Tuesday, April 22, 2008

YouTubing for Book Promotion

Are you using youtube.com as part of your book promotion campaign? You probably should be, if some recent stats are correct. Last Wednesday, an organization called comScore Inc. released this surprising (to this book publicist, anyway) factoid: This year, 66% more people than last year are viewing online videos. You can read the Associated Press article on MSNBC here. Even television network executives, who acknowledge that they're losing viewers to the Internet, are trying to bring their content online.

That's probably good news for authors and publishers who are currently contemplating book promotion campaigns and for book publicists. Rather than pitching television shows and hoping the producer picks your book to feature, or your author to interview, you can create a multimedia book trailer, post it on YouTube (which is where most viewers go to indulge their online video-watching habit) and on your own Web site.

There are a couple of caveats.

First, you'll have to bring viewers to your online video. When you do a traditional TV show, you'll automatically have viewers; those TV shows are on the air because they've built up their audience base. With your own book video, you'll have to find viewers yourself. That means an effective book promotion campaign, these days, includes a video promotion campaign component (and a book Web site promotion campaign), too.

Second, your book's multimedia show has to be professionally conceptualized and executed. The production values must be top-notch. They don't necessarily have to include video components, which can really jack up the cost (and, ironically, lower the quality) of multimedia shows for books. But they do have to leave PowerPoint presentations in the dust, and -- as talented as your college-age nephew might be -- this is a project for production professionals, not relatives and students. The multimedia show is a reflection on your book, so if you can't afford a first-rate production, then put the idea on hold until you can.

When your multimedia book show is built, and viewers are watching it on YouTube (and on your Web site), you might ask: Who needs "Oprah?" Why should I bother to pitch traditional national TV shows when I now have my own book multimedia show online? Well, for now, we all need "Oprah" (and other tradtional book promotion opportunities).

Next year...who knows?

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