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Bookish Pet Peeve #10: Book Trailers

The book trailer is a relatively new thing in our modern era of social media and book marketing. I understand why publishers and marketers do it. I’m not sure, but, from the standpoint of exposure, book trailers might actually work.

But that doesn’t mean I have to like them.

Movie trailers work. They make sense. They take a visual medium to promote another form of visual medium. They’re highly effective. And, for me, a movie’s trailer can be a huge factor in whether or not I go to see said movie.

But book trailers?

They range from the extremely dull, low-budget, sleep-inducing version…

to the extremely hokey….

to the inexplicably bad book trailers that could have much better production value yet seemed more like the 60-second intro video the tour guide shows you before you enter the mineral exhibit at your local science museum.

To everything in between.

When book trailers first appeared several years ago, I watched several of them simply because the idea of a book trailer seemed so foreign. I’ve never watched a book trailer that actually made me want to read the book. In fact, I never watch them at all anymore because I feel like it’s such a waste of a valuable two or three minutes of my life.

Are there good ones? Sure.

That said, do books trailers work? I’d be interested to find out how much impact they really make. From my standpoint, they’re just more social media and marketing noise I can do without.

But what do you think? Has a book trailer ever convinced you to buy a book? Do you even watch them?

Previous Bookish Pet Peeves

#9: Snobby Authors

#8: Preachy Authors

#7: Buying Books I Don’t Read

#6: Speed Reading

#5: The Book Borrower

#4: The One Upper

#3: The Book Snob

#2: The Nosey Over-The-Shoulder Reader

#1: Bookstore Cellphone Blabbermouth

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30 Comments Post a comment
  1. I highly doubt it would have an impact on me. Too cheesy. Nice post.

    Liked by 2 people

    March 20, 2015
  2. Brandon #

    Wow. Those are terrible and/or bizarre. If I were interested in the book at all, I would’ve been turned off. And I kind of wanted to punch the guy in the first video: http://betterthanenglish.com/backpfeifengeseicht-german/

    I thought 1Q84 (the book) was pretty good, but the trailer … It gives you no information about the book. I mean, I read the damn thing, and I was still lost.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 20, 2015
  3. Reblogged this on Fonte da arte.

    Like

    March 20, 2015
  4. I will venture to be a little different. I like the book trailers. I especially liked the first one you posted. It was like a documentary in miniature and I liked having the opportunity to see the author behind the book. I would want to read that first book based on the trailer. The other two were pretty bad, but the third one reminded me about Murakami and now I will go look for some books by him. I think they are pretty hit or miss, but I love watching them.

    Like

    March 20, 2015
    • I just thought that one was dull, but different tastes. The music about put me to sleep, and the slide show style just seemed low budget–but that’s typical in the Christian world of movies and publishing, which this book is a part of.

      Like

      March 20, 2015
  5. I purposely don’t watch them- if I’m going to be reading the story (as opposed to watching it), I want to experience the preview in the same way! I am quite alright with excerpts 🙂

    Like

    March 20, 2015
  6. Book Trailers are a great way to create attractive visuals.
    I am definitely on the verge of creating my own be on the
    look out for when they come. Thanks!! #Book Trailers

    Liked by 1 person

    March 20, 2015
  7. I dislike book trailers. For me, they just don’t work. In fact, they detract, as you say. Thanks for writing this excellent post.

    Like

    March 20, 2015
  8. sally1137 #

    Here’s a good book trailer.

    Liked by 9 people

    March 20, 2015
    • I’ve just recently seen a book trailer AFTER I read the book. I honestly think I woudn’t have picked up the book if I’d the seen the trailer first. So, no. I would still prefer to read reviews, blogs and goodreads before deciding to read a book.

      Like

      March 25, 2015
  9. Though I think their form is still emerging, I think book trailers are going to be around for a while. Book trailers, like this one ( http://fb-140.dailymegabyte.com/man-explores-old-abandoned-untouched-homes-europe/ ), reinforce that feeling. Like music videos in the 80s, the genre has yet to settle on a format, making the art form exciting and ever new. Unfortunately, like music videos of the 80s, we are going to see many epic failures, like the ones you’ve pointed out.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 20, 2015
  10. I had never even seen them until I read this post. What a strange idea – the whole point of books is that you make your own vision of the people and places are like – why would you ruin that by watching a trailer?

