Trailers, Yes or No?

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?

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4 thoughts on “Trailers, Yes or No?

  1. I’ll confess, I’ve never thought about it or seen one until this morning. I’d think that if they were widely done then buyers would seek them out and it may then influence the choice of a book. Thanks for exposing me to a new concept.

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  2. I’ve seen a few foction book trailers. They’ve introduced me to some new to me authors and helped influence my decision to buy some books. I like them, but agree that a well written book blurb and an interesting cover are just as likely to get me to buy.

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  3. As a reader, I’ve watched a few trailers for works of fiction. One or two were okay to good and one was so bad I wondered why the author bothered. In one of the cases where the trailer was good it – like a lot of movie trailers – gave a lot of the high points of the plot away. None of them influenced my purchase decision. The blurbs and the reviews do that.

    As an author, I haven’t bothered with them. I don’t have the skill to produce them myself (or the time) and I think my marketing dollars are better spent elsewhere to find readers.

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  4. I have mixed emotions. I often watch them, but they never really give you a real feel about content, except maybe in a touchy-feely kind of way. However, it’s not like reading the back of a book, is it? On the other hand, with a new book coming out in a few weeks, I’m happy with any means to get the word out, including the promo trailers that Regal Crest does for their authors.

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