March 8 – March 15, 2007 Edition

Powell’s Books
To Launch Aggressive
Video Promotion

PORTLAND, OR/3/8/07–Powell’s Books, one of the most aggressive bookselling chains in the US (with seven major outlets), is taking another big leap forward by launching “Out of the Book” an online and in-store promotion that will occur this summer in bookstores across America. The on-going promotion will show short movies of frontlist titles, each up to 23 minutes in length. The company will make one or two films per quarter with frontlist authors.

The films will be promotional and entertaining pieces rather than ads, including interviews with authors, clips of the authors’ hometowns and settings for the books, plus critics’ remarks and comments from fans. The films also will be distributed free to other booksellers around the US to help build exciting events. At this date, nearly 40 booksellers across America have signed up to use the clips in events for an entire inaugural week of Out of the Book. Each store will tailor events to suit their needs and will have some territorial exclusivity, but Powell’s plans to include as many booksellers as will use the promotional tool. The price of admission to some book events will be a copy of the book being promoted or a gift card for the title.

The company will launch the far-reaching new marketing strategy in June 2007 at the New Yorker’s Book Expo America party with a big-name author, according to the blog, Shelf Awareness. The inaugural week will take place two weeks after BookExpo. The business model for Out of the Book has not yet been firmed up, according to executives, so Powell’s is footing a big part of the bill at this stage, supplying participating stores with films, signed bookplates, display materials, graphics and a variety of other materials. The company sees the filmmaking idea as a “proactive way” of boosting book awareness and creating real excitement.

Powell’s is already known for its podcasts, blogs, and lively website,