9.19.2006

This is cool

Smart people are finding all sorts of ways to promote their books.

It's a youtube video promo. Get ready, this is the wave of the future.


Oh wait...I think I read that somewhere before!

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think video promos are a nifty idea. Whether they're effective--who knows?

My advertising experience tells me that most of these trailers are too long, though. When you're dealing with low production values and on-screen type, you really shouldn't have a two-minute trailer. (Or, God forbid, longer. One poor author had a four-minute trailer on his site.) Think about the spots you see on TV. We're talking 30 seconds to one minute max.

zdaddyo said...

I watched one of those video promos and it made me want to run away screaming. It was like a Ken Burns documentary, only really bad. Panning across stills, awful colors and a droning voice going on and on. If it is indicative of how video promos are going to end up, count me out. Bleah.

Jennifer Ashley said...

Book trailers have been around for a couple of years. Circle of Seven makes many for authors, and Christine Feehan uses them on her site quite a bit. I did one back in their infancy--I have no idea whether it affected sales, but granted, it was just made to sit on my web site. (My trailers lasted about 15 seconds, if that). With something like Utube, there's more possibility of reaching an audience, I suppose. But so many factors go into book sales (like where it's placed in stores, the title, the cover, the subject matter, the author's name, etc etc etc). I've had books do very well with little promo and less well with lots of promo. So who knows?

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen one video promo yet that wasn't completely lame. Granted, I've only seen 4, but still. Lame.

Ben W in PDX said...

being in marketing I can tell you that these will be marginally effective at best. For the most part, it's just more noise (making such ads even less effective).

xiqay said...

Wow. I was impressed with the quality of the YouTube promo. Very high class.

When it comes to marketing, I think it's good to try a variety of avenues. I've got no problem with these (except I'm technologically challenged).

BTW, I watched this one with the sound off, my preference generally. Visuals need to work without sound, imho. This one does.

Anonymous said...

Meh. This promo puts me off. It doesn't tell me anything about the book, except it has a concept that's been done, done, done. What's the unique angle? This just seems like a retro movie of the week ad that's trying to manipulate me into thinking... ooh, that's scary. Instead I'm thinking... ooh, that's cheesy and corny.

kellie said...

I think a trailer like this would work much better for some books than others. For your "mainstream" fiction or chick lit book, it might not help much, but for genre fiction or maybe even nonfiction with a mostly internet-savvy customer base, it could be a really effective tool. I only wish I'd thought of it first.

Michele said...

I agree they are too long. But I like the idea. Mostly because I have all the equipment and some vid-editing experience (probably a recipe for disaster).

Anyway, once you have a snappy vid, the question is placement. Where do you put these things besides Youtube and how much to you spend?

Helen Ginger said...

I think this could be effective, for certain books aimed at a certain audience (in this case, those that frequent YouTube). I didn't delve further into the book, but it looks like true crime.

The video basically seemed like the cover teaser with sound and images.

I think it'd be worth the try, although I haven't a clue how to do it. I'm still struggling with updating my website.

RainSplats said...

I read faster than videos read to me. I can't stand books on tape for the same reason--too slow!

TMack said...

Helen Ginger, unlike you, I have no idea whatsoever how to update a website. But, iMAC users can put together a book trailer (with varying degrees of success) in imovie. The software comes with the computer.

As for its practical application and/or effectiveness as an advertising tool, I wonder, how is this any different than the junk email I block and delete.

I guess someone must be buying the spam viagra, sex toys, stocks and bonds because they keep on trying.

Janet Black said...

As long as they are a novelty they might sell a few hundred copies. When the idea is a cliche people will ignore them like any other commercial. Of course, commercials can be quite clever on occasion and even win advertising awards.

katiesandwich said...

I am the self-proclaimed nitwit of the day. How the hell do you get the damn thing to play? I got on there, turned the sound up, and waited, then clicked on a bunch of different buttons, but nothing happened. Same with the last time I clicked on a link that led me to YouTube. If this is the wave of the future, I'm going to need an intertube to stay afloat! (Can any of you teach me how to swim?!)

Chumplet said...

I've seen spots on TV. Thirty seconds should do the trick. The one I saw was for an established author. Or it could have been Dan Brown, I don't remember...

Anonymous said...

in the mid 90s people got all excited about stuff like this, wet their pants over "push technology"--anybody heard anything about push technology lately? thought not.

Barbjn said...

This kind of stuff can be very effective for kids' books. Use the art and create a small, short animation to make a small trailer. I hope to try it for my own book, if I can manage to figure out the web stuff by then--no small feat for those of us who are digitally challenged.

I like the idea of using this media savvy technology to get people to lose themselves in books. It's a worthy cause. Why leave all this fun stuff only for the pulp of TV?

Check out studiojjk.com, for example.

barbjn

Miss P said...

