In the interest of full discloser I own the copyright to the term “book trailer” and I own the leading book trailer production company in the US and the UK. And I’m about to share some information with you that most people don’t know about Book Trailers.
I read blogs all the time that talk about book trailers and there are always people who love them and people who hate them. Kind of like there is for ANY ENTERTAINMENT ever made. I have seen articles saying book trailers don’t work, or they’re dead and I have to laugh. These people are sharing their opinion based off their own feelings and perhaps that of close friends who think like they do or they read uninformed blogs or statements that say they don’t work. Unless the article mentions certain aspects of book trailers I figure the author of the article is just a hater and I dismiss it.
For twelve years I’ve accumulated data on book trailers. Who watches them? Where do they watch them? When and where do readers usually go after watching one? How long to they watch them? I have enough data on book trailers that I could write a book…oh…wait…I DID write a book about them!!
First of all, there are good book trailers and bad ones. I’ve worked on both. People don’t realize that, as a company, we are bound to honor the wishes of the client even if we disagree with them. I have turned clients away when I think their idea will harm my company if we are ever associated with it. We had a client who specifically went against what we suggested. They changed the majority of the video. But, it was a big client with a famous author and the book was going to be made into a movie. The trailer wasn’t horrible, but it was not what we wanted to deliver. A year later and some fly-by-night book trailer contest named that particular trailer the Worst Trailer of the year. The worst. Believe me, it wasn’t, but the people running it were not fans of my company, so take that into consideration. But, the client lost their mind over it. They wanted it removed from the internet forever and they wanted us to spend hours removing it. They went against what we told them, then blamed us when people laughed that it got that award. We were totally thrown under the bus and the client quit working with us at that point as well. We had done nothing wrong. We delivered exactly what they asked for. But someone had to be sacrificed and usually that’s the vendor. Me. And, to add insult to injury the client refused to pay their bill because of the bad press. Not sure what that says about their integrity. I’ll leave that to you to determine.
Trailers do work. The question is, what do you want them to do for you? If you make one and don’t know and then you don’t get a million sales please don’t say you did it and they don’t work. That’s like saying you played baseball last weekend but no scout picked you up for the big leagues, so it’s a waste of time to ever play baseball. It just makes no sense.
Will trailers go away? Sure. Someday. After YouTube goes out of business and Facebook fails. Until then, there will always be a place and an audience for them. And those two sites are both great for SEO, but not for reaching readers really. You need to put the videos on GoodReads, RedRoom and other reader destinations. And even then you need a good call-to-action in order to convert those views to sales.
We have seen an increase of people watching trailers on mobile devices. So, if you’re not taking that into consideration when you make one you could be losing out.
I see librarians and booksellers using them in clever ways on their sites. Booksellers put them on their site and use them as ads to help sell the books. They pay nothing to have this asset outside of whatever money they pay to have it put on the site. Our book blogger program has doubled in the last year. Book bloggers are very clever with them as well, using it, not only for better SEO to their own sites, but as quick assets and great ways to encourage discussions.
Readers will share them on social media, but be sure you ask them to. Often they watch them for the fun of it and that’s it. They may comment, they may not. So, be sure to let them know what you’d like them to do.
And for readers, you can find book trailers everywhere now. When I trademarked the term years ago you couldn’t find even one on Google. Now search the term and you’ll see how popular they have become. You can always find them on Reader’s Entertainment Magazine or on the COS YouTube, but really, a quick Google search and you’ll hit the jack pot. You can even search for a particular genre of book trailer if you like.
People have evolved to be visual creatures. We expect better quality television shows, better special effects with movies and books get an opportunity to be part of that evolution via Book Trailers. And if that brings more people over to reading books, I’m all for it.
What are some book trailers that you really loved?