Monday, February 22, 2010

The Promotional "Next Big Thing"...? by Austin S. Camacho

When I saw the first couple of book trailers I thought it was a quantum leap in book promotion. Now that almost everyone has a trailer or two for their book, I see little hard evidence that they spur sales for most writers. I was beginning to think that internet technology simply wasn’t the answer, but now I’m thinking that maybe it just went too far too fast.
I just listened to what may be the next great idea and it’s a techie step back. Medallion Press is doing something called the “action interview” as an audio download. Interview probably isn’t the right word. Instead of the author discussing his or her work with an interviewer, the author is joined by actors and sound effects to create more of a radio play feel.
The one I listened to, which I think is the first, featured Kathy Carmichael talking us through her book Diary of a Confessions Queen. The book is a mystery with lots of humor, and the action interview has that feel. We hear the interviewer (who really makes the production IMHO) walk into a crowded tavern to meet the author. Crowd noise and general babble put you into the location immediately. After he sits with Ms Carmichael she actually introduces him to the characters in her book and they play through a couple of scenes.
This way she doesn’t just tell you what her book is about, but you experience it. It’s hard to imagine a better way to pull a reader into the story. The interview/performance ran nearly 15 minutes but it felt much shorter. More importantly, it was FUN and made me want to pick up Diary of a Confessions Queen. I think this idea may motivate a lot more people to seek out a book than a 2 or 3 minute trailer regardless of the production quality.I think every writer check out the action interview and consider if they can get on this bandwagon early.


Mike Dennis said...

I like that "radio show" idea. It does indeed put the listener smack into the book. Kind of like an audio version of Amazon's read-the-first-few-pages gimmick.

P.A.Brown said...

My take on videos is they have the potential to be a good way to get some name recognition and spark interest in your books. The problem as I see it after watching a lot of videos is that they are made by amateurs.

Having the software doesn't instantly make you an video artist. You see those commercials about the new Windows and how a little kid can make movies. Well, yes they can, but they look like what they are, pictures by ten year olds.

Creating compelling videos is hard. Look at commercials. Companies hire professionals to make them, they cost a mint and the good ones make you remember the product. I know few authors have hundreds of dollars to make decent videos, but there are some graphic artists who make them at a decent price. I say if you're going to have one for your book, do it right, or don't do it at all.

I think a bad video can hurt sales by making the offering seem as amateurish as the video. Like a bad book cover can turn people off.

Morgan Mandel said...

What a unique idea!
I'd have to round up some people to play the different characters in my book to make it work, but it's a thought.

Morgan Mandel