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Interview with An Author (or Two) and Some Thoughts on Book...

In the true spirit of viral marketing, I received my first AuthorTalk link in my inbox from a friend. I’m not sure how she found it but I think it was from another person’s blog. And now I am doing my part in spreading the word.

I think the entire point of book trailers was to be an online, grass roots, viral marketing endeavor. Circle of Seven Productions owns the trademark to “book trailer” and is credited with the origination of the concept.

I’ve always wonder about the success of book trailers. The Book Standard used to have the Book TrailerPark for videos but the Book Standard is dead and so is the TrailerPark. That’s a bit how I view book trailers, a sort of promotional dead end. I don’t think that even one trailer has convinced me to buy a book.

There have been several posts about the blogosphere that discuss the book trailer with most people agreeing that the videos do very little for them. Despite the many proclamations of readers and authors who feel unmoved by book trailers, authors still keep making them and putting them on YOUTUBE. As of the writing of this blog post, there are currently 13,200 videos that match the search criteria “Book Trailer.”

But Author Talk is something different. They are very entertaining. I’ve never felt that they were too long (I’ve often felt that about book trailers). I’ve been telling everyone I know about them both via the blog and via email. I’ve had IM conversations with more than one reader about how enjoyable they are which is a first for me. Most importantly, these videos make me want to read the books. I asked Jill Monroe and Gena Showalter, the women behind the Author Talk curtain, for an interview and in true Author Talk style, they presented me with the following interview:

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Jayne
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 04:21:03

    Brava ladies! Love the dresses. Mean it.

  2. Kristie(J)
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 05:27:44

    I think the idea of Author Talk is brilliant – absolutely brilliant!! I ordered some books online the other day and two of them were Gena Showalters. And I went to the bookstore yesterday and saw her latest one was out and so I also picked that one up too. And I wish that Jill Monroe had something coming out soon as I would get that one too. As it is, I plan on getting her back list next order. And the reason is they are so damn funny with the whole Author Talk thing I just want their books. I’d read a few of Gena’s books – two I enjoyed, one a DNF (sorry Gena) but as for future purchasing – I was going to wait for buzz. But now – well ’cause I love the whole thing I’ll be buying their books with no second thoughts.
    As for the authors they interview I will also be trying them too ’cause they are all so funny and play along so well too that I like the thought of trying them too.
    All this is to say that makes me want to want to read their books too – both Jill and Gena and the authors interviewed!

  3. Marg
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 05:49:53

    I watched the first one of these and even now every time I see Gena’s book Savor me s-l-o-w-ly I say it just like that! I have been entertained by them all! Good job ladies!

  4. Kristie(J)
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 06:20:45

    Marg *laughing* I do that now too. I read Savor Me S-l-o-w-l-y and quite enjoyed it.

  5. Angela James
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 06:48:42

    These videos are incredibly fun, and really a great marketing idea because of the viral aspect, like you said, Jane. I know that’s how I originally heard about them, was someone (I’m pretty sure it was Jaci Burton) directing me to one of the first ones.

    Don’t you think Jill and Gena should interview an editor for something different? ;)

  6. Maria
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 06:49:51

    I LOVE Author Talk! Gena and Jill have terrific chemistry and the concept for Author Talk is brilliant. The humor is just…weird. Right up my alley.

    P.S. They hooked me with the cheesy music. :o)

  7. Anji
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 07:15:27

    Yeah, I’m not a fan of book trailers. I’d rather just read the book cover.

    But the Author Talk videos are different – they are so humorous and quirky!

  8. JulieLeto
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 07:30:00

    Hilarious. Like everyone else, I also say, “Savor me Slllloooowly” and also, “Warrior RI-sing.” It’s the new vernacular.

    Jill, when will your next book come out???

    I have Gena’s DARKEST NIGHT right here. Can’t wait to dig in!

  9. Jaci Burton
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 07:52:42

    Great interview Jane ;-)

    I always get excited when a new Author Talk video comes out. This is brilliant marketing.

  10. katiebabs
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 08:10:33

    Author Talk has me almost rolling on the ground in laughter. I love these videos and they are so cute, funny and Gena and Jill are a great duo :D
    I want more of these.
    Jane… at RWA you should go in front of the camera. ;)

  11. katiebabs
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 08:13:45

    Underworld VD!!! LMFAO!!!

