The rise of YouTube, where any halfwit with a video camera can become an instant celebrity (yes Chris Crocker, you dipshit, I'm looking at you) has meant two things for companies: cheap publicity and a potentially huge audience. It's perhaps inevitable that publishers would latch onto the idea of producing promotional videos that (equally inevitably) end up on YouTube. That's not to say the videos are all good or worthwhile...but all publicity is good publicity as they say. Here's a selection of some fantasy promo videos.
First up, a video for The Chronicles of the Necromancer series by Gail Z. Martin that I'm having plenty of fun with right now. It's pretty short and nothing spectacular, but at least spreads the word around. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=1BaaGqiXqiE
Next up, a promo video from a couple of years back. Scott Lynch discusses debut novel The Lies of Locke Lamora. This is the sort of video publishers should shoot for; it has plenty of info without being overbearing, enables the potential reader to connect with the author and isn't overlong. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=uDlvTFh9IiQ
Another Scott Lynch promo video/interview, this one more recent. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=yG3fNJxG8wg
This last one is promoting Karen Miller's fantasy duology Kingmaker, Kingbreaker. Personally I think this is a weak promo video; it in no way makes me want to rush out and buy the book. Miller makes her novel sound about as interesting as watching paint drying. Actually, no: about as interesting as watching paint. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=FbNoHoveDiQ