Simon & Schuster to stream book videos on Roku and Blinkx

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In an effort to market its books on more channels, Simon & Schuster is pushing into online video. The publisher says its book and author videos are already viewed 1 million times each month and have been viewed a total of 10 million times on YouTube. Now Simon & Schuster is distributing those videos on streaming video box Roku, video search engine Blinkx, video discovery site Taboola, AOL.com, and digital network DBG.tv.

While Simon & Schuster has placed particular emphasis on online video, other publishers are also using it as a promotional tool. Reading community site Goodreads has its own video section, and website Book Riot has a separate section for book trailers. Readers and fans have come to expect “readily available and entertaining information both about their favorite authors and those they’re considering reading,” said Simon & Schuster EVP and chief digital officer Ellie Hirschhorn. “Video is now a critical part of that mix.”

Since many web users search for topics, not individual titles, Simon & Schuster has created three video channels that will appear on Roku and Blinkx. Two of the channels, “Tips on Healthy Living” and “Tips on Life and Love,” focus on videos from lifestyle and relationship authors (and have corresponding blogs), while “Book Stew” features author interviews for pop culture and general interest books.

Hirschhorn said Simon & Schuster’s most popular videos have been Walter Isaacson speaking on his book Steve Jobs (13,562 views on YouTube) and a book trailer for Hunger Games parody The Hunger Pains (over 1.5 million views on YouTube). The most successful videos, she said, provide “entertainment that is not an advertisement,” and tend to be under two minutes long.

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