Book Trailers: Are They Effective?

by Dax MacGregor
Do book trailers actually affect book buying decisions? Help me decide by completing my poll and adding your comments.

Until recently, I never paid much attention to book trailers. I regarded it like reading a magazine article about a new candy bar to see if you liked the flavor.

But now that I’m thinking past completing my novel, I’m starting to pay attention to book trailers. I watch nearly every trailer I stumble upon. Some are intriguing and some are not.

But the big question in my mind is: “Do book trailers actually affect book-buying decisions?”

Please, add your comments below.

By the way, here is one of the better book trailers I recently viewed.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Abandon by Meg Cabot, please click on the link below.

(Full disclosure: If you do so, we earn a commission. Thank you.)

Comments

11 Comments

  1. Eve

    They don’t influence me, actually. If I want to buy a book, I will, and the trailer is just an extra icing on the promotional cake. I think it’s because books aren’t like movies – you don’t get to read actual scenes that are part of the story. Btw, the Meg Cabot book trailer is awesomely composed.

    Reply
  2. Dax Macgregor

    Eve,

    It’s great to hear from you again. I spent some time on your website. I love your theme — and you have some interesting posts.

    Thanks for voting and commenting.

    Reply
  3. PW Creighton

    I think book trailers can be very powerful if done properly. I’ve see the book trailers that the big names like Patterson have on TV and those are very convincing. The problem is most book trailers look like they are created by the high school av club. They are horrible. I say use high quality or don’t do it at all. I’ve seen some really terrible ones lately that have actually convinced me NOT to buy.

    Reply
    • Dax Macgregor

      PW, Thanks for commenting.

      I’d forgotten about the Patterson commercials. You’re correct. Those are powerful.

      The inspiration for writing this post was a trailer that affected me as you described: After watching the trailer, I decided NOT to buy.

      I visited your blog and did a quick lap. It’s impressive. Your post on striking a balance on providing enough details to make it real while leaving plenty of room for the reader to apply imagination is brilliant. It’s an area where I struggle.

      Reply
  4. Dean F. Wilson

    It depends on the trailer, but great trailers act like visual blurbs and can really hook people who might skip through a synopsis.

    Of course, at the same rate, a bad trailer (or a poorly made one) can lose potential readers just as much. I’ve seen some awful stuff out there that makes me wonder about the quality of the books.

    The Abandon trailer is very good. Nice find.

    -D

    Reply
  5. Joan Price

    I sure hope book trailers are influential, because I just put a lot of time, thought, and money into mine:
    http://youtu.be/MN6_HVD-Jdg.

    I write about senior sex, which can be misunderstood and laughed at, so I wanted to present my topic (and my books and myself!) with warmth, compassion, humor, and expertise.

    I think it was a wise move, do you?

    I’m enjoying your blog, a new discovery for me!

    Joan Price
    Author of Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex and Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty

    Reply
    • Dax MacGregor

      Hi, Joan!

      I think your trailer is one of the most effective I’ve seen. You sell the book with your description of what its about and you make it compelling by providing background about your reasons for writing it.

      Thanks for visiting and taking time to comment.

      Reply
  6. Ryan Hunter

    Okay, this book trailer for Abandon did catch my attention, though usually I don’t bother with looking up trailers. If I like the description or I’ve gotten a recommendation from a friend, I’ll buy the book.

    I think I’m actually going to go look for Abandon for Kindle tonight!

    Reply
  7. J.F. Jenkins

    I personally don’t like book trailers because most of them are cheesy and horribly put together. I have one. Mine still falls into this category even because unless you have the materials/knowledge to make an awesome video, it’s just not going to turn out well. I’ve only seen a handful of trailers that don’t make me giggle. Maybe I’m too harsh though. The thing that sells me the most about a book is the blurb.

    Reply
  8. Kat Kruger

    The majority of book trailers out there are a TERRIBLE waste of time and money. That said, there are definitely some brilliant ones that have been made. Maggie Stiefvater made some beautiful stop-motion animation ones. The trailer for Plain Kate is stunning. I’ve been influenced to buy a book based on some trailers while others are just value-added content.

    Reply
  9. Dax MacGregor

    Kat,

    I hadn’t seen the trailer for Plain Kate before. Based on your high praise, I found it and watched it. I agree. It’s absolutely brilliant!

    Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Reply

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