SURVEY: Are Book Trailers an Efficient Use of Marketing Dollars?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka

Once was a time when book trailers were a novelty. Today, everyone has got one. Some are like mini-commercials, others are teasers, still others merely showcase the creativity of the author. Of course, these are the best case scenarios. Many book trailers, as discussed in today’s feature, are mere Ken Burns style panning still images with conventional voice-over narration. Dull, dull, dull…

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Do book trailers reach their intended audiences and increase sales? Take the survey below!

The very concept of the book trailer is predicated on the idea that the trailer can create pre-pub buzz for a book. But buzz, like much of book marketing, is amorphous. There are other questions that arise when it comes to book trailers, not the least of which, who is the trailer for? Book buyers — well, surely they’d wait to read a review or learn more about a book before buying it, wouldn’t they? Critics — surely they’d be more interested in the actual text than a video produced by a marketing department? Agents, maybe — so they have a tool to use when looking to sell the film rights to Hollywood?

While it’s unclear who exactly the audience for trailers really is, one thing is certain: publishers want trailers to sell books. And a trailer, which can live forever on YouTube or Vimeo might just be the gift that keeps on giving…

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And, special bonus question: who was first publisher who tried to popularize the book trailer and made it a unique selling point of their business? Hint: they are out-of-business and the former publisher is now an agent. (I know there will be some debate about this, but I’m fairly confident in my opinion on this.)

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.