Sunday, June 22, 2008

An example of a book trailer that works - Residual Marketing Effect

Sometimes it takes a while for an idea to settle into place and take hold. When we started producing book trailers no one knew what it was for. There wasn't a YouTube so it was harder to convince people that a book trailer could work. Now, book trailers are well established for many people. There are still a few who think it's a new idea, but that won't last long.

This blog is the perfect example of what a book trailer should do. Conspiracy Game, the book trailer, came out 2 years ago. At that time, this reader saw the video and picked up the book. She didn't get around to reading it right away. She loved the trailer. The point being that the trailer caused her to buy the book. Now, she has read the book and was so inspired that she blogged about it.

Two years and that book video is still getting hits. It still inspires people to find out more about the book and the author.

I think there will be residual marketing effect for online video that will allow us to monitor data over time, proving that, as long as the book is available, the video will be active promotion for it.

Let's see USA Today or NY Times do that.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Should Publishers Alter Contracts for Book Cover Illistrations?

With the economy what it is many people are asking themselves whether there will be more cut backs in jobs, less books printed, more on-demand prints or less spent in promo/marketing. But one avenue of change that could be helpful to publishers is altering contracts with book cover illustrators.
Don't get me wrong, I think artists should be fairly compensated for work. Book video production is an art form. We want to be fairly compensated for our work. But, like many other artists and companies we are feeling the harsh realities of a poor economy. We have discounted our products or added incentives and in some cases we simply lose work because people can't afford a video or can't afford what we charge for book video. The settle for a lesser quality and less distribution because they only have $100 or $200 to spend.
So, I'm not suggesting that publishers settle for less quality, only that they present to illustrators that the problems with the economy make it necessary to get better deals for the current prices or that the prices need to come down. Why not? Everyone else is sacrificing.

What I would like to see publishers do is to alter contracts so that artwork can be used online for video without having to pay extra or seek additional copyright approval. With the evolution of online uses for marketing it only makes sense to evolve the contracts to cover this additional use. The covers are being used for promotion use only. No one is selling their video. Many artists are allowing web use for video already, but some are still holding out.

We had one artist who was already paid $3000 to supply a book cover tell us that we had to pay him another $3000 to use the cover in a video. Obviously we didn't use it. Then, when the author became a huge success that artist tried to contact the author and the publisher to get more work and the author didn't want him because of his previous attitude.

Alter the contracts. Evolve them. Make sure web use for video is included. And be sure to specify that all of the individual elements of the cover should be available for use in a promotional video.

The publishing industry is a big machine, but it tends to shrink the longer you're in it. Everyone seems to know everyone and during a time of economic down turn, instead of cutting back, insist on getting more for what you're already paying. I would think that artists, especially during times like this, would be willing to negotiate.

Being able to use the elements of the book cover helps to tie in the video, the brand, the title and the overall look. Using those elements helps to encourage recall for the book cover.

The same should be done with fonts if possible. It should be included in the license that the fonts can be used in promo material including video.

And if you're looking to show the video off line on TV, movie theaters, Transit TV, etc. you should be sure that you don't limit yourself to "online use" only.

From a producers point of view, we realize that, often, a great deal of thought is put into what the book cover looks like, what the font is, etc. We would like to benefit from all of that careful consideration. If the publisher things those elements represent the story, we would like to use them in our videos.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Book Video Distribution

The technology side of book video includes several factors. Formatting, SEO and distribution are major concerns and hot topics for COS Productions' R&D team. Our research and development team is made up of internal employees as well as contracted specialists.

Last year our major concentration was in book video distribution. We worked on establishing relationships with booksellers and specialty sites, we submit our videos to over 300 booksellers and 5000 libraries. We submit to specialty sites such as Watch the Book, Preview the Book, DigiGirls Library, TerrorFeed, Dark Scribe Magazine, Romance Novel TV, and so on. Most recently we're working with BooksiRead and GoodReads. We're delving into more niche communities while continuing to reach out to additional booksellers and book clubs.

