1. Michael Shaw
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    Michael Shaw Member

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    Using Video to Advertise Literature

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Michael Shaw, Jun 25, 2013.

    Hey, everyone!

    I wanted to get a discussion going to see what you all thought. Here's the question: in your opinion, should video be used to advertise literature, and is it effective? Why or why not?

    I guess my opinion on it is clear; I do think that advertisement through video can be a helpful tool. My main concern, though, is cheesy videos that advertise books. Granted, someone could go right out and say that my own video was cheesy, so I guess it's a matter of perspective. But I think a good short video that sparks interest and gives information can be a good way to advertise your novel.

    So what do you think? Let me know your opinions of advertising through video.
     
  2. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    I've never bought a book because I watched a book trailer. Of course I've never watched more than about ten seconds of a book trailer, because it seems like a bizarre idea to me.
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I like it, well done. My friend has trailers for her novels (give the page a minute to load if you don't see them). The style is quite different from yours. I have no idea re: return on investment but I plan to make one, I have my son to help me. Seems like the up and coming thing to do.
     
  4. Scot McPhie
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    Scot McPhie Member

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  5. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    I did like the trailer, but not for a book. For me, watching trailers for a book just doesn't translate into what really happens in the book. Visual and literary styles are vastly different, even though, yes, books create images in readers' minds. But I'm just giving you my opinion; obviously some people like them, otherwise they wouldn't exist. :)
     
  6. Scot McPhie
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  7. michaelj
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    michaelj Senior Member

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    I think video trailers are good idea, supposing you can get views. A good idea is to make videos before hand so you have subscribers and then to put in the trailer. If you're good at advertising then people will view your trailer.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Advertising is prohibited on this site.
     
  9. maskedhero
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    maskedhero Active Member

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    Commercials on TV for books always come across as a bit...different. I don't think it lends itself well to moving pictures.
     
  10. 7thMidget
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    7thMidget Member

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    Personally, I don't love the idea. I mean, in theory, I used to think that book trailers could be great as a promotional tool, but in practice, it doesn't seem to be effective at all, regardless of how professional they may look. It even looks somewhat pretentious (when it's not just cheesy, as you said), even though I'm sure the authors only have the best and humblest intentions, hah. It's really the book itself that has the power to attract me. I need to have it in my hands, read the first few paragraphs and maybe some extra bits and be captivated by the writing itself. I haven't yet seen a video that could translate that to me. It works for several other people, anyway.
     
  11. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    As a film-maker I've always been keen to use trailers for advertising. I've got my own unique spin on it -- that I won't share -- which is a rarely, if ever, used concept for using digital media for promotion and marketing. It's important today to do things to grab a buyer's interest, and with the proliferation of short films and clips on the internet it's simply a natural evolution on how to promote works in a different format. As long as it can get the viewers in the first place.

    PS: With all due respect to your trailer, it's intentions and probably your production limitations, I honestly believe that it does more harm than good. I assume you have the rights to the music.
     
  12. IronPalm
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    IronPalm Banned

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    Yeah, it's fine, but making a good trailer is very difficult. Anyone can make a trailer promoting a book.

    But a trailer that convinces people to buy a book they previously weren't going to? That's the challenge, and it often involves investing money into the project. For instance, look at Chuck Palahniuk's videos on Youtube under the username "CassieWrightLives" to promote his book Snuff. While cheap, they involved actors, a quality voice over, and a certain production value. (Even if was mostly a mockery of ultra-low budget retro porn ads) That's not easy for a starting writer to obtain.

    In the case of the OP's video, it didn't make me interested in his novel in the slightest. It wasn't a bad video by any means, but the bar for a trailer to get me interested in either movie or book is very high...
     
  13. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I think that's an important consideration, would the video be as likely to turn people away as to interest them? I didn't find those videos that way but, I was also intrigued by their novelty, and I'm not a sophisticated video buff. Novelty will wear off soon as we start seeing a lot more trailers for books. Then an unsophisticated trailer will definitely be a risk. And I predict we will start seeing more trailers because Youtube videos are so commonly produced now. You don't need the marketing budget of an infomercial to make a video advertisement for your book.
     
  14. Michael Shaw
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    Michael Shaw Member

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    You hit the nail on the head in regards to production limitations, as I do not have actors/good camera, but the music is my own; I wrote it, produced it, and did the voices. I was confident in my sound production abilities, so that is the main thing it showcased. Trust me, if I could have done more with it, and reveal some actual story in it, I would have. That's why it was a "teaser," though, and not a "trailer." Your points are duly noted, though. It's a risk putting out what I did, but at this point I'm doing everything I can to get the word out about a self-published book.


    All the best,
    Michael
     
  15. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    In marketing science, the negative reaction has a lot of staying value. But the customer has to see the product later. The famous example is the infamous Excedrin commercials, "I'd rather do it myself". Everyone hated the commercials but sales soared.

    I think looking into marketing science has value here. Instead of just using a trial and error technique, it's worthwhile investigating if there is any science behind the techniques to promote books.

    I'll see if I can find anything.
     

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