Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Harpercollins Does Video Trailer

Londonstani, a book released recently in the UK which is generating critical discussion, is about to be released in North America. HC Canada is doing something unique in creating movie trailers for new book releases. This is something more publishers should do and is perfect for a YouTube type application - why leave it buried on their web site? While HC get an A for effort they get a C for execution. This needs to work as easily as YouTube. That's what we are used to; the download took way too long. But I should not be so critical since this use of video and audio to sell books in the staid world of publishing is innovative and Harpercollins deserves credit for developing this promotion. As far as I can tell they started this in March, and I hope they not only continue the effort with many other new releases but also push the content to other web sites and make the downloads faster.

As book readers become more readily identifiable via reading groups and sites like, publishers will have a ready market to focus promotional activities on. Enabling some level of direct contact with readers has represented nirvana to large trade publishers and in recent years, aided by the growth of internet use, publishers are finding ways to get direct access. For example, it is now very easy to gain reader notes and book club questions for front list titles from all the major trade publishers. Not so long ago, most readers didn't give a thought to who the publisher of their book was (unless it was Harlequin). There will be much more integration of audio and video content to sell books in the short term. Additionally, I hope we will also see low production 30+ minute video programs similar to the material produced by the BBC to promote The Big Read promotion in the UK a few years ago. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find any video examples of the books the BBC committed to video. (These were not the Masterpiece Theater type productions). They were great and were an important component in driving enthusiasm for The Big Read programs.

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