In April, Market My Novel told you about a viral video contest by author Jeremy Robinson. He wanted to use this contest as a way to generate buzz about his book.
I thought this was a fantastic idea and could not wait to hear the results. Today, Robinson drops by Market My Novel to talk about the pros and pitfalls of his experience.
This past spring I ran a viral video contest in which contestants had to make a viral video featuring my new novel, PULSE. The video with the most views, won. The idea was to have fun, promote the book and try to win the best novel package I’ve ever seen as a prize, with signed novels from some of the best guys in the business. Had I not been the creator of the contest, I would have entered.
But was it a good idea? Did it work? Yes, and no. I believe that for an author with a bigger name, say James Rollins, Stephen King, or J.L. Rowling, this would be a phenomenal success. The fan base is huge, excited and dedicated. They would have no trouble getting the masses to create hundreds of videos for their books.
BUT, I’m a relatively new author with a smaller audience that’s not quite as dedicated and just starting to get excited. It was too much too soon.
So how many entries did I get? Three. That said, they were all good. Views for the three videos topped out around 14,000, which is great for just three videos (but not so great compared to just one of my own videos which has more than 150,000 views).
Would I do it again. Yup. I will in the future when I feel my fanbase is ready to tackle something like this. Part of the fun is seeing what fans come up with. My favorite video was also the winner, pulling in 11k of the 14k views for the contest. Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlvfHFO1zjQ
Which brings me to the pitfalls of the contest. First, should you hold a contest of your own, do NOT offer a package of novels as the prize. Not only did this amazing prize fail to motivate most people, but it also cost a fortune to ship (31 pounds) to the winner…in New Zealand! Next time I do this the prize will be something much lighter, like a Kindle or iPod.
Conclusion: It’s a great idea, but on I think can only be successfully implemented by an already established author with a large audience. Might be fun to try if you have a strong core audience willing to take part for a smaller prize, though.
For more on me, the contests I’ve done, and of course, the novels, visit www.jeremyrobinsononline.com.
— Jeremy Robinson