Thursday, April 3, 2014

Are Book Trailers Still Relevant? (April Theme) by Irene Latham

When I made my first book trailer back in 2009, before the January, 2010,  release of LEAVING GEE'S BEND, book trailers felt fresh and wondrous and new. The kidlit world was exploding on the internet through blog tours and group marketing efforts, and it seemed everyone had a book trailer, or wanted a book trailer. I decided to involve students and historic photographs in mine -- here's how it turned out:



When my second novel DON'T FEED THE BOY was released in 2012, I really wanted to do something interview-style, and since the book was set at a zoo, I thought, well, okay, I'll shoot my book trailer at the zoo! Cool, right? We shot a long version and a short version. I offer the long version here (it's true what they say about long one not getting as many views!):




 But does anyone actually watch book trailers? Are they watching them now? More importantly to those of us authors who are time and budget challenged: are they worth it? (Read: do they sell books?)

I don't have any hard numbers to support my general feeling that the Age of the Book Trailer is largely in the past. There are still a whole lot of book trailers -- but in the same way that there are a whole lot of author blogs.

Now, to stand out, for your book to stand out, you've got to do something really crazy on your trailer. An interview or simple images with sountrack is not enough. You need something hilarious or really high quality. Something viral.

All this pressure makes me want to hide in a hole and never make another book trailer ever. Even though I'm rather fond of the book trailers I did create, and I am so grateful to the teachers and librarians who have used my trailers to introduce me and my work to kids, particularly before a school visit!

As I look forward to the September release of my next book, I don't think my marketing plans include a trailer. At least not at this time! If I come up with a great idea, maybe. We'll see. And you know? That's the thing about book trailers: they're FUN. And maybe that's a more important purpose for them than selling books? I like to think of them (and all my online content) is this: it's there for the people who want it.

Your thoughts?

8 comments:

  1. After talking with my editor Marissa Moss from Creston Books about promo for my book WHEELS OF CHANGE, she said she doesn't do trailers for her own books because they don't increase sales, so I am on the fence regarding a book trailer for my first book. Thanks for sharing this post, Irene.

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    1. Sigh. Probably trailers are more effective for boosting book sales in YA, but I am not sure! Just don't feel like you HAVE to have one, because you most certainly do not. xo

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  2. I've heard this same thing, Irene. I do hear they are fabulous to have when on a school visit, though. Something to break the ice. I'm contemplating, but wondering if a budget of zero dollars will get me anything worthwhile :)

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    1. Tracy, I hear what you're saying! Definitely a nice ice breaker and a way for librarians to get kids excited about your visit in advance... but then, you're coming to the school already... just meeting you will get them excited! See how ambivalent I am? xo

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  3. I totally agree--it's additional content for those who want it...

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    1. Yep! And something to talk about on all these social media forums, which can be a good thing. xo

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  4. I think if you can do one, it's nice to have that additional marketing material on your website or blog. My daughter and her friends are really good with iMovie, so if you have a limited budget, I would suggest reaching out to a teenager for help.

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    1. Deborah, definitely put your daughter and friends on it! I have 3 teen sons who no doubt have the ability to create something awesome, but they aren't enthusiastic about *my* subject matter. Plus I might be a little bit hard-to-please. :)

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