  12. Danielle
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 08:37:13

    I love Author Talk and everyday I go to their web site to see if a new one is up. These two ladies belong on TV.

  13. Nora Roberts
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 09:06:26

    Okay, that’s officially the funniest and most clever thing I’ve seen in ages. Those girls are good!

    And you, too, Jane.


  14. Jane
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 09:12:19

    Nora, you should go to the website and watch the Kresley Cole and the Rachel Vincent ones. They are my favorite.

    As for me, I deserve no credit. It’s all Jill and Gena. They are wonders.

  15. Keishon
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 09:13:51

    Very effective marketing tool.

  16. Cynthia
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 09:26:12

    Put me in the “I LOVE these interviews” group. Every single one has made me laugh!

    But I do have to say, Gina’s dance rendition of Kresley Cole’s career had me in stitches..including the “birth of Kresley’s new book”

    Please do not stop. There are so many authors who must be interviewed.

  17. sula
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 09:27:33

    Laugh out loud funny. And I’ll be honest…after seeing one of these videos (the hilarious Kresley Cole interview you posted earlier) I am way more likely to look up books by all authors involved. As for trailers? They do nothing for me. *shrug*

  18. Mel-O-Drama
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 09:36:09

    As always…brilliant!

  19. Marley Gibson
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 10:02:55

    Love you guys! You always make me laugh hysterically to the point where people ask me if I’m “okay.”

    Marley = )

  20. Diane Dishman
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 10:06:22

    Gena and Jill, you’ve done it once again… made me pee my pants, damnit!

    Luv the latest vid. :-D You two rock!

  21. Karen Erickson
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 10:37:16

    I love Author Talk. I love Jill & Gena – they’re just as funny in person too. I have also fallen into the “Savor me slooow-ly” trap. Just saw it at Borders a couple of days ago and giggled after I said it out loud. Someone looked at me funny.

    A very brilliant marketing tool. Kudos to them!

  22. Bethany Allinder
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 10:44:26

    I just watched all of them, and I loved when the book popped out from Gena’s dress. Absolutely priceless!

  23. Em Rough
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 10:56:16

    I love these videos AND they work! I’ve picked up books just because they were featured on Author Talk. Jill and Gena are simply fab to watch. Keep ’em coming!

  24. Louisa Edwards
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 11:24:34

    Okay, I’m officially fangirling you. Be warned! You will have stalkers at National.

  25. Mad
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 11:32:20

    Great video…love it! lol

  26. Jill Monroe
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 11:34:27

    Thank you everyone for your nice comments, and thank you Jane! Her questions were a lot of fun, and it was a little different being on the other side of the kind of questions I usually ask : )

    Author Talk is so much fun to make, and I’m so glad that you all are enjoying them. We have some wonderful authors coming up and more to tape at National, so you’ll be saddled with AT for at least a little while longer.

    Gena’s computer crashed about an hour ago, otherwise I know she’d be thanking you, too. But she’s not here, and probably won’t be for awhile, so let’s all feel free to talk about her.

  27. Sharon Sala
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 11:39:24

    Once again, the wit and wisdom of two of my fellow OKRWA members has left me laughing. The plus for me was seeing the cover of my book, THE HEALER, set to “pornish” music. ROTFL

    Sharon Sala

  28. Jessica Barksdale Inclan
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 12:24:06

    These two are amazing, fun, and wonderful to watch! I wish I’d thought of it myself, even if it doesn’t sell books because it just looks like a kick to do.

    Jessica Inclan

  29. Christine
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 12:32:26

    LOL Jill!!!
    I am totally loving Jill & Gena’s authortalk videos. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next. Even my 13 year old daughter who has no clue about any of the authors or their books laughed hysterically with me during the Kresley Cole interview. Great stuff.

  30. Bonnie L.
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 12:38:17

    That was great! I’m going to check out all their interviews now.

    I gotta know . . . Jane, was that your voice asking the questions?