We have a definite plan for distribution in 2009 and we continue to grow in that direction. We've mastered the RSS feed and are able to do more with less time invested. We can even use RSS to get our blogs out to several areas and then monitor comments using Friend Feed.

Our big focus in R&D right now is video SEO. Now that technology has caught up with SEO opportunities for video we plan on taking full advantage of that. Our team is currently working on a tutorial video and guide for our network partners that will help our videos have greater SEO.

We have reached out to publishers who are now embracing social media and we're sharing our experience and resources with them. This also helps us get greater distribution since we can deliver client video to publishers in those areas online.

We are always asked about our list of distribution sites. And, since we have a list of over 400 sites that we can distribute to online we feel confident that we're on top of the book video distribution game for social media. We've showed the list to publishers who ask to see it, but we do not make it available to the public because it is proprietary.

But, I will share a list of sites that shows our most basic distribution. We have other distribution packages that are much larger than this one, but this is the least amount of distribution that a video, produced by COS, will get.

1) 5min (when applicable)

2) Addicting Clips

3) AOL

4) AtomUploads

5) Backflip

6) Blinklist

7) Blinx

8) Blip TV

9) Bluedot

10) Break

11) ClipBlast

12) Crackle

13) DailyMotion


15) Digg

16) Diigo

17) Flickr

18) Flurl

19) Folkd

20) Furl

21) GoFish

22) Google Video

23) Internet Archieve

24) iTunes

25) Lycos

26) Magnolia

27) Meebo

28) MeeVee

29) Mefeedia

30) Mixx

31) Myjeeves

32) MySPace

33) Pando

34) Photobucket

35) Propeller

36) PureVideo

37) Putfile

38) REAL

39) REC TV

40) REC TV Blog

41) Reddit

42) SearchforVideo

43) Sevenload

44) Spash Cast

45) Spurl

46) StumbleUpon

47) Sumo

48) Technoratti

49) TotalVid

50) Twitter

51) Veoh

52) Viddler

53) VidPow

54) Vimeo

55) VSocial

56) Yahoo Video

57) YouTube

58) Borders



61) Southern Independent Bookseller’s Association- all bookstores

62) Watch the Book

63) Preview the Book

64) DigiGirls

65) Dark Scribe Magazine

66) TerrorFeed (Horror only)

67) Romance Novel TV (Romance only)

68) GoodReads

69) BooksiRead

70) Ebookisle

71) Night Owl Romance

72) Romance Designs Theater

73) COS Productions website and newsletter

74) Find Me an Author

75) Kim's Wonderful World of Books

76) OverDrive (sends to 5000 libraries)

As you can see there are some sites that are very specific to genre and we do try to match genres up to the best possible audience. So, if you have an Inspirational we won't send that to TerrorFeed, and so on.

To me that is an impressive list of distribution for a very low price. Our Cover Story videos ($250) and our Level 1 Mini Teasers ($750) get that distribution as part of the package when they purchase their video from us.

We have additional distribution such as Transit TV which is extremely inexpensive and gets your video 11 million impressions in one week. We can format for TV, movie theater and other out-of-home ads.

We now guarantee at least 50,000 impressions for our top distribution packages. That's new. This is a guarantee for impressions not views, I like to be clear on that. We now place ads on MySpace, Facebook and Bebo with our top distribution packages. The ads show the author and book name and sends people to see the video.

Recently I had one of our publisher clients look at our list of 400 sites. I told her to choose any 10 on the list. I told her that I would show her where COS has a presence on any of the 10 she chose. I've shared a generic list, one without our specific book sites on it, with the tech world and will discuss it with Robert Scoble in July on his show. Our next step is creating a software program that we input the 400 sites into. We then input specific details about each site. The final product will give us a software program that we input details about a video to and it will then tell us what the top sites are for that book and it will even tell us WHY those sites are good for the book. That will go live in 2009.

It's exciting to see book video on the same playing field as video game trailers and movie trailers. 2009 promises to be an exciting year for book video!