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Lessons from a Great Book Video

When I spoke to a group of publishing marketers this past fall in New York, there was a lot of discussion about book videos. Bottom line:  we know we need them, but they’re difficult to do well and oh by the way, expensive.

And is this not the same way much of business feels about video (he asked Shakespearically)? Wouldst we all not prefer everything in our lives to be cheaper and easier?  Verily.  Who has the time– just crank something out and post it!

Bad idea.  Cheap, badly done video doesn’t just turn off viewers (who will run like readers of lame Shakespearean English)– it also leaves a lingering bad taste about your product in the potential customer’s mouth.

Which is why it made me really happy to see this new, very well acted and funny trailer for a book on public speaking.  Professionally done, but as there are no car crashes, nothing blows up and it’s all shot in one room, I’m guessing it didn’t break the bank. The time and effort are all, as we say, “on the screen.”  As a result:

1)  Its professional look and good writing make us feel like the book will be professional and well written.

2) It gives viewers real information– suggesting to potential buyers that the book may be of real value.

3) It’s funny and entertaining, suggesting that the book will not be dry and boring.

For all these same reasons we want to pass it around.  For the book trailer category, it’s already a viral home run (over 120k views as I write this.)

Worth the effort and money?  We’ll see.  But the creators can be proud of their work.  And the hard truth is that a lame book video has no chance at all.

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About The Author

Steve Stockman

Steve Stockman, president of LA-based Custom Productions, Inc., is a prolific producer, writer, and director, known for over 200 diverse media projects. He is also the author of the best-selling book "How to Shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck," taught globally from middle school to graduate level, and available in 9 languages.

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