Promos...Bon, ça c’est un article qui va certainement faire pousser des hauts cris à certains d’entre vous pour deux raisons: un, c’est en anglais et en plus en yankee ce qui doit surement faire grincer plus d’une dent où d’une plume...deux c’est un article qui explique certaines des nouvelles techniques de lancement de livres.
En gros certaines maisons d’édition (Random, Workman, Bantam...) en viennent maintenant à utiliser le film/video et l’internet pour faire de la promotion de livres et utilisent des méthodes un peu différentes comme donner les premières épreuves d’un livre bien avant sa publication à des étudiants en film dans une école de cinéma et leur demander de faire une vidéo sur ce livre, pour ensuite en choisir une qui sera placée dans des sites aussi généralistes que Yahoo où YouTube qui sont fréquentés par un public bien plus large et bien plus jeune aussi que celui qui va sur les sites des maisons d’éditions elles-même...Les maisons d’éditions peuvent même commisioner un cinéaste pour cette book-video qui souvent sort des sentiers plus traditionnels de l’interview de l’auteur...Les sites web montrent cela comme des vidéos et non pas comme des promotions/publicités donc les éditeurs n’ont pas à payer de droits pour chaque clic d’entrée et c’est tellement peu cher que les éditeurs essayent cette technique pour des livres aussi divers que des pop-up books, des manuels du genre “Comment fabriquer des T-shirts”, des romans citant une chanson et dont l’artiste interprète la chanson dans la vidéo, et il y a eu même la vidéo pour promouvoir un livre sur le Kazoo (instrument de musique typiquement américain) qui était comme un documentaire sur un pseudo groupe de gens essayant de faire reconnaître le kazoo comme ‘instrument officiel de l’Amérique’ et la vidéo était tellement bien faite que les spectateurs pendant un moment croyaient que cette campagne était réelle...
Enfin voilà des idées un peu iconoclastes et nouvelles et qui apportent, à mon humble point de vue, un air frais dans l’engrenage livre, tournée promotion, interviews...
J’ose imaginer ce que certains jeunes cinéastes pourraient faire de certains polars....Décapant....
August 3, 2006
Publishers Try to Sell Words With Moving Pictures
By CLAUDIA H. DEUTSCH
BOOK publishers are unlikely to concede that a picture is worth a thousand words. But many of them are hoping that some well-placed pictures can help sell their words.
Random House, Workman Publishing, Scholastic and other publishers are running the equivalent of movie trailers on the Internet, all aimed at drawing fresh audiences to their books. The videos are not confined to sites catering to avid readers; they are also appearing on sites as general as Yahoo and YouTube.
The idea has received a thumbs up from the Association of American Publishers. “People want to know what a book is about before they buy, and these videos are a great new way to tell them,’’ said Patricia S. Schroeder, the association’s president.
Perhaps more important, in an industry that is notorious for penny-pinching on marketing for all but the best-known authors, it is also a cheap way to tell people about books. Companies like Expanded Books offer to film and place book videos for as little as $4,000. The Book Standard, an online publishing information service that is owned by VNU (the Dutch company that also owns Kirkus Reviews, Billboard and Adweek) has devised a contest in which film students compete to come up with book videos.
The Web sites have been running the videos as content, not advertising, so the publishers do not have to pay for every click. And unlike ads, the videos often have an afterlife in searchable archives, long after they have left the main home page.
“It’s so affordable that publishers are trying it for all different kinds of books,’’ said Skye Van Raalte-Herzog, a producer at Expanded Books.
The video formats vary as widely as the books being pitched. For well-known authors, the videos can be as wordy as they are visual. Bantam Dell, a unit of Random House, recently ran a series in which Dean Koontz told funny stories about the writing and editing process. And Scholastic has a video in the works for “Mommy?,” a pop-up book illustrated by Maurice Sendak that is set to reach stores in October. The video will feature Mr. Sendak against a background of the book’s pop-ups, discussing how he came up with his ideas for the book.
“Maury Sendak is already legendary, so people are going to be interested in how and why he’s doing his first pop-up book,’’ said Suzanne Murphy, vice president of trade marketing at Scholastic, which is doing an initial printing of 500,000 copies.
