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 people 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?