Friday, August 21, 2009

Do book trailers sell books?

Tip of the day: I recommend M2 Productions for an affordable book trailer. She did one for I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME and I will most likely be asking her to do one for CHASING BROOKLYN.

So this week, we asked one of our Author2Author buddies a question related to writing or publishing. Just whatever was on our mind at the moment. Since I've been trying to decide if I should invest in a book trailer for CHASING BROOKLYN, I thought I'd ask Kate what she thinks of book trailers. Does she watch them? Does she ever buy a book based on a book trailer? Does she think teens watch them and like them?

Here's what she had to say:

I don't usually watch book trailers, but I'm not their intended audience. (I have lots of writer-like places to get book recommendations.) I do think that teens watch them. In fact, I asked a teenager who loves to read what she thinks of book trailers, and here is what she said:

"I've watched a few teen book trailers at my old school as an advertisment for our school book fair and they really did make me want to read the books! I even bought one of them!"

And kids do spend a lot of time on YouTube. Some of them like to make movies themselves.

I just searched Book Trailers on YouTube. The fan trailer for CITY OF BONES has over 55,000 views. In contrast, the "official" trailer for THE GRAVEYARD BOOK has about 15,000 views. A fan trailer for BREAKING DAWN has over 8 million views! I wonder if book trailers aren't a word-of-mouth thing with teens. It's a way they recommend books to each other. (Then again, I'm a sucker for fan art.) Check out this website: The Teen Book Video Awards by Kirkus Reviews. ( It's a contest for teen-made book trailers.

I think there is a growing place for "official" publisher/author-made trailers. I think they'll take off when they're easier to find. Movie trailers are easy to find and studios don't mind grouping them together, even though the studios are competitors. There's a movie trailers channel on YouTube but not a book trailers channel. Sites like Bookscreening ( will help. Actually, this is the only site that tempts me to sit around watching book trailers for a while. I don't have time to watch a trailer here and there as I'm checking Twitter or Facebook quickly. I'd like to watch a few at once when I have some time, like we watch previews before a movie.

So yes, I think it's a good thing to have a book trailer made because I believe that we're figuring out how to get book trailers to teens. By the time my book is published, it will probably be normal to see book trailers in bookstores and school libraries, on their own YouTube channel, all over Amazon, and aggregated together like movie trailers are. People will be scrambling to make videos of their backlist books. But I think there will always be a big following for fan art videos. If a teenager ever made a fan art video of a book I wrote, I would probably die of happiness.

I agree, Kate. It's a really cool thing to have a teen love your book so much, he/she feels compelled to express him/herself in a video about it!

~Lisa, Miss Crafting a Career


Kristina Springer said...

Oh wow, I totally thought the answer was going to be that they weren't influential. Only because I don't watch them myself but thanks for reminding us Kate that we're not teens-- lol! The numbers for views was very interesting-- ok, I may have to get a book trailer now... :-)

abel said...

There are 5 things to consider when getting a Book Trailer made. You can read about them here.

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