    Liked by 1 person

    March 20, 2015
  11. I’ve watched one book trailer that I remember, for a book I had read before and really liked. It was not well produced and pretty silly, but I was delighted that someone liked the book enough to try. So I like book trailers, just not for their ostensible purpose. I also enjoy watching movie trailers for movies I’ll never see.

    Like

    March 20, 2015
  12. I don’t mind them on the internet and social media, but they played one in a movie theater once and I was like WHOA WTF just happened. Maybe it’s because Boston is pretty bookish, but the book had nothing to do with the movie or anything!

    Like

    March 20, 2015
  13. I don’t use book trailers to make decisions about buying books.

    Like

    March 20, 2015
  14. I think they are a waste of time. They have never convinced me and they are often confusing. Better bet for writers, a great first chapter.

    Like

    March 20, 2015
  15. I took a poll of 6 adults (during NCAA tournament viewing) and none had have heard of them or watched them. One is in two book clubs. We viewed the ones included in the blog
    and all agreed they are a terrible idea.

    Like

    March 20, 2015
  16. I don’t care for this form of marketing at all. It’s a turn off.

    Like

    March 21, 2015
  17. I don’t like book trailers, either. There’s something about the idea of book trailers that just feels wrong to me. I don’t watch them–I have no desire to. They’re just…weird.

    Like

    March 21, 2015
  18. I still live in a world where book trailers are urban legend. It just doesn’t make that much sense to me considering I wont have any fancy visuals when I’m sitting down with my hardcopy.

    I will admit though, after seeing the first one that you posted, I might do something similar when I publish my novel. I can’t see myself marketing it as a book trailer; I’d just make a designated video on my own YouTube channel. I guess if I look at it that way I can kind of “understand” what these folk are doing.

    Like

    March 22, 2015
  19. I’m not a fan of book trailers either. I’ve watched a few when I was being really lazy and didn’t feel like reading the synopsis, and quickly realized that if the book was any good, the trailer probably just killed any faith I had that it might be.

    It is a great medium, and it definitely pitches a different kind of marketing/advertising option. The only trailer I’ve seen that was actually quite intriguing, was one done with puppets. It was cheesy in a way that it was meant to be. But when real people, actors and actresses are used, I pretty much just click out of the page and move on the the next book.

    Like

    March 22, 2015
  20. Montse #

    Nice post! I’m not sure book tràilers work. I’m used to read crítics, notes and summaries and these for me are pretty enough. Thanks for the reflexion.

    Like

    March 23, 2015
  21. I don’t usually watch them, and I feel foolish every time I see and ad and go ‘Oh! That must be amazing!’ because it never is. Show me a book trailer that’s not a waste of time, and I’ll show you…well, I won’t show you anything, because you won’t find one.

    Like

    March 23, 2015
  22. To be honest, I’ve never actually watched one. But I do have some English teacher friends who have used them as projects for their students to do after reading a choice novel. From a teacher perspective, I think it’s a great way for a student to show their understanding of a novel in a way other than writing a paper.

    Like

    March 23, 2015
  23. Movie trailers tend to show the whole plot of the movie in two minutes. I dislike them on the whole. I haven’t watched book trailers until now. I like how the writer appears in the first video to describe the premise to his story. I think that’s interesting. The genre in the second video doesn’t do it for me. The third video about IQ84 got me looking at the goodreads reviews, so I suppose that’s something.

    Like

    March 24, 2015
  24. Terry #

    Book trailers usually don’t do much for me but I did just see one that I think is good and successful. If I wasn’t a middle aged man and instead a teenage girl, I would probably buy the book.

    Like

    March 25, 2015
  25. I didn’t even know they existed…

    Like

    March 25, 2015
  26. I agree with most of the comments on here. Trailers are good for movies, but with books, it is a complete turn off. I’ve seen a couple, mostly after I’ve read the book, and almost always I think, “If I had seen this first, I probably wouldn’t have bought the book.”

    Like

    April 12, 2015
  27. Book trailers are simply strange to me.

    Like

    June 3, 2016

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