As a book author and promoter of books I am curious to see what tactics are useful in book promotion. What media do people pay attention to and what marketing devices do the average reader feel is effective.
I recently ran across an interesting website called ask500people.com which provides users with the opportunity to create a poll which they distribute to their website visitors who represent a random sample of individuals. The site visitors answer a number of questions on a variety of subjects allowing users to get sample feedback on whatever questions they are anxious to have answered.
I posed this question: Which of the following activities would you prefer to use to help you learn about the contents of a non-fiction book? Pick one. The answer choices were; 1. Read the book cover front and back. 2. Read a review (250 to 500 words). 3. Watch a short video (less than 1 minute). 4. Listen to a podcast or radio style interview (20 to 30 minutes).
Which of the above media do you feel you would prefer to use to understand the contents or advantages of a new book? Which do you feel were most popular with the random sample?
I have to say that as a producer of video book trailers I was looking for some statistics to bolster the marketing of my service to aspiring authors and book publishers. To be honest the results did not exactly provide me with the ammunition I had hoped for, but in fairness I thought I should report my findings as limited and unscientific as they are.
Of the 27 worldwide respondents 14 individuals or 52% said they preferred to read a review, while 30 % cast 8 votes for reading the book cover. I guess some people can judge a book by its cover. Four out of the 27 or 15% chose the video while the remaining one person preferred the radio style interview.
So while the majority of the respondents chose the review I do not see this as a necessary defeat for video. After all book readers have relied on book reviews for hundreds of years. In fact many notable authors such as Edgar Allan Poe made a living reviewing other people’s books. Book reviews are a staple of the book selling process. While video book trailers are in their infancy. I wonder how many of you reading this have even viewed a video book trailer. While I am sure everyone has read at least one book review.
Admittedly this was not a scientific study. I know little of the demographics of the respondents except that the majority were from the eastern United States and western Europe. I entered into this poll looking for a particular outcome; so in the spirit of Benjamin Disraeli and Mark Twain both of whom are attributed with furthering the notion that there are “Lies, damn lies and statistics.” I propose that video’s 15% showing is a victory for a medium that has only recently burst on the scene. I declare that this modestly strong showing indicates a growing enthusiasm for video as a communication option on the Internet and in particularly, as a way for readers of books who have previously had to rely almost solely on printed media to utilize a multimedia option for learning about new publications. With the growing enthusiasm for websites such as youtube and others there is every indication that this trend will continue to grow and demand will increase with more available content. Whatever your preference be it written review, interview or video find yourself a good book to read.
Checkout some video book trailers at AuthorsBroadcast.com .