Book Trailers?

I've been noticing more and more book trailers popping up around the bookworld interwebs. At first, these were novel concepts and therefore pretty intriguing - I even posted the trailer for Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters a few months ago.

But as they become more and more popular, I'm beginning to wonder whether or not I truly like them as a marketing tool, whether they are effective as a marketing tool, or if they are just more noise to sift through in trying to decide which books to read. What it comes down to, I think, is that book trailers can often tell me nothing more than a well-written book synopsis/summary/back cover blurb.

More than this, though, is the fact that the message that these trailers do convey is being sent via a medium I would not choose. I am a bookworm, through and through, and am much more likely to identify with a written blurb or preview of a book rather than an acted-out version.

There are exceptions to this, of course, as not all book trailers are merely acted-out scenes from the book. There is Libba Bray's book trailer for Going Bovine, in which the author herself dresses up as a cow and wanders around New York City. I loved both the book and the trailer. Bray clearly has a sense of humor.

There is another kind of book trailer I've found particularly intriguing recently, and that is one for books that go beyond a normal book blurb. Two in particular come to mind: ABC3D and War in the Pacific. Sure, the blurb could say "A book of the alphabet in which the letters come to life and pop off the page," and "A history of the war in the Pacific complete with facsimile documents of primary sources," but those are boring. Instead, look what a book trailer can do for books such as these, where a cover image and a blurb just aren't going to suffice in explaining the true value of the book:

War in the Pacific (a really, really cool book, I say shamelessly as one who has seen it and worked with it in person)

ABC Pop-up Book (with over 1.5 MILLION views!)


  1. When book trailers started up a few years back they were mostly terrible. But they have gotten somewhat better. The Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter one is the best I've seen so far.

  2. I don't think I really "get" book trailers and generally only watch them after I've read the book.


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