Books Magazine

Are Book Trailers Effective?

By Robert Bruce @robertbruce76

I’m not much of a marketer, but here’s my amateurish opinion on whether or not book trailers are effective.

Really, a book trailer is nothing but a glorified commercial. I don’t know about you, but do you know what I do when a commercial comes on my television? I press the fast-forward button. Thank God for DVR.

Not that a movie trailer is any different. It’s all about branding and sales and visibility. A good movie trailer can make the crappiest Van Damme film seem like a sure-fire Academy Award winner.

But that’s the thing with a book trailer. What exactly do I learn from a book that I can’t learn from a pre-sale blurb? First, we’re dealing with two entirely different artistic mediums.

The book trailer feels a little like you’re telling me what to envision or imagine before I even read the book. Leave that part to my little brain, dear publishers.

I’m not saying there’s anything inherently wrong with book trailers or that they don’t make marketing sense. But I would be curious to actually find out if and how they do make marketing sense.

Have you ever seen a movie because of a movie trailer? Absolutely, I have.

Have you ever bought a book because of a book trailer? Absolutely not.

In my effort to do a little research, I did find this book trailer below–for The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus–that I believe is well done and intrigues me.

Would I want to buy the book because of that trailer? Nope. But, hey, at least this publisher showed they can do fancy things with videos, though I do feel like the trailer is a too long and too vague. But it’s really pretty and creative!

What say you about book trailers?

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