06 April 2009

Book Commercials

Have you seen the intensely dramatic commercials for books by authors like James Patterson?  Usually, when I see a new one, I first think it's a commercial for a new movie or television show.  Don't believe me?  Check this out:

Yeah.  I know.

I haven't decided how I feel about commercials for books.

There's part of me that thinks it's pretty cool.  (Can you imagine seeing your book advertised on TV?)  And it could be a great way to get a name out there that may not be picked up off the bookshelves as quickly.

Then again, I've only seen commercials for James Patterson.  Not up-and-coming writers.  I'm sure there's logic in that--they have the budget to put the commercials together--but where does that leave other writers?  Can someone less known, like Simon Read, compete with the commercials put out by the Patterson people?  (Incidentally, I'd love to see a commercial by the Read people!)  And what can other writers do to combat the attention drawn by these commercials?

Generally, more people watch TV regularly than read regularly.  So perhaps the Patterson people are simply reaching out to a wider demographic.  Perhaps more in the publishing industry will begin to follow this trend, and will even the playing field a bit.

On the other hand, I've been hearing bad news coming from the industry lately, so I don't know that something like this is really feasible for many writers/publishers/agents.

What do you think about these commercials?  Do they make you want to read Patterson?  Do they make you want to avoid Patterson?  Whose commercial would you like to see, and why?

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