By and large the author promo videos I see on many websites do more harm than good. They are nothing more than the author sitting in front of a scratchy web cam bragging about the book. If you want to be professional, I would consider creating a high definition 3D author promo video.
The trick behind a quality video is your message and the effect. The message has to be a story, it has to invoke emotion.
Books, by and large are an impulse buy. A customer will come across your book and find it interesting in 7 seconds or less. During that time, the customer will determine if he is willing to shell out 15 bucks for your book. These kinds of sales are best done when you can invoke some kind of spark or emotion from the customer.
As for the effect of a video, avoid using common programs like Windows Movie Maker (WMM). Sure, WMM is easy to use, but it’s too common. So common in fact, that the videos I have created by comparison make just about any WMM movie look cheesy. Invest a few hundred dollars in a quality program (or contract to someone who does). The extra money spend will make your video stand out from the rest.
Not only will it help you sell more books, but a great video can get lots of hits on popular video sites like YouTube and Vimeo, you can actually capture interest in your book from people who would have never visited your website.
Michael Volkin is the author of Social Networking for Authors-Untapped Possibilities for Wealth, a new book that helps authors sell books online.