New poll - Book trailers

Monday, September 19, 2011

My previous poll asked a simple question : "Do you wait for series to be completed before starting one?"

Seems like this one was a no-brainer, 80% of the respondents answered with a No. It looks like most of us love series and we are not afraid to start a new one even if the end is not in sight, which is often the case in epic fantasy.


Now for my next question... this time, I find the object of the topic to be kind of overrated (or not if we're on the same page, we'll know better after the poll).  What I mean is that I'm not really sure if it's something meant to exist and whether or not its actually useful.  Are we really interested in book trailers?

A book trailer is quite simply a promotional tool. These days, they are mostly transmitted via the social networks, blogs and aggregator websites. I could understand their existence a bit more if indeed, they were seen more often than not on TV but I'm not certain that's actually the case. I may be mistaken here since I don't live in the US or the UK, correct me if I'm wrong.

For the sake of comparison, if we look at the statistics for the big brother of book trailers, movie trailers, Wikipedia indicates that "Of some 10-billion videos watched online annually, movie trailers rank #3, after news and user-created video." However, in the case of movie trailers they exist on the same medium, so it's  easier to understand their relevance. With this in mind, book trailers should be a compendium of extracts... maybe I stretch too far... an extra long blurb?

From one of the previous polls, most readers don't even read extracts of upcoming novels. Will they look at the trailer?  The choice to pick up a novel would then come from the reviews, blurbs, recommendations or even the covert art itself. So the decision to invest money into a book trailer could be a dubious venture for an editor.

But then, they could still be an amazing work of art, worthy of living on their own. Great but I'm still not sure it's pertinent. At any rate, I don't think I've ever been swayed to buy a novel after watching a trailer... and I don't really look at them...

Here's some examples :

So there it is : "Do you watch book trailers?"

- Yes
- No


Patrick J. Wood said...

I watch book trailers, but only out of curiosity. I don't think I'll ever watch a trailer and think: I need that book right now.

Though it could happen, I guess.

Joshua Lowe said...

Short answer ... no.

What's the point? They're made like movie trailers, which then makes you anticipate an experience that it like a movie - and of course it isn't, you're reading a book. And because of this, they're often made with lower budgets and can seem tacky and be riddled with bad acting. They're not even that informative ... for instance, from the Black Prism trailer I got that there were some people who were fighting, and a cool black dude with blue eyes shoots green crystal things.

Not to mention that this has now ruined any chance I had of actually using my imagination to create the characters and setting.

Mandy said...

No. Most of the time they seem rather...badly made, and that can make me NOT want to read the book instead, especially if the acting in it is super bad, because that will color my feel for the characters in a bad way.

NoOne said...

Nope, I don't look at them. The concept is, mad, to me.

Laurie Tom said...

I might what them out of curiosity after I already know the author in question, but they never make me excited to buy the book. But then, I'm not much of a movie person either so trying to sell a book to me by looking like a movie isn't going to work.

Bets Davies said...

See, I don't watch them because they haven't learned ENOUGH from movie trailers. I love a good mash of art forms, but in general the movie trailers aren't getting it. They are still trying to put what they would put on the back of a book, but it doesn't transfer to the screen. It's confusing, boring, and in general, too long. I have a friend who cuts trailers. There's a very specific art to it. Anyone who wants to make a book trailer should sit down and stare at a lot of movie trailers first.

Chandrapal Khasiya said...

i really don't like book trialers. If a book is good then it will automatically get promotion from one person to another or may be it can be the bestseller. I like the art forms but for the question of book trialers my answer is NO

John said...

I loathe book trailers. It's not the same medium - so watching a book trailer might give you some clues as to the basic plot, but it just doesn't really represent the experience.

What DOES matter to me is when they post snippets on their websites, blogs, etc.

Or when it's a video, but it's a video of the writer giving an introduction to the book, an explanation of his inspiration, that kind of thing. That helps.

Book trailers are usually embarassing.

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