Currently reading - Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan's Curse (PB)
Trailers appeared on the book industry scene in the early 2000's. Fashioned similar to Hollywood's movie trailers, a book trailer can advertise a specific book, a book series, or a specific author. Creators use live action, animation or still pictures to make their trailers and often add some type of soundtrack to the video.
Book trailers increased in popularity in the mid-2000's with the popularity of YouTube. Publishers began featuring them at conferences and on their websites. Book trailers can cost less than $100 if you do your own with stock photography and royalty-free music, or they can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars with companies like Circle of Seven. Most of the cost for these trailers is born by the authors.
But do book trailers actually work?
I literally can't find any documentation that shows a correlation between trailers and sales. None.
In fact, over the last three weeks, I tried an experiement here at Wild, Wicked & Wacky. I posted five book trailers, all of them professionally done. One was even won an advertising award for Best Book Trailer. One trailer was for a book I bought as a gift for my MIL and a co-worker at the Day Job. Three were for books I bought for my personal use. One I thought was downright hysterical. I then invited my readers to comment whether they'd buy the book after viewing the trailer.
I got absolutely no response. None whatsoever.
So I tried a different tack. I held a contest asking my readers if they could guess which books featured in the trailers I'd bought. The prize was a drawing for an e-gift card for $10. It wasn't a hard contest because I tell you guys what I'm reading. Only one person responded (for which you have my deepest thanks, Mariee!), which leads me to think book trailers don't mean much as far as marketing goes.
So for an indie-published author, is it worth doing a trailer? Honestly, unless you can designed a trailer that puts the viral video of ex-DJ Ted Williams to shame, I don't believe you'll get a whole lot of attention. If you're on a tight budget like I am, there are better ways to spend your money (like on a fantastic cover artist) or your time (like your next novel or short story).
Does anyone have else have an opinion on book trailers? Know of anyone where the book trailer made a linkable difference in sales? I'd love to hear from you.
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