Wasted Trailers

The first annual Moby Awards for the best and worst in book trailers recently announced their winners.

One of the award categories was “Least Likely Trailer to Sell the Book.” The winner of this award went to Sounds of Murder by Patricia Rockwell. The video has since been removed from YouTube (I guess the author wasn’t happy about the award).

I personally think that the following book video should have been nominated and should have won the “Least Likely Trailer to Sell the Book” in the Moby Awards.

While this trailer has received over 500 views on YouTube, the book has not yet garnered one review on Amazon.com. The author went to some trouble to put together a book video. Too bad he hasn’t made the effort to find just one of his friends to post a review on Amazon.

Self-published authors, take a few lessons from this author’s missteps.

First, make sure your book has an awesome cover design that draws a potential reader to it. Your book cover is one of your most important marketing tools.

Second, make sure you have some friends who are willing to post reviews of your book on the major online bookstores such as Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

Third, don’t let your book’s promotional video be eligible to win the “Least Likely Trailer to Sell the Book” category in the Moby Awards.

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Everybody Likes to Watch

Last year Pew, a research company, found that 62 percent of surveyed adult American’s reported that they watch videos on online video sites such as YouTube.

This study revealed that video watching is more prevalent than social networking – only 46 percent of adult American’s surveyed said they were active on social networking sites. Another study by Princeton Survey Research International last year showed that same results.

Video watching online is popular.

What do these statistics mean for authors and publishers promoting books online?

A promotional book video has become an essential ingredient in an effective online book marketing campaign.

To be most effective, book videos – much like movie trailers – should only be 30 to 60 seconds in length. Internet users’ attention spans are short. They want their information in sound bites.

Recognizing the growth of promotional book videos, ForeWord Reviews is hosting a Book Trailer Contest. This contest is open to any author or publisher of an independently published book.

The winning book trailer will be determined by public vote. However, all promotional book videos entered in the contest will receive some great publicity as they all will be shown at the Indie Press Lounge at Book Expo America in New York in May.

The deadline to submit your promotional book video in the contest is May 15, 2010. Contest details and where to submit your video can be found here.

Of course, don’t just enter your book trailer in ForeWord Reviews’ contest. If you have a promotional book video, make sure to place it on as many video sharing websites as you can. The more places you post it, the higher the chances it will be watched and you will score more book sales.

Some great places to post your promotional book video include:

Enter your promotional book video in the ForeWord Reviews‘ contest and then head on over to Christian Book Videos or one of the other book video sites and find a new book to read.

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First Annual Book Trailer Awards

It was only a matter of time before someone developed an award for book trailers and now there is one.

The name of the first book trailer award is the BOOKIE AWARDS. They are sponsored by the anti-TV website, JustSayNoWay.com, which promotes reading over watching television.

For the complete list of rules for these awards and to find out how to submit your book trailer (self-published book trailers accepted) visit JustSayNoWay.com’s website.

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Do Book Videos Really Work?

View this exclusive interview from BEA by GalleyCat with Doubleday’s online director, Jeffrey Yamaguchi, about what he has learned about book videos from his work.

If you have a promotional book video for a Christian book, don’t forget to submit it for posting to ChristianBookVideos.com or BlackChristianBookVideos.com (for Black authors).

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Is Your Book Video Lost on the Internet?

Publishers Weekly recently had a blog post where publicists gave their take on book trailers and the effectiveness of this promotional medium for books (http://www.publishersweekly.com/blog/400000640/post/1210039121.html). 

Surprisingly, a number of the publicists listed reported rather negative sentiments about the effectiveness of book trailers in promoting books.

The use of book videos to promote books began in 2002 and was basically spearheaded by a company called Circle of Seven Productions (www.cosproductions.com) which was formed to produce book trailers. This company trademarked the term Book Trailer™ in 2003. However, the use of book trailers (now often referred to as book videos) to promote books did not really catch on until 2005 when user-generated online video sites (think YouTube and GodTube) became popular.

I have been encouraging publishers to use book videos to promote their books for the past couple of years. I agree with one publicist on the Publishers Weekly blog who felt that the practice was still too new to fully judge the effectiveness. However, Circle of Seven Productions thinks that book trailers are a very effective way to promote books online and through television, and since their company is on the cutting edge of this technique their opinion is notable.

I think that, unless a book trailer goes viral, the way book trailers are currently promoted online, they mostly engage people within the authors’ and publishers’ existing circle of customers. An individual who wants to view book videos faces a chore in finding book videos online. One must search an author’s website, a book’s website, a publisher’s website, or search a user-generated video sharing site to find them; and to do this the person really needs to know the name of an author or publishing house to begin to find book videos.

Recently websites devoted exclusively to showcasing book videos have begun to emerge on the web. I believe that with these websites, book videos can become even more effective in promoting books. Website entirely devoted to the viewing of book videos, such as http://bookscreening.com, allow readers to find all the book videos on their favorite genre of books in one place.

One  new website, www.christianbookvideos.com, has set itself up, in their words, to be the place to preview all the Christian book videos. Now cbv-button-170x505people who read Christian books have one website to visit to view all the book videos for the Christian authors they like as well as discover new authors and books to read. With these new type of book video sites, book videos no longer have to be “stumbled” upon; instead they can actively be discovered.

The best thing about these new book video sites is that posting videos on them is free. Each site lists its own submission criteria and guidelines. So start promoting your book videos on these new book video sites and gather new readers for your books.

Do you have a book video and what has been your experience with its success?