Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Which is Better?

Hey! There's a poll at the end of this post--I'd really appreciate it if you'd vote and give me some of your thoughts. kthxbaiurock.

So, I recently read this article at Salon about whether or not book trailers were actually good marketing tools for writers. They made the point that while some book trailers are well done (including Scott Westerfeld's latest one for Leviathan), it might not really do much good.
And even so, how many readers outside of Westerfeld's devoted fan base are likely to see it? As a general rule, people don't go looking for ads on the Web (unless they're -- inexplicably -- seeking commercials they've already seen and liked on TV). If they are motivated enough to search for Westerfeld's name on YouTube, look his books up on Amazon or seek out his Web site, they've already made it past the most formidable barrier: the crushing obscurity in which the vast majority of authors languish.
The article did make an interesting point, though--that a well-done author interview can be more effective than a high priced book trailer.

And I thought: why not compare?

Here's an author interview with Maria Snyder that's just been released in which she talks about her latest book Sea Glass. I found it really interesting--especially (did you know?) because I learned that Maria's husband was a food taster. How cool! And I liked the touch with Orlando Bloom... :)


But there's also an excellent book trailer out with Maria's Storm Glass. It is actually really one of the better book trailers out there--you guys know I'm picky, so that fact that I'm giving this one the Beth Seal of Approval should count for something.


And, lest we forget, there's the tool that I mentioned earlier: one of the best widgets for a book promo I've ever seen. It isn't a simple countdown--it's a dynamic marketing tool.
                                                     


So, there you have it: three different online marketing tools by the same author for the same book series of the same high quality.

15 comments:

beth said...

Personally--I'm voting for interactive widget. I think it's got a better chance of being clicked on (which it the real goal), and has a better chance of being spread around on blog. Think of how many widgets vs, vids get on sidebars.

Kristi said...

I rarely click on anything when I'm on the internet, but I'd be more tempted to click on the widget than the other things. The whole marketing thing scares me!

beth said...

Kristi--I totally understand--and I agree!

Marcia said...

I like the interview, because it connects us to the writer herself. I like the cleverness of trailers, but they're really just commercials. How many more do we need? I MIGHT click on the widget, but probably more likely to ignore it.

Karen said...

That's a tough call. For me personally, I'm not a big one to click on a widget and definitely not to watch a trailer, but I can see their value.

I said "author interview", but then, I read a lot of writing and book blogs. Most of the general population does not.

If I were to vote on "Other", I would guess that having a presence on a social networking site like Facebook would be a big help, especially to get the word out past the literary community. Also, having a stand-out author website.

Good poll!

storyqueen said...

I am voting for other.

I like READING about books, you know? So I'd day that a blog interview (not a vlog) has a better chance of garnering my interest.

As in, I really liked reading what you wrote about the vlog, the trailer and the widget far more than I enjoyed interacting with these items myself. There's something about the trailer and the vlog and the widget that make it seem that someone is trying too hard to sell me something. (I am speaking in generalities here, not specifically about the Glass Trilogy).

I dunno. Most of the books I am excited about reading are from authors whose blogs I read, or have written something I liked before.

So for me, reading begets reading.

(Man, I am long winded for a Thursday)

Shelley

Rebecca J. Carlson said...

I think it is good to have lots of different kinds of promotional material on the web. If I see something and it catches my interest, I will then hunt around and find EVERYTHING else I can about it. The more that's there, especially if it is GOOD and INTERESTING and not too repetitive, it convinces me more and more that I want to read the book, and sticks it more firmly in my memory, so that next time I'm in the book store I think... now what was the title of that really interesting book I wanted to look for?

Rebecca J. Carlson said...

But let me echo Shelly's comment in that I'd rather READ promotional material. I haven't got time to watch a book trailer or an author interview on YouTube. I'm too busy for that.

Casey McCormick said...

I love author interviews but that's because I'm a writer/reader who's active in the community. When I was just a reader I only sought out author interviews AFTER I'd read the book and found myself wanting more.

So, it depends on who you're targeting. Where I think interviews are a big hit in our community, widgets and book trailers are more likely to have an impact on intended teen readership. IF you get them where they will see them.

I think all three is the best bet if you can do them well. If you can't, you might be doing more damage than good.

beth said...

Oh, you people ARE smart. /grin

I think I might have to pull some of your quotes and add them to the front page...

Amy Tate said...

I'm a sucker for book trailers, even though I hear that many people don't like them. I also love the movie previews at the theater too, so maybe I'm not the right person to ask! But book trailers are like movie trailers in the way that they transport me from reality to the story. And I like to feel that I'm inside the story...participating in it.

Anonymous said...

Though I really liked the trailer, I voted for the widget because that is the only thing I am likely to click on while surfing the net. As for author's interview: I seldom watch vlog unless it is by someone I know -- I can never tell what's in the interview, and am too impatient to sit and watch the entire thing. :>

PJ Hoover said...

It's so hard to stay. I think when it comes rigth down to it, cover recognition and being where people can recognize and spontaneously buy the book is the best.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I don't search out book trailers and often don't click on them when they are attached to a book review or author interview because I figure I'm getting enough info in the interview. The widget really intrigued me and I would be curious how it could be used to advertise your book. I'm thinking on your Facebook page definitely, but I wonder where else it could be used.

Lisa and Laura said...

I'm voting on the trailer. I'm a sucker for a good book trailer and I'll almost always play them if they're short and they look interesting. Widgets I tend to ignore. They kind of look like on-line ads to me. Which is exactly what they are...