Thursday, November 19, 2009

Book Trailers

This may be a sore subject, as I know a lot of folks who have produced trailers for their books, but this article in Slate got me to wondering about the key question regarding trailers:

Does anyone know if they work?

For me, personally, no. I can't imagine buying a book based on a video trailer. Part of this is because I can't imagine watching a video trailer, unless someone I knew asked me to check one out for him. If I wanted to spend my time watching television, I'd watch television. Books and TV/movies are completely different story-telling media. The video is a far more passive experience for the viewer than a book is for a reader. I have a suspicion those who watch a lot of videos don't read a lot.

It might be a cool thing for someone established in a certain kind of story (Stephen King, J.K. Rowling) to let fans know their new book is available, because their readers are looking for something of an extraordinary experience. (Using "extraordinary" to mean "beyond ordinary," not "great," as it is sometimes used. Not that their writing isn't great; their subjects are extraordinary.) Video might appeal to them. To me, not so much.

I'm a writer, so this might make me the oddball. (Okay, not just writing does that. I mean in this specific situation.)

What do you think? Do book trailers influence you? Has anyone ever seen any empirical evidence that implies they're wirth the time and effort?


pattinase (abbott) said...

Movie trailers are like commercials to me and at some point I learned to turn them off. Book trailers-well would I go on you tube to find them. I don't think so.

Charlieopera said...

I think they're cool, but I too wouldn't look for them. I like it if I visit an author website and see a trailer is available but I doubt it would influence my decision about reading a book.

I've been trying to put one together now for the new one in April (mine, I mean) and it's been fun thinking about a storyboard, etc., but I'm clueless about what to do (or how to do it). A friend gifted me my only trailer and that was more than kind of him.

Now, though, I want to make my own and have actually looked into the process, but paying for them by some trailer outfit is way out of my league. I'll hunt and peck, so to speak ... or not.