Video is everywhere, and it turns out that the book publishing industry and authors know to get readers, they simply must have a video of some sort out there!
There are several different ways to promote a science book on video. One way is to put up a talk given on the topic of the book. These can be a brief summary of the topic or a full one hour lecture. I have enjoyed many of these as it gives me a chance to learn more about the topic before I invest 8-15 hours in reading or listening to a book.
Since today Misha Angrist's fabulous book, "Here is a Human Being", about personal genomics, is out in paperback, I thought I would feature some of his videos about his book. Here is Misha discussing the content in his book as produced by Duke University.
Another option is to put up an interview someone has done with you from your university, a spot with Dr. Kiki's Science Hour, or if you are very fortunate, with Charlie Rose, on the Daily Show or The Colbert Report! You might also be featured on "Blogging Heads TV".
Publishers are now creating book trailers. These can feature the author doing the voice over or starring in it or it can be more creative, like the one done by WW Norton for Mary Roach's book Packing for Mars which won a Moby Book Trailer Award for best non-fiction book trailer. Yes! Such awards exist!
Here is Misha's trailer:
Authors appreciate good book reviews and more of these are popping up in video format. I review books on video. More precisely, I review science, technology, engineering and math books in that format. It is a hobby (I am not working for anyone on this) as I love reading science books across the entire spectrum. It also works for me as video capitalizes on whatever aspects of my appearance and demeanor has made me come across as telegenic and articulate. It all started when I had a new video camera and wondered what to do with it. I had just read a book I enjoyed and thought I would share about it. The rest is history.
"Review" is perhaps not the best term to use for what I do. I would say I recommend books. My overall goal is to tell people what books are out there, inform them of the general gist of what the book is about, and to share that a good popular science book does not have to be boring and can be just as amusing and moving as any fiction book out there, plus they are a great way to learn many new topics or brush up on something you never really learned about in school or keep abreast on the new and exciting changes in science over the years. I expect I reach a segment of the population who may or may not be looking out for the New York Times Review or even a Scientific American review. I think that is why I do have a niche and publishers and authors send me their books.
With that, here is my latest review, featuring Misha Angrist's book and Kevin Davies' "The $1000 Genome"
If I don't review an author's book, it certainly is not for lack of interest. I read almost everything that is sent to me and I enjoy most of those books! Often I can't always make the time to get in the studio (especially lately). I do every aspect of the time-consuming pre- and post-production myself all while maintaining a day job!
Have you seen a science book trailer you loved? How about a video captured lecture or interview? I would love to hear what you have found interesting and effective.