Do Book Trailers Work?

What do you think of book trailers? 

Book trailers seem to be the “in” thing right now. I’ve never really worked with trailers because they weren’t common practice when I worked in-house at a publishing company.

I’ve seen some trailers that look great and some that look awful. They’re expensive to make and I have no idea how effective they are.

Readers, help! Answer these questions in the comments:

  • As a reader, have you ever purchased a book based on the book trailer?
  • Have you ever NOT purchased a book based on the trailer?

  • As an author, do you have trailers for your book(s)?
  • Do the trailers seem to help with sales?
  • Do you feel the trailer was worth the cost?

Where can we post/how can we use trailers to use them as marketing tools?

YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, your website or blog. Again, readers, I need your help. Where else?

If you’re an author and your book is on LDS Fiction and you have a trailer, send me an e-mail with a link to your trailer and I’ll add it to your book post.

Author: LDS Publisher

I am an anonymous blogger who works in the LDS publishing industry. I blog about topics that help authors seeking publication and about published fiction by LDS authors.

12 thoughts on “Do Book Trailers Work?”

  1. I have no clue if they work. I've personally been intrigued by several books based on trailers. I've later read some books that had trailers. Not sure if the trailer made the decision for me.

    I made a trailer for my most recent book. It cost me exactly zero dollars–just time.

    As far as whether it helped sales, I have no idea, and there really is no way to know, either. What I DO know is that Tower of Strength outsold my previous book (Spires of Stone) by quite a lot. But then, I threw every marketing tool I had at it. The trailer was part of a giant shotgun approach. I have no idea what parts of my efforts yielded sales and what didn't.

    I'll send you a link to it for the LDS Fiction blog.

  2. Personally, I don't like book trailers. I don't enjoy having any kind of images in my head before I read a book. If I see the trailer afterward, they never look the way I pictured the characters.

    We're actually discussing this a litle bit on my blog right now – one reader made a very interested comment that you may be find informative. It's here:

  3. They're expensive to make

    Erm, nope, not necessarily.

    I don't know if they work. I'm totally on the fence. I made one because I thought I had to, and it was fun, but I don't know if it did any good.

    OTOH, I have a good friend who made one and she sees good sales results with it.

  4. # As a reader, have you ever purchased a book based on the book trailer?


    # Have you ever NOT purchased a book based on the trailer?


  5. I have never made one, but assisted in recording the audio for the one Horizon/CFI put together for my newly released book. I have had very positive comments from those who have watched it, so hopefully it will have a positive impact on book sales. Here is the link to my book trailer:

    My "real" job is a market research analyst. Maybe I will have to do a study on the effectiveness of book trailers. Sounds like the results of such a study would be something publishers would really want to know.

  6. Depends on the book trailer. Some are intriguing…others make me want to vomit and NOT read the book AT ALL. I would say if you can't do a trailer that's professional, don't do one at all. There's nothing worse than an amateurish trailer for a serious book that is so bad you're laughing all the way through.

  7. Personally, I'm rather turned off by a lot of book trailers. I'm seeing so many that are extremely text heavy and very long—instead of playing on the strengths of video, they try to get us to read the video equivalent a novel.

    But then, I haven't been influenced in purchase decisions by them.

  8. Book trailers are so popular because ours is a hugely visually driven society, they're currently all the rage among publishers and authors and frankly, they work.

    My book trailer for Becoming Jac got readers interested in the characters, committed to the story and yes, it helped to sell books.

    That initial trailer was also a significant representation of myself as an author.

    I agree some trailers are horrid (like books) while some simply stand out (like books).

    Great post. Thanks for this!
    Book Trailer for Becoming Jac –

    p.s. Becoming Jac won the award in an annual book trailer contest earlier this month.

  9. I checked out some book trailers after reading this post. I would have to say that some definately should not be made. If they can't act, it comes across as cheesy. The ones that have still pictures seem to be a lot more interesting.

    I wouldn't seek out a book trailer to decide. Personally for me these are why I buy books: I like the authors previous work. Word of mouth from friends/family. I know what kind of books I like, so if the cover has the right look, I will pick it up and read the back.

  10. As a reader and a very visual person the answer is yes! Yes, I have bought a book because of a book trailer and yes, I have not bought a book because of a trailer!

    I really like them because sometimes there just isn't enough information on the book jacket!

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