It’s about author websites and trailers that are becoming more and more professional. And, as you might guess, those websites are becoming hugely expensive.
AuthorBytes, a multimedia company started in 2003, has built sites for more than 200 clients, including Paul Krugman, Chris Bohjalian and Khaled Hosseini. They cost from $3,500 to $35,000 — with writers paying about 85 percent of the time. The staff of 20 even includes three employees whose entire job is updating.Sullivan says some book videos are “laughably bad.” But calls others “impressive, full-scale productions.”
Naomi Klein’s nearly seven-minute companion film to “The Shock Doctrine,” directed by Alfonso Cuarón with a full crew and shown at the 2007 Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals, has been downloaded more than a million times. “The film was a thing unto itself; it didn’t feel like an advertisement,” Klein said in a telephone interview. “But it was part of a viral phenomenon that made the book a best seller.”Let’s face it, even $3,500 is a lot of money for most writers. Forget a production costing $35,000 -- unless you have a big-pocketed and generous publisher or you have a caviar promotion budget.
But it will cost you nothing to read Sullivan’s piece and click the links to see the websites and videos. It might give the rest of us ideas to adapt to our popcorn budgets.