bait. Engagement bait is a tactic used by Facebook Page users who seek to gain more likes, comments, and shares by using phrases such as “LIKE this if you agree!”

To combat this, Facebook will demote posts that use engagement bait to seek more authentic engagement. Not only will this affect individual posts, but Facebook will be enforcing tougher demotions on Pages that repeatedly use engagement bait. 

So how does this affect your bookstore? If your social media strategy uses this tactic to engage your readers, then you may see a decrease in Page and post reach. To avoid being demoted by the algorithm, try sharing posts that garner a more natural engagement. Your followers love to see your bookselling faces, and if you post more of them, the likes and shares should come naturally.

Or you can always post a picture of your cat.

Sharing Without Selling

It can sometimes be difficult to determine how much and what to share socially during the holidays. You don’t want every post to seem like a hard-sell or call-to-action. And when you get this close to the selling deadline, it seems that a post showing “back in stock!” in-demand items are the only safe bet.

City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, NC, recently shared a video that was a nice blend of information with a subtle reminder that books make great gifts. And it solves a common 11th hour problem. The diagonal wrapping technique demonstrated in the video shows last-minute wrappers how to make not-enough-paper into just-enough-paper.

And when the post continues with information about the great wrapping paper selections the store has on-hand, the wrapping service, and the hours that day, it’s almost unrecognizable as a sales tactic.

Well done, City Lights Bookstore. Well done.