Lisa McMann, author of the New York Times bestselling novel WAKE, gave a nice shout-out on her blog today to A.S. King, author of the much-anticipated book, THE DUST OF 100 DOGS. McMann encouraged her readers to buy King's new book--most likely due to the fact that she wrote a blurb for it--and included the trailer for it on the blog. Naturally, I checked it out, and I found it quite intriguing. I'm sure I'll add it to my ever-growing list of books to be read this year.
This brings up some interesting questions: How successful are book trailers in promoting new and established authors? Do you think they're more helpful for the newbies who are trying to launch a book for the first time, or the veterans who have already built a name for themselves? As a reader, how does the quality of the trailer affect your decision to buy a book?
I feel shallow for saying this, but I'm influenced by the quality of a book trailer even above its content. This trailer I saw for WAKE is what peaked my interest in Lisa McMann in the first place:
If the trailer isn't edited well or looks like a cheap knockoff of The Blair Witch Project, I stop watching, regardless of whether or not the story seems good. At the same time, if I've already heard good things about a particular book, seeing a lousy trailer won't keep me from buying it. It doesn't have the same power with me that a movie trailer does. It just gives me that extra push to buy a book that I'm already leaning toward anyway.
For anyone interested in reading more about the process of creating a book trailer, award-winning romance author Brenda Coulter has a wonderful post on her blog that outlines it in great detail. It's an old post since the blog hasn't been updated in a while, but much of the advice still applies. I'm fascinated by this stuff myself, especially since Coulter makes it all sound very doable. If you've bought a computer in the past five years, you probably have all the software you need to make a basic book trailer yourself.
I'd love to hear some opinions about this topic. As writers, we're expected to market ourselves now more than ever. The good news is that we have a mountain of resources at our disposal to do just that, if only we'll take advantage of them.