Do book buyers really discover their next read through a book trailer? Is a book trailer similar to a move trailer that appears as a tease while watching your favorite television show, or while watching a movie premiere at a theatre? As an author who paid to have a video created for my book, Something He Can Feel back in 2008, I was curious as to whether or not it would make sense for me to go that route a second time. I seem to think it would be tough to measure the benefits, though maybe I didn’t quite hit the marketing pavement hard enough.
A July 9, 2010 New York Times article stated that according to a "survey" of 7,561 book buyers, only 0.2% of the book-buying respondents discovered their last book through a video book trailer. I say it isn’t that cut and dry. I’ve recently learned it depends on how that book video, marketing tool, is used.
One success story is a 2008 memoir called Middle Peace by Kelly Corrigan, regarding a cancer patient and caregiving, that was narrated by the author in a video piece. Her publisher's employees all emailed the clip to thirty people each. It ended up going viral. To date, the trailer has had more than 5 million views, and 300k hardcover copies sold.
New York Times bestselling author Mary B. Morrison is about to release her fifteenth book, tying her Soulmates series and her Honey Diaries series together, and releasing Darius Jones on 7/27/10. Not only is she slowly unveiling the book cover, but her publisher, Kensington Books, with their own YouTube Channel featuring their author's book videos, will release five videos for Mary's title, each starring a different female character in Darius Jones' life, including his mother, all answering the question, “Who is the real Darius Jones?” Brilliant.
I suppose as my mother always said, “It's not what you do, but the way you do it!"
So "survey" says, be creative and do all you can to promote your works. I know . . . budgets are a big factor and publishers may or may not support an author's promotion, so I understand that having that backing and/or the finances is major. I still say be creative, as these examples have shown.
We know that as authors we need to promote our works with the same energy - self-published or not. And recently it seems the prices of book video packages have dropped, some even under $100, whereas a while back they ranged from $300 - 500, and much more. I’m not supporting book videos and recommending any particular company, all I’ll say is, whatever you do to market your book, put the tool not only to good use, but to great use.
Do you think book videos work to attract readers? Would you invest in a book trailer?