Thursday, August 18, 2011

What Do You Think (4) : Book Trailers...Do You Watch Them?

Earlier this week I read an article in the Toronto Star titled Video Trailers Sell Literature to the Internet Generation and now am curious how effective you think book trailers are. I may have only watched a handful myself and now wonder if I am the odd man out here. 

For me, I like the idea of reading the synopsis of a book and visualizing the story as I read it, but with a book trailer my view of the characters or the world is given to me. I have loved books forever and while growing up the Internet was, well, not so big yet (though I spend way too much time online now!). Do people have the desire to SEE things for instant gratification or is this a way to connect with those people who may not be a regular book reader? I think trailers would make an impact on my son, who loves video games. I'm just not sure how he would come across them online so that he watches one since, honestly, he is more likely to Google game cheats then books. *sigh*

So lovely readers, how effective are book trailers? Do you seek them out or faithfully watch them? What do you like about them? How do you normally find a book to read (word of mouth, a book site, displays at a book store etc.)?

48 comments:

  1. I've never even watched a book trailer! They just don't interest me.

    Honestly, I get the impression it might have to do with the amount of books being made into movies- so this is another way for those books that either will never be made into a movie or just haven't yet, to hop on the bandwagon too.

    Now, I don't think they're a bad idea exactly either if they get people interested in books.

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  2. Me too, I think with everything online, books need to somehow fit in but I'm not sold on it myself. Then again, I don't own an eReader either! I'm so old school :-P

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  3. I haven't ever watched a book trailer either! I'm not even sure why, like Brenna, I'm not that interested in them. I think the people who are as bookobsessed as most bookbloggers tend to be are already excited about the books the trailers are made for. And if I want to check out what a book is about, I just go on Goodreads.
    I love my eReader, but I'm not sold on book trailers.

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  4. I love well done book trailers. It gives you a sneak peek into the story. Melissa de la Cruz has great trailers and following her series for so long it's nice to see what she might be planning. Simone Elkeles had a bad first book trailer and thankfully I didn't see it until after the book but the second two were AMAZING! I think book trailers also help me decide if I want to read a book for example Chasing Brooklyn is one book I might have never noticed until the book trailer. Great post!

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  5. Daisy ~ that is exactly what I do too! Which makes me think this is a way to reach the non-bookish freaks ;) I'm thinking really hard about getting an iPad & giving it a shot.

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  6. I've watched a few book trailers, and I have to admit...I'm not really a big fan of them. I think the only one I ever liked was the Zombies vs Unicorns one, but it worked because it was for an anthology and didn't try to portray any of the characters.

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  7. I think I am torn on this one - I have found some book trailers that I've absolutely loved and others not so much. But I don't go out of my way to look for book trailers to watch before deciding on a book. I just find them to be fun to watch.

    Part of me thinks that they can help sell books, but really I am still drawn to covers and the synopsis on the back of the books. :)

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  8. Cari ~ Thanks Cari! Do you like them to create buzz way ahead of the book release OR do you watch them when book is out then that figures into your decision to buy? How do you find the trailers?

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  9. Generally speaking I think book trailers are terrible...but there is one that ACTUALLY made me literally RUN out and buy the book, and had I not seen I I would not have bothered.

    You must watch, so great!
    It is the trailer for the YA book Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWrNyVhSJUU

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  10. I think anywhere from month before to right as the book is coming out is good because if it is a sequel then it puts the book back in your mind after a year. Also for new books or authors it helps them stand out in a crowd of established books and new books. I find them on publisher sites, author sites, googling the book, goodreads, newsletters, basically anywhere and everywhere. I also work with my local indie so if we have an author coming to an event I post the video on the event page or facebook to maybe catch someone who wasn't thinking of coming to an event or had not read about the book but hey they might be interested now.

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  11. I rarely watch them. I agree with you that I don't want any of the visuals given to me before I read the book.

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  12. Gwenny ~ that one must have been hilarious!

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  13. I watch them sometimes. I do like Maggies book trailers. I do like it when I do see a Book commerical on TV. But not that much..it has to be a book I am interested in ie. Enclave, Scorpio Races

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  14. Crystal ~ I think they have value just not sure WHO they work for yet. With everyone on the internet, books somehow have to be here & known! I too am first drawn to a book by cover/synopsis though.

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  15. Lisa ~ YES!! I was on the fence about this one but once I saw it it swayed me ;) That one is very well done!

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  16. Jenny ~ which makes me wonder, again, if the videos reach a different audience then the say hard core book readers? It's a way to grab hold of a different audience that may not visit goodreads or book sites daily like us :D

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  17. Julie ~ So do you see the trailer as reinforcing your interest in a book you already wanted to read, as opposed to being a way to find a new book? I have to agree, seeing an author made one would probably be fun to watch just for the creativity & seeing the book from their perspective and how they saw the world/people in their heads!! That being said, I'm not sure if I would watch it before I read the book. Chances are, I'd look AFTER I read it to see how our visuals differ.

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  18. I've only watched a few and its only been books I've already read and really enjoyed. If the trailer is awful I usually don't even finish watching it. But the three I've watched only one was really bad.

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  19. There have been times where a book wasnt even on my radar until I watched the book trailer and then I end up buying myself a copy because of the book trailer. So in that respect book trailers have gotten me more excited about a book and have influenced me. But one ofmy pet peeves about book trailers is that after I read the book and go back to rewatch the trailer I see that a lot of times the actors in the book trailers are not how I pictured the characters at all.