But for first-time authors — or for books that go far afield of an established author’s métier — most of the new videos are decidedly unbookish. For example, the video for Workman Publishing’s “Generation T: 108 Ways to Fashion a T-Shirt,’’ made by Expanded Books, would work as an infomercial. It uses a talk show format in which the author and host, wearing items made from T-shirts, talk about how easy they are to make, as pictures of models wearing more T-shirt-derived clothes flash in the background.
Other efforts could pass for music videos. Next month Tor Publishing is issuing “Variable Star,” a novel by Spider Robinson that includes lyrics from a song by David Crosby; the video will feature Mr. Crosby singing the song.
Workman’s video for “Stitch’n Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker,” a how-to book about crocheting written by the knitting expert Debbie Stoller, is a takeoff on “West Side Story,’’ complete with a rumble between a knitting gang and a crochet gang brandishing their lethal needles and accompanied by background music that is just different enough from Leonard Bernstein’s score to ward off lawsuits.
Still other videos are closer to plot-synopsis movie trailers. The video for “Shadow Man,” a Bantam Dell suspense novel about a female F.B.I. agent by the first-time author Cody McFadyen, includes not one word, just vignettes of an F.B.I. raid, a devastated woman cradling her child and later sitting determinedly at a computer, and an ominous-looking man lurking in the shadows.
Bantam Dell’s video for “Stuart: A Life Backwards,’’ a biography by Alexander Masters about a recovered alcoholic and heroin addict, shows a man about to shoot up as lilting music plays and a perky voice-over says: “Meet Stuart. He fancies heroin. He enjoys pain. He is a homeless, psychotic, delusional, knife-obsessed ex-convict. And you will love him.”
Those two Bantam Dell videos were an outgrowth of last spring’s first-ever Book Video Awards. The Book Standard sent galleys of three Bantam Dell books to four film schools, and asked that the students submit storyboards for videos to publicize them. The submissions were judged by a panel that included the books’ authors.
Bantam Dell gave the winners money to make the videos — an amount that accounted for 25 percent to 30 percent of each book’s publicity budget, said Carolyn Schwartz, Bantam Dell’s deputy director of creative marketing. What resulted were the videos for “Shadow Man” and “Stuart,” as well as a video for “The Thieves of Heaven,” a book by Richard Doetsch about a theft of two antique keys from the Vatican Museum.
The videos ran on Billboard.com and other VNU-owned sites, as well as on Yahoo, MSN and YouTube. The Book Standard also contracted with Sprint to transmit the videos to cellphones. And it arranged for them to run on Bebo.com, a social networking site catering to teenagers.
“You won’t get young people to buy books by boring them to death with conventional ads,’’ said Jerome Kramer, editor in chief of The Book Standard.
No one at Bantam can be sure how much the videos contribute to overall sales. But Random House is ready to do it again: Daisy Kline, its marketing director for children’s books, has just signed up for a similar program, the Teen Book Video Awards. The Book Standard is currently sending galleys for three books — “Great and Terrible Beauty,” “The Book Thief” and “How I Live Now”— to film schools.
Ms. Kline has no preconceived ideas of what the final videos will look like. But because the books are all aimed at teenagers, she is already excited that they will be running on Bebo.com. “That social networking capability, that idea of potential readers talking to each other, is what really sold me on this,’’ she said. “And a creative 45-second video is a lot more likely to spark that than any conventional Q. and A. with an author.”
Perhaps inevitably, the line between book videos and ads is starting to blur. This month, right before it releases “The Complete How to Kazoo,” Workman will run a mock political ad for a campaign to make the kazoo America’s national instrument, complete with petitions and exhortations to write your Congress member.
“First you’re intrigued because you think it’s real, and then you love being in on the joke.” said Kimberly Small, a senior publicist at Workman.
Sure, but will it sell a book about kazoos?
Ms. Small can’t be sure, but she thinks it will. “Put something out there that really entertains, and you know people are going to respond,’’ she said. “And if they are entertained, they just might buy the book.”
Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company