Friday, August 24, 2012

Do Book Trailers Work?

by Michelle Gagnon

Last week, Harper Teen unveiled the book trailer for my upcoming release, DON'T TURN AROUND. Pretty cool, because they managed to snag a spot on the Entertainment Weekly website, so for a (very) brief few minutes there I almost felt famous.
And I have to say, all bias aside, I think it's a killer trailer.
But that being said, does a book trailer drive sales the same way that a film trailer does? A lot of authors spend considerable time and money having trailers produced. I did myself, a few years back, when my second adult thriller BONEYARD was released. I was pretty pleased with the result, and that remains my bestselling novel. But I have to confess, I think that has more to do with the amazing cover it had, as opposed to the trailer.

There are some trailers that, frankly, I've loved. My friend Daniel Handler has a fantastic one for his latest YA release WHY WE BROKE UP. It's laugh out loud funny; my daughter in particular loves to watch it over and over. But did it manage to drive sales? That's the frustrating thing about marketing: no one can say for sure.

So I'm curious: has a book trailer ever compelled you to purchase a book that you might not have picked up otherwise? And what are the best (and hey, why not: worst) book trailers you've ever seen?


Jordan Dane said...

Great trailer, Michelle. Both of them.

I've spent money on two of mine & produced others on my own. I've never had a house do one for me. That is so great that they are investing in you. Your terrific early starred reviews will get you noticed for sure. I can't wait to read this series.

My home grown videos aren't nearly as good as the ones I did for THE WRONG SIDE OF DEAD & IN THE ARMS OF STONE ANGELS, but trailers can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. My homemade ones get more hits on YouTube, so go figure.

But although there's no real proof that a good trailer can drive sales for the average book, I feel they raise awareness in a visual way that can be shared. It's another way to reach readers AND stir up potential film interest.

Hunger Games fans got so behind the book that some made their own tribute trailers. That's when you know you've struck gold. Fingers crossed for you, my talented friend.

Michelle said...

Thanks so much, Jordan! Awfully sweet of you.

Anita Grace Howard said...

Michelle, just WOW. That book trailer definitely makes me twitch to buy the book. Heh

Congrats on being a celebrity! ;)

Sheila said...

I agree with Jordan that trailers are more about raising awareness. I also think they are good for branding. And, without your trailer what would have gone up on EW? (Congrats on that btw!)

In the interest of full disclosure, our company created the Boneyard trailer. So, out of curiosity, I went back to see how it performed.

Cumulatively it got over 10,000 views. I also saw that there has been renewed interest in the trailer since your new trailer came out.

From YouTube I see that half of the views come from other people embedding the video on their site. And that there are significant views coming from mobile devices which would make me ask you if you have an app available since people are discovering you that way?

Try this to see what you get. Copy and paste this into your Google search-
Boneyard Michelle Gagnon Book Trailer

That's pretty impressive. But, did it help sell the book? It didn't hurt. But, no one can say with certainty whether it did or did not, we can only say that a lot of people used it and shared it.

We can also say that we're able to track analytics with the videos which can be helpful when doing advertising and promotions.

Regardless of how good a video is, it's the book that will determine whether someone will read an author again. Michelle, with your popularity on the rise I would say that things like a good cover or a good video are icing on the cake, but your wonderful writing is what brings them back for more!

Jordan Dane said...

Well put, Elaine and thanks for the analytics. Very impressive.

The whole package of a great book, an author that has a social media footprint, and a great booktrailer and promotion behind the book from the house makes for real awareness. I'm hoping for great things for Michelle.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Jewels E said...

I love these trailers! I had no idea there was a such a thing as book trailers till I saw this on twitter, and I'm totally amazed! They certainly sell me LOL