Do Book Trailers Sell Books?

Normally I would do a Thowback Thursday, but I think that series may be played out. Plus, today I’m flailing hard over the Avengers Age of Ultron trailer (JAMES SPADER’S VOICE YA’LL), which has inspired my topic today.

This will be short, as it’s not a topic I’m widely versed in. I’ve seen book trailers on occasion, usually put out for mass market and commercial fiction. I’ve seen a few of James Patterson’s and Stephen King’s book trailers grace my television screen, but most I’ve encountered have been online. Sherrilyn Kenyon’s book trailers are often ads shown before YouTube videos. Eoin Colfer used to upload book trailers for his Artemis Fowl series, which was especially strange as his target audience was 8-13 year olds.

I think they’re a cool concept. If I was an indie author, I would 100% do a book trailer, as I’d need all the marketing I can get. I’ve actually made a trailer for Paradisa but we’re not gonna talk about that. 

But I’m wondering about the depth of this practice for traditional publishers. Are they just a gimmick, or do they actually sell books? Just Googling that question got me mixed responses from those in the industry. You may be multiplying the awareness of your book, but are you actually reaching your intended audience? Like I said with Colfer – he may be uploading his trailers, but will it reach a 10-year-old YouTube surfer? I think Patterson has the right idea by airing his ads on television, as his target audience (probably middle-aged to older people) are more likely to watch TV than to browse social media/video sites.

Have you ever read a book because you were introduced to it via a trailer? How do you feel about them? Personally, a well-produced trailer may cause me to look up the book on Good Reads. A poorly produced trailer is one I skip. Much like movies!