Getting out a “trailer” for your book is all the rage these days, especially among the indie publishers. Print ads are expensive and vanishing. YouTube is forever.
Still, I’m wondering if it’s worth the effort. When I posed the question on Facebook: “Do people really shop for books on You Tube?,” Laura (who does publicity for a living) wrote back:
I don’t think in the sense that someone would say: “Hmm….I’d like to buy a book. I know! I’ll see if anything on YouTube inspires me!” But if someone’s already looking for, say, information on Pakistan, The Silk Road, art smuggling…whatever, and you pop up in their search, it could create a sale. Or if someone reads something about you in an article, and the article references the You-Tube video, that might make it happen. There are two old advertising saws. One says that you have to hit a potential customer two, three, four times before they buy. The other adage says: Half your advertising is wasted. You just never know which half.
So I’ve been Googling. There are some expensive book vids out there, with beautiful production values. The low-budget ones are cover art + music + text. Some are good, some are hardly better than a bad Powerpoint presentation. The “Ken Burns effect” of zooming and panning on stills is the big cliche, but it does get movement into the movie.
Okay, while I’m waiting for my second set of distribution channels to open up and while I’m percolating “Smugglers’ Road,” I might as well play with a video.
Since I’m a no-budget video producer, I better be clever. The idea I have is definitely unconventional and the voiceover clocked out long at 4 minutes. But I’m trying to follow Seth Godin’s advice to be remarkable by breaking rules. And I’m following my own advice to have FUN.