A lot of controversy exists today about book trailers. On one side, you have those who think they are worthless. Who watches them anyways? Book readers go to bookstores to find books (not video stores). The book trailer is just advertising in the wrong format. (This assumes people who watch videos don't read or the conversion rate of video watchers to book readers is low.) On the other side, you have those who love book trailers as they are considered a new way of making a book stand-out or a good way to learn quickly about a new potential read. Just because someone watches video, it doesn't mean they're illiterate.
Below we lay out the pros and cons of book trailers and hopefully help you decide whether or not to get one done for your book or whether or not they are worth checking out as a reader.
Book trailers are a new trend. There are now dedicated websites that feature trailers for those who maybe interested in reading and don't know where to start.
Trailer Shelf is one such site. Both of our "Beast of Bellevue Trailers" are actually featured there. The site has a relatively low domain rating but it does seem to pick up some traffic from those who like to watch intros to books rather than to read them. Within days of posting, our videos picked up dozens of likes!
According to marketers, book trailers are great because the modern audience is use to watching entertainment and digesting it through video format. Book trailers are similar to movie trailers, and people are use to that format of informational advertising. Trailers give readers an impression of what a book might be like, which may influence them to go check out more about it.
A really well done book trailer can capture one's interest and imagination. Some, like the one for Bad to Cursed, have ~3 million views and counting. Of course, it helps if you have a famous actress portray your titular character.
Unless a book trailer is well made, it can be a waste of money and time. Quality book trailers can capture a readers attention but a poorly made book trailer can turn a reader away from a good book. Book trailers are often hastily put together or are made on a budget. If a book trailer is going to be made, it is important to put effort into the presentation.
As a marketer, the book trailer role is to advertise to new audiences. For our book trailer creation, we searched for talented freelancers who had the ability to bring our vision to life. This took hours of searching and some diligent review of the artist's previous work.
Book trailers offer a new media for advertising books. One day they may replace the all powerful book blurb. A growing audience of savvy media watchers are beginning to imbibe videos as their preferred way of in-taking information. (This explains YouTube's popularity.) To embrace the new age, it is useful to know book trailers exist and are a tool that both authors and readers alike can use to advertise and discover great new books.