CBS Corp.'s Simon & Schuster book-publishing arm next month will launch an Internet book channel called Bookvideos.tv that will be hosted on YouTube.com and other video-sharing sites. For an industry constantly held back by scant marketing dollars, the plan represents a new and inexpensive digital way to promote books and try to turn their authors into brands.
The publisher is committed to a flight of 40 videos that will be personality-driven rather than focusing solely on specific new titles. The videos, which be produced by TurnHere Inc., based in Emeryville, Calif., will last two minutes and feature such best-selling authors as Mary Higgins Clark, Zane, and Sandra Brown.
Although the videos will be owned by Simon & Schuster, the publisher, in a nod to the free-wheeling digital-video culture, says other sites will be free to link or use the videos in any form. Retailers will have access to the videos, and authors will be able to post them on their own Web sites.
For now....the publisher says the site will focus purely on its own authors. The question then is will we see other sites with .TV domains or will there be a logical role for an aggregator like NY Times Book Review or C-Span to create more unbiased book review videos?