Thursday, May 01, 2008

I'd like to thank the Academy, and....

This year's YouTube Video Awards have just been handed out, and for this book publicist, that begs the question: could your multimedia book show (presuming you've uploaded it to YouTube and other video-sharing sites) go "viral," be seen by millions of people, and perhaps even win the online video equivalent of an Emmy?

And, if it did, would that necessarily turn your book into a bestseller?

Historically, book promotion efforts have been related to book sales (book publicists of integrity won't tell you exactly how the two are related, because we can't know for sure -- but we do know that there's usually a correlation between the two). But there's been no one huge book promotion hit -- no, not even an appearance on "Oprah" -- that can guarantee an author will sell a specific number of books on a given day, or that the number of books sold will be enough to catapult the book to the bestseller lists.

But, then again, traditional media outlets haven't resulted in the type of viral marketing enjoyed by the winners of the 2007 YouTube Video Awards. Those videos are everywhere. Links to those videos are in your inbox, because several people you know sent them to you. Those people didn't even have to enjoy those videos to pass along those links. They simply had to be get a chuckle, learn a couple of things, or believe that -- in some way -- the videos were worth a few minutes of your time. And that's it: the links land in your inbox, you pass them along to others, and those recipients pass them along to still others, and...before long, the number of viewers for that video probably leaves the number of viewers that any national TV show boasts in the dust.

Which leads me to wonder: for authors with a book to promote, and the budget to create a multimedia book show, why are you not getting out there and hiring a production conmpany to create a video for you? Why are you putting all of your book promotion muscle behind traditional book publicity instead of exploring the possibilities of online book promotion such as multimedia book shows?

There may be reasons that I don't understand. But perhaps someoone could explain them to me, because -- after watching the success of the videos featured in this year's YouTube Video Awards -- I believe that book videos should be a part of every author and publisher's bag of tricks. And you?

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