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How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck

10 Things Book People Need to Know About Video

I spoke this past week in New York to the Publisher’s Advertising and Marketing Association. Great location (Random House on Broadway), great sandwiches (chicken and pesto on a great baguette) and lively discussion (scroll down here for coverage) about the need for publishers to upgrade their commitment to video as a promotional tool (read:  spend more time and money.)

 

We talked about 10 Things Book People Need to Know about Video, but since most of them apply to most businesses, I’m reprinting them here:

1. Entertain or Die:  Nobody watches bad video.  There are too many instantly available alternatives.

2.  Video is about the audience.  If they’re not interested, they won’t watch.  If they don’t watch, you might as well not have made the video.

3.  Never confuse what you want with what the audience wants.  You may have sales goals, but they have their own needs. Their needs determine how they behave, not yours.

4.  The Entertainment Transaction:  The audience pays (with time or money) the entertainment must deliver (with an experience).

5. A Viral Video is a “hit”—it’s as tough to make as a hit record, hit TV show, or hit movie.  A strategy that depends on a single hit is no strategy at all.

6. Video done right works.  It can increase the number of people who know about your book, or improve their experience of it.  Or both.

7.  Treat your author like a star. Always make your star look great—which includes matching talent to on-camera task.

8.  Find the story in your videos.  Hero, beginning, middle, end.

9.  Remember the Rubbermaid RuleKeep your video short.

10.  Welcome to the Entertainment Industry. Like it or not, you’re competing with all videos for attention.  Make sure yours are worth watching.

 

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