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  20. I love seeing book trailers! Most times, I find them through online links via Twitter or Facebook. They can be very entertaining or sad, etc. There are some books that I would say have become MORE interesting to me because of a trailer, but I still find my reads the traditional ways...mostly recommended by you, lol.

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  21. Jessilyn ~ now I wonder if it's also that people aren't finding them? Do you watch them before or after reading the book? In a sense, does it influence you to go and buy that book or just compliment the book after the fact?

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  22. Jenny ~ Where do you find the trailers, do you seek them out or happen to stumble on them? The actor issue is why I am hesitant to watch prior to reading the book, I don't want it to influence what I 'see' when I'm reading!

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  23. Jackie ~ hmm, but being a movie buff may skew your feelings towards trailers! ohhhh which makes we wonder if this medium would be better used via TV commercials or theatre advertising prior to start of a movie?!

    And hahhaha thank you :D

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  24. Book trailers don't really do anything for me, but I love the book trailer that look like mini movies. I don't care for the ones that are just pictures piled up on each other. What's the point?

    My favorite are those Perfect Chemistry trailers. *melts*

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  25. I occasionally go on YouTube to watch book trailers, especially the fan made ones.

    The book trailer for my ebook doesn't seem to generate sales, though. Whether it's me or the medium, I can't say.

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  26. @Mel

    I find the trailer as interest to watch after I read the book ie scoprio races. But I have seen ads for Kenyon Book on Tv. Isn't that a book trailer for a series of books ?? That was okay made but because of that trailer I wasn't going to read it.

    Hope that its makes more sense. After I read then I watch.

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  27. I have only watched trailers after reading the book just to see if I 'approve' :-) and it captured the book. Other than that I am not interested.

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  28. I only watch them occasionally and if they are short.

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  29. I used to just ignore them but having seen a few I'll either take it or leave it. I'd rather read blurbs about the book than watch a book trailer though.

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  30. Missy ~ I like the idea of mini-movies too, but then that runs into my issue of ruining the visual I create when reading the book :-P (p.s. I really need to read that series!)

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  31. Kay ~ it seems that from the answers above that they don't often drive sales, I am actually surprised!

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  32. Thanks for following up Julie!! I was thinking that maybe they compliment a book... I almost want to say, be like a visual Fanfic idea!

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  33. Marce ~ of the ones I've seen, that is what I have done too

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  34. Juju ~ I take it they don't really affect your reading habits then LOL

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  35. I really don't care for book trailers just because most of them aren't carried out well and ruin how I picture the characters. =/

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  36. I love book trailers! it's kind of like a summary of the book just in video format. Lately i've seen a lot of good ones :D

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  37. I really like a good book trailer - and my students are all over them as a school project! I use www.traileraddict.com to introduce them to the concept, and let them have some time to browse ... it's a huge hook for them and they are excited to make their own. They will often make more outside of class for books they really enjoy. The hard part is when they want to do a graphic novel and we need to have the "what is plagiarism" talk about how much of an author's work you can actually show in a trailer LOL.

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  38. When book trailers first began popping up... I didn't really like them. But now, there's definitely been an improvement in the quality of them... so I like to watch them more often!

    I don't think book trailers are too prominent yet though. I was talking about a book trailer to a relative one day and he didn't even know that book trailers even existed!

    I think I like the animated ones more or those that make great use of text with music. Some of the ones with actors don't fit necessarily fit what I think a character would look like... so they become less effective for me. I think if they're well-done though, they can be an effective marketing tool. :)

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  39. Interesting discussion! I'm not a big fan of book trailers because I don't know if they'll have actors in them or not. Actors sort of ruin the visuals for me, as I prefer to picture the characters in my mind as I'm reading. I do love the Men of Honor trailer for the Lori Foster series, even though it has actors, but that might be because you can't really see their faces. ;)

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  40. I watch book trailers, but I'll only watch them if I stumble upon them. I don't seek them out. A well-done one does pique my interest.

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  41. Faye ~ YAY it's great to know they are reaching people!

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  42. Jenn ~ I love this idea! I think it's such a great way for the kids to express themselves, I wish we had this when I was younger. In that way though, a book trailer is a fan made thing created AFTER reading the book and doesn't generate the interest in the book. I'm still trying to figure out a way for trailers to help sales, not sure this would do that.

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  43. Liz ~ you mentioned all the reasons I am interested in finding out more about their effectiveness! I wonder if they started out more fan/home made and now publishers are adding this as another step to their book promo, creating this improvement in quality? I think the next hurdle is to get the videos into the right eyes (LOL) because I don't think hard core book enthusiasts need it, it needs to draw in people who wouldn't normally keep tabs on upcoming books. In that sense, how do you target those people? I'm honestly starting to think TV or movie commercials would do wonders. I have to agree on the style of trailer you mentioned too, this way they don't ruin your view of the people that comes up as you read the book. Thanks Liz!

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  44. Terri ~ I'm like that for book covers too, preferring the headless people :D

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  45. Medeia ~ you have a different perspective, do you think a trailer would help your books sales? If so, have you/publisher made one and if so, how are you using it?

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  46. I've received compliments, but I'm not sure since it's my first one. I made my own and posted it on my blog, Youtube, and Goodreads.

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