The topic’s probably been covered before, but I’d love to hear opinions on what people think of book videos. Do they influence your decision to read books? More or less than reviews? Where do you run across them?

I’ve been seeing more, and they seem to fall into one of three camps or styles: the author interview (which I find incredibly dull); the relatively low-production slide show sometimes with music and video clips inserted (some of which are quite good, I think); and the high-gloss movie-trailer type which only publishers seem to have the budgets for, usually used for thrillers.

I asked my local independent bookseller and his staff what they thought of them a few months ago, and they said they’d never heard of them. After I said I was thinking of making one, the store owner said he’d love to link to it on his website if I added a link on my site ( to the bookstore (which I’m happy to do—it’s a terrific store).

Mike Sherer
ISLAND LIFE, coming March 19

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okay, after checking youtube i see it was more like 3000 views. i took too long trying to edit the above text, and i lost my edit.

i also wanted to say that my book trailer DVDs were given to the publishing house reps, and they were mailed to reader groups. i brought my laptop to signings and played the video during lag time. i used it for speaking engagements at libraries. so when i think back, i did get a lot of miles out of it, but i'm not sure any translated to sales.
Wow, Anne, 3000 seems great to me. I was happy with 250.

Mine is here.

And, of course, you can never know what translates into sales and when. I hope Steve Moseby sells a ton of books in Germany (and everywhere else). I don't know what's going on there, but there were a bunch of articles in the paper here about Linwood Barclay having a bestseller in Germany with No Time for Goodbye before it was even published in English.
oh, wow. i really like that, john.

and i know what you're saying about germany. i just sold a second and third book to germany. apparently my first book did really well. pay is nothing to dismiss, that's for sure. funny you should mention the no time for goodbye deal, because i've actually wondered about the possibility of submitting something to my german publisher before submitting here. kind of an interesting idea.
Love Christa's, but then I'm beginning to sound like a broken record. There are free programs that make the slideshow with music ones relatively easy to make and it just requires the imagination, and access to a royalty-free photo site, to find the stills that best represent your book or tell your story. rocks, and all they ask is that you don't change the photo and they would like it if you let them know where you used it, a creative commons license. Photo Story 3 for Windows was much easier to use than the program that comes with XP, and works nicely, but you have to buy an inexpensive program for converting if you're going to make DVDs or CVDs out of it to take with you to promote otherwise. It still takes time, creativity, patience and a knack for it to build your frames and retain resolution when you convert. I use photoshop for lettering and adjusting my frames, but I've done the vid about 6 or 7 times now. Sorta like my writing process...Pete and rePete. LOL
Funny - I find it much quicker and more effective to read a description of a book than to watch an ad that tells me about it. And I really hate having an actor present a character I'm going to read about. No, casting's my job. Get that impostor off the stage! Makes me feel as if the book is a treatment, not a book.

I'm also intrigued that so many people hate interviews. So... why do people want to hear authors speak at cons or signings? Maybe they don't - it's just an excuse to take a break from the bar.

All this said, I'm probably unusual. I'm much more susceptible to verbal than visual cues and I absolutely hate and resist advertising.
I hear you - books and video are very different media. But...a book trailer can be a fun, innovative way to catch a reader's attention. Okay, not yours, but, y'know, some readers!

I don't think people hate interviews, just the use of an interview as a book trailer. Of course folks like to go to conferences and signings, but those are different kettles of proverbial fish. And, like I said, I liked the one Rankin did for EXIT MUSIC. Generally, though, an interview seems a poor use of the video medium in terms of book trailers.

I'm just glad people are reading books! It would be a much sadder world w/o us reader folks...
It was a bookseller who introduced me to book trailers recently and suggested they might work for my type of writing. This was post-publication and now I'm toying with the idea of a major mail out of DVD's as a marketing tool before the next release.
The ideal length for book trailers is an interesting discussion. Two hours in a cinema watching a bad movie takes forever while two hours spent watching a really great movie is gone in way too short a time.
On an odd technical note we uploaded a couple of video trailers directly to crimespace and didn’t like the look so we tried linking to YouTube and the quality on crimespace is actually better than it is on Youtube.
i'm really kicking myself for putting a release date on my book trailer. i wasn't thinking about foreign sales where the book will come out a year or two later.


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