Category: book trailers

Disney Dumps Boy Scouts; Dancing with Cats; Audible Lowers Royalties

Disney Dumps Boy Scouts

Due to the ban the Boy Scouts of America have with regard to not allowing openly gay leaders and employees, Walt Disney World in Florida has discontinued contributions to local Boy Scout chapters. (You can be an openly gay Boy Scout…until you’re eighteen, and then it stops.)

Disney World, located in Orlando, did not make an announcement regarding its dumping of BSA. Reuters reports that the news came via an email to local members from Scouts’ Central Florida Council Board President Robert Utsey.

Utsey wrote: ‘We recognize that many Scout Units have received financial  support over the last several years from this grant opportunity and are sad to see it go.

Once again, the right to freedom of speech is a wonderful thing that often comes with consequences. Especially when that freedom of speech is geared toward anything discriminatory or defamatory. And Disney can choose to donate its money wherever it wants. Just as the Boy Scouts can continue to discriminate against gays.

You can read more here.

Dancing with Cats

I’m not always a huge fan of book trailers because I’ve seen authors spend way too much money and they’ll never see a return on that investment. I rarely buy a book because of a book trailer. But I also think that sometimes some book trailers work and this is one of them.

Chronicle Books is releasing a  15th anniversary edition of Dancing With Cats.

The book, which was originally published in 1999, is dedicated to photos of humans dancing with cats. The book sold more than 100,000 copies, in an era when Internet was less widely adopted and before Keyboard Cat hit the scene.

To celebrate the anniversary of the book and the latest edition, the publisher has created a playful book trailer. We’ve embedded the video above for your entertainment.

This not only proves that sometimes book trailers work, but also that some books are timeless.

You can read more here. You can watch the trailer, too.

Audible Lowers Royalties

Audible is a web site where publishers and self-published authors can launch the audio versions of their books. I don’t know much about it personally because I only have one on audible, An Officer and His Gentleman and it was launched through a publisher. It’s one area of self-publishing I haven’t ventured into yet because I’m not certain there’s a huge market for it. But I’m really not sure and I haven’t discounted doing more on Audible by any means. Most of all, I think it could be fun. In the past, several readers have told me they’ve listened to my book on audio and enjoyed it.

Amazon owns Audible. They purchased it not too long ago and launched the ACX Platform. Amazon has recently lowered royalties.

Up until now, Amazon was offering an escalating rate of 50%–90% on ACX titles sold exclusively; now it is dropping the rate to a non-escalating 40%.

You can check out the link above, but that’s about it for now. There are, however, several other news briefs with that link that are interesting. I like Publisher’s Weekly, but it is paid content and I know most of my blog readers don’t have memberships.

As I said, I have no idea how this will affect authors. But I do predict that Amazon will continue to lower royalty rates as time passes. I have no comment on that one way or the other. It is what it is.

Book Trailers…

This is only my opinion, and I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong before…but I’ve also been right a lot more than I’ve been wrong (smile). I’ve also been doing this for a long time and I’ve seen a lot of things/trends come and go.

In the past five years or so I’ve seen authors creating book trailers that are actually very good. You can see these authors have worked hard on them, and I would imagine have spent good money on them as well.

But I always wonder whether or not book trailers work. I’ve obviously never done a book trailer and I don’t see myself doing one in the near future. When I’m shopping for books without a recommendation, speaking as a reader, I’m more interested in reading a good solid book description, reader reviews, and a sample of the book I’m interesting in buying. Sometimes I buy with the process of elimination. In other words, I might not like the book description much. But if the reviews are interesting enough (with me they don’t always have to be good reviews…I’ve bought more books I love based on bad reviews than I can count) and the sample pages from the book are good, I’ll ignore the bad description. It’s usually a two out of three deal with me…and it’s not always about a bad book description.

I can honestly say that I’ve never been prompted to buy a book based on a book trailer. And I don’t know many people who have either. I’m sure there are a few who do. But does that small group of people warrant the time and cost of producing a book trailer? I honestly don’t know and there are no valid statistics to prove it one way or the other. So in this case I always trust my gut instinct…and experience…and listen to that little voice deep down.

Now, if you are an author like John Irving or Stephen King, I do enjoy book trailers that are actual interviews with the author. Who doesn’t want to find out what a famous author is really like? There’s a great interview out with John Irving’s LAST NIGHT IN TWISTED RIVER. I watched it after I read the book. But notice how I worded this, I watched it after I read the book…it was an added bonus to see what Mr. Irving had to say. I would have bought and read the book whether he did the video or not. And, I don’t think this can officially be classified as a book trailer. It is basically the author discussing the book, answering questions.

It would be great if there were some kind of meter that gave valid statistics about book trailers. But there isn’t. And I don’t think they help sell books or enhance the reading experience in any way. The reading experience isn’t like the film experience, where a trailer helps people decide on whether or not they want to see the film.

The main factors to consider, which to me are huge factors, are time and money. I’m not a huge fan of vanity promotion. So far I haven’t seen anyone who ever made a book trailer come out and honestly say the book trailer paid for itself and gave the author a lot of extra money in his or her own pocket. If they did, you can be damn sure all publishers would be doing them and the publisher would be footing the bills. And this is why authors need to think like business people all the time…the same way publishers think.