To Vid or Not To Vid

What sells a book?

It is obvious that people are not going to buy something they don’t know about. We are told the best way to inform people in this cyber age is with a website, a blog site and be on every possible social network. I have a website and blog site and I’m on Facebook and Twitter. To be very honest with you I don’t quite yet have Twitter figured out. I’m also on Linked in, but that’s another one I haven’t figured out yet.

Having done all those things, my question is, “When they come to your site what is the more effective sell; an excerpt or a video?” If you want to share your opinion the comment tab is open.

So here is a picture of the cover, and a brief description of The telephone Killer. I will also post a brief excerpt and a short video. What I’m wondering is if the video really does something or is it just fluff in the selling process.

Someone said of the video, “Well it lends credibility.” It seems to me it is the writing that has to be credible. So if you would read the excerpt and watch the video I would love I if you would let me know which, if there was only one or the other, is more likely to get you to buy the book.

OK. Here goes.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00024]

Who will he kill next? A local television station is the link between a murderer and his victims. When the unknown killer calls the station, misleading clues cannot help his intended targets.

But why is he killing seemingly random people? An insurance salesman, a police officer and a hitchhiker; the police cannot connect the victims to each other much less to the killer.

The questions haunt Vince Williams as he takes charge of the task force set up to stop the serial killer. When the team comes too close to answers, the killer makes a bold and very personal move against Vince. 

As Vince races to find the killer and rescue his fiancé, he is haunted by the killer’s calm promise to destroy the woman Vince loves. Vince will do anything to save her. – Anything.

Excerpt for Telephone Killer

‟KWBD newsroom. Andrea Becker speaking.”

‟I have a news story for you.” The voice was quiet, but was easily heard and had a calm and soothing quality. ‟I would appreciate it if you did not interrupt me with questions until I have finished what I have to say.” He paused. ‟I have just killed a police officer. After determining there was no one else in the area, or anyone in his car with him, I shot him in the head. The bullet entered the left temple and exited on the right side. The killing took place at precisely ten forty-seven this morning. You will find his body in his car located at the end of Harmon Place. He did not suspect a thing. I imagine he thought I was going to ask for directions or something of that nature. He was in car number seven, twenty-six and his badge number is eighteen, twenty-one. I hope as a public service you will make the most of this news opportunity. ”

The phone went dead but still Andrea said, ‟Hello. Hello.”

* * *

Harmon Place rose up the gentle hill to end at a barricade beyond which there was some tall grass and scraggly brush interspersed with a few scrub oak trees. The street was paved with curbs and sidewalks in place and sloping driveways leading to bare dirt lots that were beginning to fill with weeds. From the end of Harmon Place, at the top of the hill, one could look down on Falcon Heights and beyond it to the city. At night, the sight of the city lights was spectacular and the curbs of Harmon Place, and other streets like it, were dotted with the cars of young lovers. Officer Remke had never parked there at night himself, but often in the middle of the morning, he parked at the end of Harmon Place to catch up on his reports so he would have that much less to do back at the station when his shift was over.

The KWBD crew from the senior citizen center, which was two miles away, got there a few minutes before the first patrol car. In that time the KWBD crew were able to get pictures of the dead officer sitting behind the wheel of his car with blood on his cheek and neck and splattered all over his uniform and the car seat. So much of the right side of his head was blown away it would have been hard to determine it was a human head if it were not for the neck and then the uniformed body below it.

More patrol cars arrived, and the police started stringing up yellow tape to keep people back. Unmarked cars with detectives and professionals from the homicide division arrived. Five minutes later, the Live-News truck arrived. Although the crew from the truck was prevented by the police from getting close enough to the crime scene to get any good pictures, the video George Patton had taken before anyone else got there was transmitted by the Live truck to the station for broadcast.

Here is the video for Telephone Killer


Paul’s book The Telephone Killer published by 2nd Wind Publishing will be out in December, 2012.

Please feel free to re blog any of my posts.


Filed under books, writing

5 responses to “To Vid or Not To Vid

  1. Tracy Lawson

    Hi Paul!
    Thanks for a thought-provoking post. Though I agree that writing must be credible, the video does lend credibility to the book as a product. I wasn’t sure if I’d do a video for my upcoming book, but now I’m convinced it’s the way to go!


  2. I have to confess I rarely watching book videos. I do watch previews of movies, but I haven’t quite worked out why I’d want a movie preview of something I’m planning to read. I’d rather just read a blurb, then an excerpt, then decide. And Telephone killer sounds intriguing.

  3. Well done video, Paul. With my schedule, I’m more apt to read a blurb than view a video, and Telephone Killer sounds scary either way!

    • Paul J. Stam

      Thank you, Christine,

      Most who have responded have said the excerpt was more influential. I guess again it is how good the writing is and/or how good the video is.

      Thanks again,

      Blessings and Aloha- Paul Stam

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