What are your thoughts on book trailers?

Films have previews. Why shouldn’t books?

Today The Read Room is offering an open forum on what I’m (perhaps belatedly) beginning to notice as a growing trend in the literary world: trailers.

I’ll say up front that I know very little about book trailers at present– only that they come in many varieties, that I’ve chanced upon them more frequently lately, and have seen literary gurus offer advice on how to make an effective one.

To give you a sense of what a book trailer is/can be, here are five examples:

What are your thoughts on book trailers? Talk about anything: would you make one for your book? What would your ideal trailer look like? Do you think they’re useful? How do you think we’ll see book trailers employed in the future?

If you’re an author and you’ve made one, please share a link and I’d be glad to update this post to include it 🙂



10 thoughts on “What are your thoughts on book trailers?

  1. I have to admit I’m not a fan of them at all, I’m never interested enough to click on them, I like the old fashioned way. 😛 Just like I don’t want an eReader either. If they’re done well they totally have their uses though, some people are more visual so enjoy being able to see a trailer and it’s a great way to reach your target and reel them in, they’re just not for me personally. 🙂

    • Just so– I get the sense that they’re more popular among younger generations. And similar to yourself, Becky, I think I will forever prefer a book in my hands to reading off of a screen, but I want to remain open-minded…to eReaders, book trailers, and whatever other new technology the literary world brings in!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. I don’t care about book trailers. Admittedly, I’m older, was raised solely on books and am not a huge fan of even movies. I find my imagination as good as any special effect. So I don’t go out of my way to look at book trailers. I can barely keep up with reading the books and samples on my kindle. When I publish, on amazon, I doubt I will bother with a book trailer. But maybe younger readers would be fans. I would be interested to hear more opinions.

    • Bravo, Louise, you hit right on a wonderful point: our imaginations can certainly rival, if not outdo, trailer adaptations (and one must wonder: if these trailers became standard, would they detract from future readers’ ability to imagine stories/characters for themselves?). I don’t go out of my way to look at book trailers, either, but as a relatively new item to me they definitely bait my curiosity.

      Who knows what the future holds? I agree– it would be great to have the cell phone-in-middle-school generation weigh in.

  3. Intriguing question.

    Personally, I don’t think I would be drawn into a book by a trailer (so much as a good review), but I can see how they might be a good way to reach the generations weaned on MTV and other visual collages. I don’t think I would invest much in having one done, but if I worked with a publisher who wanted to do one for me, I wouldn’t mind offering my input.

    • Yes, good point, Tony– book trailers must surely have their market appeal, and whether or not to make one is a decision that might well be guided by the publisher. I’ve so much to learn about publishing and promotion yet…it’s fascinating stuff!

      Thanks for your reply.

  4. You’ve sparked an interesting discussion here. Like the previous comments, I don’t care for book trailers either. I prefer discovering books by traditional means, by which I mean word-of-mouth, written book reviews, and of course synopses on the back cover.

    The digital age has unlocked many more useful features of browsing and previewing a book. (Think of Amazon book previews and Goodreads, where reviews are written by “common” readers like ourselves instead of a professional critic.) One thing about Amazon book previews is, you can see if the author’s writing style, etc. match your preferences and therefore, entertain you. (Similar to browsing a physical copy at a local bookstore or library, only much more convenient.)

    Book trailers are always wrong, to me. If they’re good, so what? That doesn’t guarantee that the writer can write. If they’re bad, that’s even worse. After all, a story in a book occurs in the mind and is shaped by the mind; unlike movies, it’s not “fed” to us through our eyes.

    • Very good point about the ability to ‘preview’ a book by looking at select pages on Amazon or Google. That, at least for the time being, is certainly my preferred method of preview–or would be, except that nothing beats physically taking the book of the shelf in the bookstore, reading the back and opening to the first page! 🙂

      On Sat, May 18, 2013 at 2:06 PM, The Read Room

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