I agree that Youtube and vids are going to be a new wave in book promo. I think the 15 second trailers that sit on an author's website are more likely to impact a potential buyer.

Youtube, specifically, is fun because the videos are cheesy and fun. The higher the cheesy fun factor, the more they're passed around. I'm not certain a straight ad (like this one) will have the viral impact that the average Youtube vid would.

Bk30 said...

I think this is a bad idea for kids. Most don't want to read as it is..they would rather wait for the movie. If you run an ad the way you would for a movie or new show, they will wait to watch; Not buy the book.

salty said...

gonna have to try that...

Rebecca said...

Awesome!!!

Anonymous said...

Like another poster said, this told me nothing about the book. And I haven't seen one book video yet that has made me want to buy the book (if anything, I click away from the page to get away from the dreadful video). All the ones I have seen have been pretty cheesy and poorly made. Even the ones from Vidlit don't impress me at all. Now, if someone like Spieldberg created one, then I'm sure that would be another story.

Anonymous said...

from most comments, as with anything new, they're negative. Remember the first computer and how the 'boomers' balked at it? Welcome to the 21st century folks. This has taken off and will only grow, refine, cut, edit, delete, primp and prime for more effect advertising to the masses.

Corn Dog said...

I know I'm vision impaired but I swear that thing looked like a tampon floating around at the end. I never could figure out what it was. And what was with the woman with the Minnie Mouse voice who kept saying, "Hello...Hello...Hello" while the theme song from Dragnet played? Two thumbs down. "Inattention" indeed, to something like maybe making a video.

xiqay said...

KatieSandwich,

I just clicked on the link on Miss Snark's blog. And waited. And the video started. Don't have to do anything. Perhaps you have dial-up (which means it takes longer to download).

(from one Luddite to another)

Ray Goldensundrop said...

Need the movie trailer announcer dude and a cute talking gecko.

"In a world where people in a room catch on fire, one small lizard struggles for truth . . . "

"Ello luv, want to save on yor cah insurance?"

"This time, it's payback!"

"Whot, it's as easy as pie and chips."

Foosh, the cute gecko bursts into flames.

"IIII-EEEEE!"

"Truth Waits for No Lizard! Coming this fall to a B&N near you."

M.E Ellis said...

I have one of these made for my book Quits, and one being made for my print release, Pervalism.

I think the only reason sales went up on 'Quits' after the trailer release was the mention of my royalties going to the NSPCC. I doubt very much the trailer itself urged anyone to buy the book, though it's fun and something to keep for the memories of what you've achieved in the writing world and your life.

:o)

BuffySquirrel said...

So slow. I can't sit through that.

Richard said...

Folks, meet the champion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YZMyDZmvfA

I'm not sure what's weirder - the idea that hitting himself in the face with shaving foam custard pies will help sell his deeply scary sounding Christian teen novel series (PA, of course), or the fact that he took time out to mark videos of half naked women doing likewise as his favourites.

Either way, it's - ah - different...

JDuncan said...

I read somewhere, some editor's site I think about this whole youtube thing, and my understanding from what he said was that it was a great buzz when it first came out, but now it's a saturated market and thus a boring seen-that-done-that kind of thing. It would take something fairly unique to catch folks attention and have it actually get passed around and generate any buzz, otherwise it's mostly a waste of effort.

TMack said...

katiesandwich, the video loads and plays automatically when I get to the page. I don't have to do anything.

If you see a "play" arrow on the bottom left of the vid screen, click it. If you see the "pause" icon, however (like I do), the video should be in the process of loading and/or playing.

Beyond that I don't know.

katiesandwich said...

Well, to those who tried to help me... I DO have dial-up, so now I know my problem. Curse Verizon and their not providing DSL to those of us who live in the sticks!

Anonymous said...

I find video promos for books kind of pointless. They have a lot of fluff but don't really tell you what the book is about. I would much rather just read the inside cover or back of the book (whatever the case may be) to see if it peaks my interest.

Peter L. Winkler said...

I'm getting lonelygirl15 to do my book ad.

To paraphrase Fran Leibowitz, the idea of using TV to get people to read is rather ridiculous.

Southern Writer said...

I created one. It was fun as hell. You don't have to drag me kicking and screaming into the 21st century. I'd stand in the middle of Times Square totally naked on the coldest day in January, if it would raise interest in my book.

Video trailers are a marketing tool. There are a lot of hurdles in this business. Hurdle #1 is that agents want clients who write well. But it's not enough! Hurdle #2 is that publishers want authors with a platform. We're all begging to be published, and it doesn't matter a rat's ass whether or not we agree with what publishers ask of us; they're the only ones with the power to make our dream come true. We either get with the program, or get left behind.

And I don't believe the market is saturated with trailers. I've seen maybe ten, and two of those are brand spanking new. Out of thousands of writers, how can that be saturation?