This article in The New York Times talks about how some book publishers are starting to experiment with videos on the publicity front. The enormous traffic levels for sites like YouTube are irresistible, and book publishers are trying to steer some of those eyeballs to their own products.
I think the idea definitely has merit, but I’m not sure how many books/publishers will create enough buzz to rise above the noise and make it work. After all, the majority of the people going to these sites are looking for the latest teenager-dances-like-a-ninja-warrior clip. The article talks about how these book videos will have some sizzle, but the real measure of success will come through in the viewer statistics.
It’s great that some of the videos are being made as part of a contest open to the amateur video world. Better to ask the community to come up with something really wacky and creative than to try and dream it up in a corporate conference room. Given how inexpensive it is to produce a decent video these days, I’m sure the results will be interesting.