I have a children’s book of action rhymes and stories that I’m pitching and am thinking of posting a brief video on my website. The video contains a child reciting and acting out the words to an excerpt of the book. Would this be considered published work to an agent or publisher and therefore not be saleable?– Nina
Tracy here, and I’m happy to share some thoughts on this.
Would a short excerpt be considered pre-published by itself? I don’t think so. BUT…
I think the bigger question is – why do you want to make and post this video?
Because, to be honest, an editor or agent is going to be looking mostly at the quality of your writing first and foremost, and most of us aren’t going to go through an author’s website unless we’re already hooked.
But once you publish a YouTube video with a short excerpt, you’re going to have to spend a lot of time trying to get views on that video if you want it to be effective. Because should an agent or editor look, it’s going to be less than impressive if they see a clip and only 20 views. And maybe that’d be a subconscious reaction – on the logical side, one could easily say that they wouldn’t expect one single YouTube video to take off. But we’re emotional creatures, and seeing a video with a low view count is probably not going to be that helpful to you as a querying writer.
So I think the ultimate answer is – posting a short excerpt is probably not going to hurt your publication chances. But, it’s probably also not going to help unless you plan on investing a ton of time in promoting and making more videos. And if your goal is traditional publication, maybe your time is better spent elsewhere – on writing the next book, revising something in progress, querying more agents, or building a network on a social media site that you plan to use more heavily and consistently.
I hope that helps!