Sunday, December 18, 2011

Do Book Trailers Really Help Sell Books?

Last week, I blogged about how to create a book trailer the easy way and I often wonder do these things help sell books? They may be a quick YouTube production or a more detailed and expensively produced one, but does it make a difference? Do they sell your books? I’m more apt to read a blurb than I am to watch a trailer, maybe because they’re still a new promo option to me. And if you go to the Wild Rose Press, Amazon or to Smashwords, potential buyers are more apt to read a description of your book and its reviews rather than watch a trailer, which is often only posted at your website.

It’s funny, we watch movie trailers all the time because it’s such a common thing and usually the main way we hear about new movies. While watching TV, a movie trailer will often pop up or we see them in the theatre (for about fifteen minutes before the actual movie we’ve paid for starts). Sometimes I even get bored with them, like enough already, let’s just start the movie. There aren’t as many for books that I’ve seen, though occasionally I do see a book ad on TV or hear one on the radio (usually for some mega best-selling author like James Patterson).

Like paid advertising, the jury’s still out on the value of book trailers, though they seem to be a necessity these days like everything else in the book marketing world. I still think the best promotional tool is the books themselves, how many you’ve written and the fan base you’ve developed over the years. That’s how I buy books. When I hear a new book is out by an author I’ve enjoyed, I rush to buy it (at a discount, of course).

What do you think?

Next week: My favorite holiday movie: Hugo and the Creation of a Fantastic Story World

5 comments:

Beth Trissel said...

Excellent post. I quit making book trailers several releases ago because I think they're more trouble than they're worth unless they have some real innovative feature and could be more like a movie trailer.

Tara MacQueen said...

Check out http://www.juliaphillipssmith.com for the 2 book trailers my video production company did for her. While more like a movie trailer they were more expensive to make. I don't really know if the book trailers make a difference in actual sales but I do believe they have added value to the experience the reader is looking for.

Stacey said...

It's my belief that book trailers do not sell books. While they are fun to make if you're the creative type, there are no stats to back up the correlation between number of trailer views and sales. In fact, according to my web mistress who is a seasoned professional in the publishing business, you are more likely to lose money if you're paying a professional to make your trailer for you. For a couple of years, I made my own trailers (through a free program) but recently deleted them all from my website. I felt they cluttered my website and took away from what I really wanted to pitch-my stories. Also, I have never received one single comment from anyone about looking at my trailers or buying one of my books because of the trailer. It's my humble opinion that money is better spent on other types of promo and that a good blurb and excerpt on your website will sell more books than trailers.

Sandra Koehler said...

Very interesting comments. I'm surprised the experience was as negative as this. Almost seems like paid ads, which I've also had a negative experience with...
Sandy/Alison

Linda Hope Lee said...

I'm about to launch my first book trailer, so I can't yet say what, if any, effect it will have on my sales. However, when someone advertises a book trailer, I almost always check it out, and I find it does make me more aware of the book and the author than if I had only read a blurb or other type of advertisement.