Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Anyone can make a book video right?

During ThrillerFest this year I had the opportunity to chat with people who knew just enough about book video to have one. Outside of that they knew very little. It was a great chance for me to educate people who thought they were already "in the know" about book video.

Just about anyone with imovie or Windows Movie Maker can create a book video. Some of them are pretty good. Some are not. It can take a lot of time and effort to create a book video, so by the time you're finished you feel very experienced in the process. Yet, I still see a lot of very basic mistakes made over and over again. Text at the lower third of a video is not a good thing to do if you're going to distribute around the internet. That's not to say that there aren't times in which breaking that rule are to your advantage somehow, but as a rule the lower third of a video should not have text. There are other, similar, rules that should be followed when making a viral video. Many people learn through their mistakes, which is the way many of us learn.

Now you can insert metadata into your video in a way that gives you better SEO. Whether it is Flash, WMV or MOV formats, you can give your video a better standing in the search engines if you know how. Do you know how?

Better video SEO, lower-third rule, initial abandonment rule, font rules, rating rules...the list goes on and on. If you know those rules you're doing better than half the people I see making book video. If you follow those rules you're doing better than 90% of the people I see making book videos.

So, let's say you're one of the 10% of people creating book video correctly and utilizing all the rules that will get you better placement and quality on the internet. Now what? You've created this great book video and what do you do now?

If you aren't getting your video to at least 40 sites that are specific to your genre, then what are you doing? Are you sending them to booksellers? Are the booksellers taking the majority of what you send? Are they taking everything you send? Are you sending to niche specific sites? Are your videos being used by libraries? Are you creating a buzz with your video? How are you doing that?

If you created a video and someone from said, "I'll put that up in a prominent place on the site for $250!" would you pay $250 for that placement? Would it be worth it to you to get your video up on the site in say 2 places? 3?

How much is this worth? -
Posting to at least 2 places on the site- $
Posting on site- $
Put into a bookseller's newsletter- $
Posting to 30 social media sites specific to the book-$
Posting to 10 bookmarking sites that get good buzz-$
Sent to 5000 libraries-$
Sent to 300 booksellers-$
Posted and highlighted on 2 blogs-$
Highlighted on Reader's Entertainment TV-$

Be honest. What would you pay for each of those things? Can you get those on your own? Perhaps you can. Perhaps you can get great distribution.

Where are book trailers getting the most buzz? Where are people talking about then and using them to make decisions on what books to buy? Where are people passing them around and putting them up on their own sites? Where are book clubs getting them from?

This is where research and development comes into play. Someone has to be following the trends both before and after posting a book video. You track the trends and, over time, can determine where a book video is most effective online.

There is a full circle that happens when you're a professional business. There is-
knowing the market
knowing how to set and maintain goals
knowing how to measure effectiveness
knowing how to create a viral video or commercial
knowing the rules that make that video most effective
knowing what readers find entertaining in book video
knowing where the readers are finding the book video
knowing who is buying after watching a book video
knowing where to best place a video
knowing how to make trends work in your favor
knowing where to go to find out the trends
establishing a quality control measure
reviewing quality control and taking action on it
growing viewership
growing awareness/branding
knowing the market

Anyone can make a book video. But it doesn't make you an expert just because you made one. Some people have a natural talent for making a video that others will love and take action on. If you can grow a viewership organically that's fantastic! But, if you're not getting thousands of hits on your video, not getting media attention or not seeing a correlation to sales, then it might be to your benefit to save your money and invest in having someone who has extensive experience do your video for you. Anyone can make a book video, but not just anyone can make a book video effective.

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