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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Wednesday Whittleings - Book Trailers and Marketing

Wednesdays are my day to randomly babble. Sometimes about children books, others about writing, and usually about whatever strikes my mind. Random thoughts...random whittleings.

Now with the holidays wrapping up...

More or less. I still have the decorations up (my husband hates it when I pack them away, so I make the time extra long for him), and some last treats are still standing around. But for all intents and purposes, life goes on. Kids are back in school. The daily dum-dum...dum-dum...dum-dum is chugging along.

With Music Boxes releasing in less than two months, a sense of urgency has dropped in. Last edits (Oh wow! Does that take concentration!), author appearances (they want me to talk for an hour tomorrow to 10-13 year-olds about being an author...how in the world do I hold their attention for an hour?), and a dive for any new promotion ideas to get the word out.

What about book trailers? I love book trailers! I'm fascinated by them. The problem—I'm not a video genius...or a video beginner...or a video anything.

Yep, I'm a video dud.

According to various articles and such (I did some research), there's no proof that video trailers make a real impact in book sales. When I'm honest, I've never bought a book because of the trailer. I can't think of a single trailer which has ever tempted me to do that. I just enjoy the entertainment of watching them........which doesn't mean I wouldn't like to have one for Music Boxes. (That would be so cool!)  But the realization does keep things in perspective.

And it doesn't surprise me.

Who says, 'Hey, have you seen that cool book trailer for the book coming out next Fall'? Maybe it happens but not often. It's not like Aquaman or the Avengers where everyone seems to be at the edge of their seat waiting to see the trailer.

Special effects. Big budget.  (Eye candy?)

Hmmm... if Jason Momoa would cast well in pointe shoes and a tutu?
(That trailer would boost sales.)

There are obvious problems book trailers run up against—budgeting, screenwriting, effective placement, and so on.

But I wonder if some of it lies in the nature of reading itself.

A book transports a reader to another world...a world described in words but one with plenty of room to be built inside the reader's head. A video determines what everything looks like, how it acts, what happens in the details. Videos leave less to the imagination, where as books have exactly the holes a reader needs to develop the described world into their own. Even though a trailer runs a couple of minutes at most, in those seconds, the reader is hit with images which won't match to their experiences when reading the book. The characters, the world and the details mold to meet the readers' personal experiences from the very first lines and become something individual. Readers might read the same book, but the experience will always be different for each person.

Videos will always fail on this end. Even short ones.

What are your thoughts? Do book trailers make an impact on the marketing end of things? Are they something that every book should have? Or is the energy (and money) better spent in promoting in a different way?

In any case, there are some pretty cool trailers out there, and I love watching them.


  1. I don't think I've ever bought a book because of a book trailer. It's just not my go-to for thinking about buying/reading a books. But then again, I'm old and old-school. :)

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  3. Book trailers have never done anything for me either--but they are still fun. But you did get me thinking. I wonder if an "audio trailer" might be better. By which I mean a video trailer but has the a voice over reading the first bit of the book then roll into the blurb? That way they get more of a taste of the book? What do you think?

    I love that first trailer! The second one, well, I don't have any idea what the book is about.

    1. Hmmm...the audio trailer isn't a bad idea at all. I like it.
      As to the 2nd trailer— I read that it gives an artistic impression of the drugs and self-destructing life style the book follows. I didn't get it either, but I thought the idea of a skeleton sitting every where was entertaining (nothing to do with the book ;) )

    2. Well yes! I did enjoy when the skeleton looks up at the end.

  4. I would love to talk about being an author for an hour! So jelly!! Let’s switch places tomorrow. ^_^

    If I ever do a book trailer, I want it to play out like a movie trailer. But even the best book trailer I’ve ever seen didn’t make me buy the book. I don’t even remember what book it was for.

    Think Jason Momoa will pose in a trailer for me? I just need him to stand there and stare at the camera for like, 3 seconds.

    1. You're welcome to jump in tomorrow!

      I have the same problem with the trailers. I find them entertaining but I can never remember which book it was about. Nor do I care. I just like the trailers (weird, huh?)

      As to Mason Momoa...you had me laughing.

  5. If all else fails tomorrow, make balloon animals.
    Book trailers are cool and I loved the ones for my books. But I understand why one wasn't made for my last book. A lot of effort for very little return.

    1. That is such an awesome idea for later events! I'm going to have to learn how to do that.
      I've watched your trailers and am totally envious.

  6. I've never been swayed by a book trailer. When I am scrolling social media, I hardly ever click the videos. I have been snagged in with promo memes. Cool pictures with log lines from the book.

    I just finished the story. I enjoyed it very much! Perhaps there will be a sequel for the faithful pooch? (I'm not even going to try to spell the name from memory!)

  7. I've never bought a book because of a book trailer, but I do enjoy making them for my books. For a while, I did it for other people, but had to stop because of time constraints.


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