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Book Trailers: The Good, The Bad And The UGH. (VIDEO, POLL)

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You want to learn about a new release before you buy it--or, maybe, discover more about a writer by watching a 'book trailer', as the category is known. Very trendy of you. Video as a marketing medium is hot. A record 31 billion videos--of all types, not just about books--were viewed in November, 2009, according to comScore Inc., with Google and Hulu topping the list of go-to sites. Wow. Even before I saw those numbers, I was aware that the small screen is, and will continue to be, a smart marketing outlet for authors and a fascinating learning tool for readers. What I underestimated, is how far beyond the traditional 'book trailer' video can go. I watched the really inspiring and the should-not-have-gone-straight-to-video video this week to give you a sense of what's out there.

I went on my quest for cool book videos mostly as a reader, and somewhat as an author. What makes a book or author or promotion 'pop' or 'plop' on screen? For me, humor, a hint of controversy, or a heaping helping of insider advice from an author are all key to roping in readers. The best videos hit you viscerally, as a good friend who does this for a living likes to say often.

To test the visceral content measure, I checked out the financial book category. I am not a budgeter or bargainer by nature. If I am going to buy a financial book, the message of the book has to hit me in the gut before I'll even hold it in my hand.

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