What is the benefit of using a book video?

Sheila Clover English, Circle of Seven ProductionsI’m pleased to welcome a guest blogger, Sheila Clover English, the book video producer interviewed earlier this week. I know you have questions, and Sheila’s got answers, so don’t hesitate to leave a comment for her here or contact her via email or telephone.

—Robin

Guest blogger:
Sheila Clover English, Circle of Seven Productions

What is the benefit of using a book video? Longevity, branding, fan base expansion, cross-genre highlights, name recognition, engages the viewer, multi-utilization, cost effective, target-audience opportunity and just plain fun!

  1. Longevity. When a print ad has found its way to the bottom of the bird cage, a video will still be on the internet where people who develop an interest in reading, or an interest in a topic that leads them to your book, can find it. Video remains on the internet for an extended period of time.
  2. Branding. When doing an overall push of a brand for whatever reason (new series, switch genre, etc.) you can tie in the look and feel you’re going with through your video. It helps people visualize the brand.
  3. Fan base expansion. By utilizing video you’re letting a new group of people find out about you. People have evolved into visual creatures and they are used to having their entertainment given to them through visual means. Where movies, video games, music and television have been able to reach these consumers, books have historically been left out. Not anymore. Those consumers are now potential readers for any author.
  4. Cross-genre highlights. It’s hard to show someone that you write both romance and suspense or mystery and comedy just by using a print ad. By using video you can get across the idea that your book is cross-genre. The benefit to that is, if someone was turned off by, say, a sexy book cover, they may change their mind when they see all the action/adventure play out on screen. And still, you can show an element of romance or some other genre as well to appeal to a wider audience.
  5. Name recognition. How many times do you have to see or hear a name before the typical person recalls it? Well, with video you have the chance of having your name pop up online more often when you have a video. Your name goes into the video description, so you can search that, and it is in the video itself.
  6. Engages the viewer. Statistics from various sources tend to agree that video is more engaging since the viewer must activate a video player before they can watch the video. They choose to watch. Unlike TV where commercials are presented to you, like it or not. Then, they are engaged by watching the video as well. They can then choose to comment, put it on their own site or email it. It’s a “word-of-mouth tool” that can be passed from one person to another, making it viral.
  7. Multi-utilization. With a COS video, not only can you have it spread all over the internet and given to booksellers to use, but it can be formatted for television and movie theaters. These are some of the least expensive television commercials being made right now. And our contacts with Comcast have made it extremely affordable to buy TV spots. A deal we have with a movie theater chain lets us put our specially formatted videos on the big screen in such desirable areas as New York City and Los Angeles for very reasonable rates. We have one video play in NYC over 900 times for approximately $2000. Some budgets are even smaller. The video can also be sent to sales people and in press kits.
  8. Cost-effective. For the price of a small print ad in the New York Times you can have a live action book trailer. For the price of a small print ad in most magazines you can have a mini teaser (non-live action video). It has more uses and re-uses than any print ad ever will.
  9. Target-audience opportunity. You can target established readers by putting the video on your website, blog, MySpace, specialty-sites (genre specific), Reader’s Entertainment TV, bookseller sites and book club sites. You can also target an audience not by what sex they are or where they live, but by what specific topics they have an interest in. If someone is interested in cave pearls, dragons, the military, wizards, magic, playing poker, ballroom dancing, fashion, New York City or any other numerous topics of interest, their search can lead them straight to a book video. Here you have someone already interested in the topic the book is about, or has elements of. People searching for specific interests but not specifically books, are what we term “potential readers.” Imagine how the book industry would do if more people turned to books for entertainment! We now have a tool that can help that happen.
  10. Fun! Music videos are ads. People tend to forget that because of how entertaining they are. Book trailers are not meant to look like commercials. They are meant to appeal to a person’s sense of fun and entertainment. That’s why people are willing to pass them around or put them on their own sites. Anyone putting together a commercial that is nothing but a book cover and an announcement has missed the boat entirely!

Sheila Clover English is the CEO of Circle of Seven Productions and a novelist. She lives in Kentucky with her husband, daughter, son, and three very silly dogs.

2 Replies to “What is the benefit of using a book video?”

  1. Hi Sheila,

    I very much enjoyed your blogpost, as well as Robin’s continuing coverage of this exciting area. But I have a concern, and I wonder what your thoughts are. As a writer, I will be asking people who are far more oriented to tv/video/movie watching to completely switch their format from the passive act of watching to an activity that so many people, in this country, find hard: Reading. It’s not that they can’t read, of course, it’s that they’ve come to think of it as too much work. As a writer, I’m not so worried about getting people who regularly read to read more—that’s any author’s given base group—but I’d like to tap into that group that doesn’t read, or doesn’t read very much, anymore. Do you think book trailers can be dynamic and persuasive enough to turn ‘watchers’ into readers? I would certainly agree that print ads aren’t doing that, so, clearly there’s a need for a new approach to gain market. Also, it seems the book trailers and videos would be a great tie-in for e-books and pump that category way up in terms of readership.

  2. There will be people who remember loving to read but got away from it. There will be people who just won’t do it. We’re looking to hook two main groups outside of mainstream, established readers.

    1. Potential readers who might read again if they’re reminded how fun using their imaginations are while they read. There are those who have been lured away by movies and games that we may win back even if they only read a little bit.

    2. New readers. These are the young people. We’re really creating an atmosphere, in a medium they will accept, that allows them to see the excitement of a story…in a book. And I have been contacted by young people who have said they started reading for fun because of one of our videos. It is very gratifying!

    Book videos benefit the book industry as a whole. They are more than ads for a particular book, they are enticements to read.

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