Chronicle Brings Its Books to Life with Promotional Video: A Q&A with Children's Books Marketing Manager Pete Bohan
A quirky, cranky, hard-to-please birthday girl meets a new, furry best friend and hilarity ensues. “Rita and Whatsit,” a children's title from San Francisco-based Chronicle Books, could easily be described this way to potential customers. Or, they could get an even better feel for the book by watching the promotional video.
That's what Chronicle Books envisioned when it hired Nashville-based online video production company StudioNow in November 2008. The result, in the case of "Rita and Whatsit," is a minute-plus-long video, set to instrumental music, in which the pages of the book come to life through simple animation. It currently has been viewed more than 4,500 times on You Tube. Another video, to promote Chronicle's "Subway Art, 25th Anniversary Edition," by Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant, has been viewed more than 17,000 times on You Tube. In that video, the authors discuss the origins of the project while images of subway art featured in the book are shown.
Pete Bohan, Chronicle Books' children's books marketing manager, spoke with Book Business Extra about how it the publisher is utilizing this new promotional tool and why it partnered with StudioNow.
Book Business Extra: How are customers responding to these videos?
Pete Bohan: … I think we're learning as we go along, because this is really a new promotional tool for us in a lot of ways.… So as far as how our consumers are reacting to them, it's really hard to say. … We put [the videos] on our Web site, we put them up on YouTube on the Chronicle Books Channel (www.YouTube.com/user/ChronicleBooks), our publicist will blast it out to her blogger contacts, [and] we also do advertising that drives booksellers and librarians to come view the video on our site. … We [also] provide the video to our larger customers, like BarnesandNoble.com, Borders.com, Powells.com and, when possible, we get it up on Amazon. … We know that our retail customers love using them as promotional tools … and we've gotten good feedback. ... Everybody's out there making video and watching video. … So we needed to do that, too. ...