Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Farewell to 2008 and Hello to 2009!

As 2008 closes I wonder, "Where did the time go?!" It's been an extraordinary year and a challenging one.

The economy has made it hard for every industry to flourish and as booksellers try to survive, publishers cut back jobs and acquisitions. Yet, books have not gone away. Nor do I think they will. Ever.

I do think that the competition between books will grown. With fewer books being printed publishers will be more picky about what they take and what they will pass on. I have friends who have been published for years that are now struggling to get their newest books picked up, or contracts renewed. It's a hard time and I don't have a crystal ball to tell us if 2009 will be any better. I hope that it will.

COS will be making changes in 2009 to our audio and video products and distribution of those projects. Because of the tight economy we feel obligated to make our products the most effective marketing tool they can be. So we have made relationships and signed contracts with more libraries, booksellers, book clubs and specialty sites. Not only is our distribution more diversified in platform, but it is more targeted in what audience will see it.
We have someone in our Distribution Department that goes around to our online sites and maintains them. He comments on other people's videos, participates in the community and maintains a general presence there for COS in a very real and meaningful way. And, it allows us to engage in a two way relationship, thus creating deeper and more loyal relationships with people on those sites.

Our distribution has increased and our Gold Distribution package is getting 3 million impressions with 3 million increment increases from there. These are meaningful impressions in vast numbers. Radio and television can't compete with our numbers for the price.

We will be doing more with mobile in 2009 and I'm excited about that. We will do a lot more interactive stuff and I can't wait to unveil that!! Reader's Entertainment TV will get a make over and we are adding two more sites-
In Faith Network ( will go live in January. It is specifically for our Inspirational videos. And Young Readers TV ( will be for children and young adult videos only. Both will tie in to Reader's Entertainment TV.

We will be attending several conventions in 2009 including RT, RWA, BEA and ThrillerFest.

I was reading the Advertising Age magazine last night and they are saying that in 2008 there were 10 Out-of-Home advertising venues that really stood out. 3 is cinema, where top agencies are now putting ads before movies. COS started doing that back in 2004. The stats on that kind of advertising are very impressive. And 4 is ads on buses. COS started putting book videos on buses earlier this year. It is always good to know that we're on the right track with advertising. We've been extremely happy with both venues!

Did you know that there is a concentration of book buyers on buses? Research shows that we can hit more actual book buyers with Transit TV than with traditional TV in those same areas. We even know where those people are going to buy their books and guess what? It isn't Amazon. That was surprising to me. A very, very small percent went to to buy books.

We are very grateful to everyone who helped make 2008 such a successful year for COS! Thank you! And we hope you and yours will have a wonderful and prosperous New Year in 2009!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Goddess Prophecies by D.R. Whitney

The Goddess Prophecies: The Cup of Immortality is being heralded as the next Chronicles of Narnia, but it can also be compared to Lord of the Rings. Its an epic fantasy with 20 years of study and research behind the making of this novel.
Author D.R. Whitney is an Arthurian scholar and has studied in the US and the UK. Her new novel, The Goddess Prophecies is published by Crescent Moon Press.
The book has already inspired a video game and movie!

The story has epic fantasy elements and a lot of intrigue and perils as the last descendant of the Lady of the Lake, a modern and daring twenty-something inherits this mysterious amulet that leads her on an epic quest that time travels her through a Portal of Mists. With clandestine organizations and knights from Charlemagne chasing her, she finds herself in another world where she discovers that she must destroy the Master of the Souls and his minions who have stolen the Cup of Immortality to which her inheritance belongs. There her soul mate an incredibly powerful wizard returns to help her and together her quest takes them across these savage fantasy worlds with awesome creatures, powers and adventure that will keep
you turning each page with anticipation. Find out more at

Murder Game Thrills

The game pieces determine who kill them. The cards tell them who and how they will die. It’s a game of life and death. Of cat and mouse.
I love a good thriller! And I love it when the plot is complicated enough be intriguing but not convoluted.