  31. Lori Borrill
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 12:51:10

    Don't you think Jill and Gena should interview an editor for something different? ;)

    OMG, Jill, you need to do Brenda Chin. Seriously.

    And yeah, I keep saying you two have a second career working for Saturday Night Live.

  32. PC Cast
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 15:54:33

    As always Author Talk is witty and wonderful. I heart Jill and Gena (a.k.a. Gina Snowater)! I think my favorite Author Talk moment, besides Jill renaming my daughter from Kristin to Krissy, is when Gena gives birth to Kresley’s book. HILARIOUS. And I’ll add my vote for you guys to interview an editor!

  33. limecello
    Apr 30, 2008 @ 01:25:56

    I finally got to watch that video – and how fun! I love Author Talk. Also, Jane, I agree with you 100% on the book trailers. There has only been one I’ve seen that I was so impressed with that it made me want to read the book more. On the other hand, there have been some book trailers that made me a little less eager to buy the book…

  34. Harry~DayDream
    Apr 30, 2008 @ 03:44:55

    Gena and Jill get to do this a lot you know on their blogs. There was this one time Jill interviewed herself about Primal Instincts and it was just hilarious, since thee diting was simply amazing. The trademark line is usually “Can we stop now? Your voice is giving me a headache!” Hearing Jill say this to herself just made me laugh.

    Anyways you were fab Jane!

  35. Questions From Jane - Author Talk Extra #2 « Where Authors Talk To Other Authors
    Apr 30, 2008 @ 07:44:21

    […] From Jane – Author Talk Extra #2 Jump to Comments Jane from Dear Author wrote an interesting opinion piece on Book Trailers.  As an author who made a book trailer (for my […]

  36. Jane
    Apr 30, 2008 @ 08:45:36

    Lest my involvement be overstated and credit not be given to the true geniuses (Jill and Gena), I wrote out a number of questions and Jill and Gena picked the ones that worked the best. It’s Jill’s voice that asks the questions on the video. My involvement is mostly as an avid spectator. :)

  37. Malena Lott
    Apr 30, 2008 @ 08:57:00

    Who needs to watch TV when you’ve got AuthorTalk to keep you entertained? Jill and Gena are my OKRWA home girls and as a marketing consultant and author myself, I think they’ve done an amazing job of creating a fun promotional tool that is authentic to who they are. (Yes, they are like that in real life, too!) Kudos, chicks!

  38. Harry~DayDream
    Apr 30, 2008 @ 10:10:25

    Now, now Jane. Even though Jill read the questions, I can recognize her voice anywhere by now. You played a vital role. You caused another Author Talk to be born and well your icon was used there, so don’t be so shy! ;)

  39. Vicki Lewis Thompson
    Apr 30, 2008 @ 13:13:04

    My book made it on an Author Talk video! My day is complete. My month is complete! Thank you, Jill and Gena. Great stuff. I’m still giggling.

  40. MaryK
    Apr 30, 2008 @ 23:02:43

    These videos are cool and kinda addictive, and I’m one who actively avoids book trailers. The visual of a face and personality to go with an author’s name is really going to increase the recognition factor for me. I’d forgotten that I wanted to read “Your Mouth Drives Me Crazy.” After the HelenKay interview, I don’t think I’ll forget again.

    Of course, if they weren’t so well done, it’d be book trailers all over again.

  41. HelenKay Dimon
    May 01, 2008 @ 12:14:43

    MaryK – That just makes my day. Thank you. Knowing Jill, I’m betting she will now insist that I give her a percentage of my sales proceeds, but it’s great to know this sparked your memory. I hope you enjoy the book.

  42. SheilaEnglish
    May 01, 2008 @ 22:06:22

    Too funny!

    I was told by a bookseller that I should go comment about book trailer stats on a blog that is talking about book trailers.

    Then I saw the blog is Dear Author and I was thrilled! Love the blog! I’ve commented here before on other topics.

    But I started watching that video and just about died laughing!! That is so clever and so hilarious!!! Kudos all around!

    I don’t want to change the mood by giving out a bunch of stats and facts about book trailers. But, if anyone is interested I’d be happy to bore you to tears.

    That video made me laugh and cheered me up. I’m off to see what else they have on their site. Thanks, Jane!!

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