Saturday, January 16, 2010

Do Trailers Sell Books?

by Jean Henry Mead

The jury’s still out on whether trailers actually sell books. Regardless, they showcase your work if you place them on U Tube and promote them on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites.

The videos range in price from less than a hundred dollars to several thousand, or you can produce them youself. My first book trailer for my historical novel, Escape, was created by a student who did a credible job for $60, but I wasn’t impressed with the music or photo quality. So I hired a professional to produce my second trailer, for $475, which carved a nice chunk from my royalties. A Village Shattered video recently earned four and a half points out of a possible five from a new video judging site, First Turning Point. The only nit mentioned was punctuation within the video.

My first self produced video, Diary of Murder, only earned three points from the same site. Among the nits, the judge said the music was too recognizable. The bottom line is that both books have sold equally well so the expensive trailer was probably a waste of hard earned royalties.

Whichever route you decide to take, book trailers are worth the investment if you have the time and energy to vigorously promote them.


Julianna said...

I like both your videos. I hope all your books have sold well.


Morgan Mandel said...

Trailers are another way to showcase our books, but not the only way. You never know if a trailer will spark an interest, making someone check out a website or blog, or look up the book on Amazon.

Morgan Mandel

Jean Henry Mead said...

Thank you, Julianna. I did notice an increase in sales following the release of both videos.

The Daring Novelist said...

Where did you get the music for each of these videos? How did you handle the licensing?

Also, have you considered reading an excerpt or even just the pitch titles? Or hiring an actor to do so?

Sound is so critical to the impact of a video.

Jill Edmondson said...

I don't know if trailers sell books to individuals. However, I think trailers are good for sales to industry/distributors and so on. My publisher showed my trailer at various conferences and conventions.

Also, my trailer - short and sweet that it is - cost next to nothing to make, so I guess there's nothing to lose. It's posted on Youtube and I hope it will help to get the word out. Have a look:

Cheers, Jill

Jean Henry Mead said...


I was only involved with the last video that I put together myself on One Media. For $39.95 I was able to choose the music that I liked best. I then choreographed the video to the music.


Viagra Online said...

I have been watching some trailers in Youtube about some new books and I think that it wasa great idea because it is the same case of the movie.... the books also need a good trailer!!22dd