Murder Game by author Christine Feehan is one of her Ghostwalker books so it has a lot to it.
There’s the paranormal, military intrigue and of course romance. But, this book is differentin that it is very much a suspense thriller. And a great one at that!

Kaden is a dangerous man whose only family is his team of Ghostwalker elite, paranormal military friends. When a series of murders puts the team in danger he searches out a woman with special abilities. She can see the history of the things she touches. And he wants her to touch a game piece.

Tansy did some tracking for the FBI, but after some brutal cases something inside her snapped and she was hospitalized for months. No longer able to withstand her gift and the horrors that come with it, she stays far from civilization.

Kaden has found her and will get her help whether she likes it or not. Her help with the case will save his friends. But it will destroy Tansy. With an undeniable chemistry between them Kaden now must make choices no man should ever have to make.
You can find out more on the author’s site. She has the first chapter up.

Also, a very chilling book trailer for the book is available at-

An Old Fashioned Romance

PW calls Catherine Anderson “A major voice in the romance genre” and I have to agree. If you’ve not read Anderson and you love a good romance with believable and loveable characters I strongly recommend any of her novels. But, the one coming out January 6, 2009 is the one everyone is talking about.

Star Bright is the story of a woman who escapes her dangerous and abusive husband one night on a cruise ship. She changes her looks and makes her getaway to find herself working for a handsome and charming cowboy.

The chemistry the characters have makes this a true romance of quality.
Anderson has a book trailer for Star Bright and you can find more at the author’s site-

Monday, December 01, 2008

New YouTube Analytics Help Design Book Trailers!

YouTube is doing so many new things that it is hard to keep up! But, we have and now we’re going to share with you.

You’ll notice, when you go to and click on one of our videos that the player can be seen in widescreen! This is new and so far we’re loving it!

I noticed on some other channels that YouTube is gearing up not only for lower third pre-role but for in-video ads to the right side of a video as well. That seems to be in alpha right now since I’ve not heard any rumblings from beta testers, but I see the writing on the wall.

YouTube will now let you buy ad space and get your video or channel featured. It is very much like Google AdWords and is run by Google.

YouTube has analytics called “Insight”. It can tell you things like the ages of people who watch a video, their gender, number of views, demographics and now they have something called “Hot Spots”. This is the information YouTube gives regarding this new feature-

“The ups-and-downs of viewership at each moment in your video, compared to videos of similar length.

Above the average line, your video is hot: it's retaining more viewers than average and they may be rewinding to watch that point again. Below the average line, your video's gone cold: viewers are not rewinding or may be leaving the video faster than the average.”

This is very important information. It lets us know how long someone is staying interested in a video. We can review the information and find out what people like or don’t like with book video. This enables us to build a better video. One with a greater engagement factor, thus allowing for a greater “call to action”.

According to a new survey done by TubeMogul, the attention span of your average online video viewer is very short. According to the TubeMogul study-

Most videos steadily lose viewers once "play" is clicked, with an average 10.39% of viewers clicking away after ten seconds and 53.56% leaving after one minute.”

Here is the chart they put together that shows how many people continue to watch as a video plays.

According to this study the first 10 seconds of a video is key to get your message in or have something occur that will keep them watching. By one minute half of your viewers have left. Now, they may not be leaving entirely. They may have watched all they needed to in order to make a decision to purchase. But, currently, there’s no tracking system that tells us what they did once they left.

And not all videos are created equally. TubeMogul did not use stats because it is a different environment. There are other exceptions. Notice the Hot Spot analytics for Christine Feehan’s Turbulent Sea video. The video is clearly in the “hot” zone during the entire 2 minutes that the video plays. The majority of COS videos follow this pattern. Since we don’t have access to book videos outside of COS produced videos we don’t know if this is a normal trend for book videos or if it only applies to COS videos. The bottom line is that most COS book videos are being watched to the end. They are the exception to the rule much like is.

As we learn how to best utilize the analytic information we’re collecting we will be able to identify what works best so that we can be consistent in creating videos that are “hot”.