Tag Archives: video

VIDEO: Great vs Average

by Marcus Chait, Director of New Media

In any creative endeavor (and in life, for that matter) there is nothing more disappointing then having someone look at something you’ve poured your heart and soul into only to have them respond,  “…yeah, it’s okay.”   I’d almost rather have an audience respond with passionate loathing than to have them consider something we’ve created as “okay” or “fine”. 

When setting out to create a video to help market your book, what steps can you take to give yourself the best opportunity of delivering something great as opposed to something that’s simply average?

  1. SOLID STORYTELLING:  If your story isn’t told in a clear and compelling way, and your audience walks away from your video confused as to what your book is about, you’re on the fast track to “average”.  Even if you have Spielberg behind the camera, if you’re story isn’t focused, the video will most likely not be successful.  If your story isn’t clear on the page, it’s not going to be clear on the screen.
  2. QUALTIY CINEMATOGRAPHY AND EDITING:  Video is a visual medium, so you obviously want your video to look as captivating as it possibly can.  Even on a limited budget, there are ways to make your video jump off the screen if you have a talented and resourceful creative team behind it.  Do your research and make sure you have an experienced team of professionals working for you.
  3. CLEAR TONE AND MESSAGE:  Know what you want your audience to feel when watching your video and be clear about the message you want to convey.  Is your book a suspense mystery?  Then make sure your video creates the necessary tension and suspense your book deserves.  Have you written a romantic comedy?   Then make sure your video feels more like When Harry Met Sally as opposed to Jaws.  You also need to understand what demographic your book might appeal to and make sure you’re delivering a message that speaks directly to that target.
  4. ORIGINALITY:  Make sure there is something about your video that sets it apart from the crowd.  Aim to create that “wow” moment somewhere in your video where the audience is forced to rewind and watch it again because they’ve never seen anything like it before.  Keep in mind that originality is not synonymous with big budget.  With the right creative team behind your video, you can pull off that “wow” moment without breaking the bank.  Some of the most original and creative movies to come out of Hollywood in recent years have been lower budget indies.  Push your own level of creative thinking and encourage everyone working on your video to do the same.

These are just a few tips as to how you can hopefully accomplish a great video as opposed to an average one that is reminiscent of something we’ve seen a thousand times before.  Of course, in any creative endeavor (as in life) there are no guarantees that you’ll achieve greatness.   But if we’re not at least striving for it, then what’s the point?

Check out the link below to see some great author videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/AuthorVideoSolutions

Branding 101: Find Creative Ways to Get Your Message in Front of Your Consumers

by Joe Bayern, Senior Vice President

Now you’ve established a message, but there’s a lot of noise out there. Even though you understand who your target audience is and developed a compelling message, you still need to find creative ways to get the message in front of those consumers. 

The good news is that the explosion of the internet, social networking and video sites has created cost effective ways to connect directly with potential customers.  The bad news is that millions of other people have access to those same consumers; so, you must find ways to stand out in the crowd. 

Try to find ways to tell your story in as many creative approaches as possible, including press releases, blogs and forums, print/online advertising and video.  Remember people are much more likely to buy your product if they’ve seen it multiple times across several different mediums. 

Also look for ways to leverage your marketing investment as many times as possible.  Videos and book trailers are great examples.  Not only are they engaging to watch, but can be used in many ways:

  1. Personal website
  2. Video press releases
  3. Email marketing campaigns
  4. Social networking sites
  5. Retailer websites

Check out the video book trailer for Deadly Encounter by Maria Johs:

San Francisco Writers Conference and AuthorHive Partner

by Shelley Rogers, Marketing Manager

The non-profit San Francisco Writers Conference and San Francisco Writers University announced they are partnering with indie book publishing leader Author Solutions, Inc., and its integrated author marketing division, AuthorHive, to launch the Indie Publishing Contest for writers. The winner will be announced at the 2011 San Francisco Writers Conference, February 18-20.

The four category winners will receive their choice of a one-hour consultation with an agent or a free publishing package from an Author Solutions imprint, plus a certificate and publicity. The runner-ups will receive $50 and a 50% discount coupon for a publishing package from Author Solutions.

The Grand Prize winner will receive an indie publishing contract that includes:

For complete contest details, check out the following links:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-indie-publishing-contest-revamps-the-traditional-writing-contest-with-the-benefits-of-indie-publishing-103041269.html

http://www.sfwriters.org/pages.cfm?ID=6

Video Made the Author a Star!

by Marcus Chait, Director of New Media

In 1981, the debut of the music video changed the way artists promoted albums forever. It allowed viewers to put a face and narrative to the song, and gave artists the chance to forge an emotional connection with their audience. A generation was captivated, and the public bought albums in record numbers. Big stars got bigger, and new stars were catapulted to unseen heights of success. 

Fast forward to 2010. The Internet has made video more accessible than ever, and the publishing industry has taken notice.  Authors have to find a way to make their book stand out from the crowd, and I believe having a video component as part of your marketing campaign is a prime way of accomplishing that.

While a video can be one of your greatest assets when trying to attract the attention of readers, you need to be an active participant in the pre-production process to insure the best possible result.  Before securing a production team for your video, keep the following points in mind:

  1. Clear and Concise Messaging – It’s imperative that you understand the message you want to convey through your video prior to your production start date.  You should be able to verbalize your message to your production team so they understand the overall intent and goal of the video project.  If you don’t know what you’re trying to say, your production team won’t know how to say it.
  2. Creative Vision – Just as important as your message is the creative concept.  Make sure you are communicating your creative vision to your production team before filming begins.  There is nothing worse than reviewing your video project for the first time and realizing the creative vision is not what you had expected.
  3. Be Open to Change – While you are the foremost expert on your book, be open to the fact that your production team might have some useful insight to share when it comes to their area of expertise.  Sometimes the minutia that makes reading your book such a unique experience doesn’t play as well on film.  It’s understandably difficult for some authors to let go, but try to be open to suggestions as to how your book might play best on screen.
  4. Communication is Key – It may seem tedious, but the more information you can provide to your production team, the more successful your video will be.  If you’re given a questionnaire to fill out, be as specific as possible. Delivering as much detailed information as possible during the planning process is the most effective way for you to be a part of the creative and execution phases.  
  5. Have a Launch Plan – It’s critical to have a solid launch plan in place once production has wrapped.  Creating a well thought out marketing and launch strategy can be the difference between a handful of impressions versus thousands or maybe even hundreds of thousands of viewers.

Check out author Tom Duerig’s author video for his book, Stan’s Leap.