It’s a simple question. Do you like them or not?
The first book trailer that ever really caught my attention was for Babycakes, the companion book to the gluten-free bakery by the same name on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It made me smile because 1) it was one of the first cookbook trailers I’d ever seen, 2) the people in it were dancing around, acting silly, and just having a really good time doing it, and 3) it uses one of my favorite songs, “Do You Wanna Touch Me” by Joan Jett.
The thing is, for many different reasons, cookbooks are very different from fiction books and their trailers are very different. For cookbooks, trailers offer a further education about the foundation of the book, who the creators of the recipes are, where the recipes came from, or how to utilize them. Sometimes they just show you how to set a pretty table.
A fiction book is entirely different. You can disclose only so much of the story line in the trailer and not much more than can be told in a blurb. And who are these people pretending to be my characters? There’s nothing inherently wrong with trailers, I’m just not sure if they’re effective for sales.
Having said that, there are some really nice trailers out there. Jove Belle did a fabulous one for my vampire novel, Have a Bite. Take a look:
But as beautiful as it is, did it increase sales on my book? It’s impossible to ever really get those kinds of stats, unless someone figures out a way to directly link purchases to viewings of trailers. But since trailers never really took over the world of publishing the way industry insiders predicted, my guess is that they’ve become just another trick in the bag.
So my question to you is, Yes or No? Do you like trailers? Do you watch them? More importantly, do they influence you to buy books?