I was wandering on the web this morning while sipping my DH's excellent coffee and I stumbled upon agent Rachelle Gardner's post on Book Trailers. Her blog is certainly worth a click, but the gist of her post is that book trailers are a completely optional portion of an author's marketing toolkit.
But they're soooo cool. I love to see a well done trailer.
Ms. Gardner argues they're pretty spendy and marketing dollars need to stretch.
I hear that. But for an author, a trailer is like imagining your book as a movie and that is the dearest dream of all of us. (Anyone who says differently is lying.)
But there is no empirical evidence that book trailers sell books, Ms. Gardner says.
Ok, she's stumped me. I have never bought a book based on a cool trailer. I buy books because I've read the author, know the author or had the author recommended to me by a friend or trusted reviewer.
But trailers are so the "done thing." What if we authors put together a trailer on our own, on the theory that it couldn't hurt to have one floating out there in cyberspace? For under $50, I can buy royalty free stock photos and have a trailer up and running in a couple hours. Being the thrifty sort, I confess I have done just that for several of my books (if you want to see them, there is a link to my YouTube trailers in the sidebar and the one for Vexing the Viscount is at the very bottom of my blog. You'll be scrolling a long time to reach it.)
But I'm no expert in that style of storytelling. And I worry that the amateurish feel of my trailers renders them a marketing drag rather than a plus.
I've also seen trailers out there (both professionally done and not) that give away so many plot points, reading the book becomes redundant.
I haven't done a trailer for STROKE OF GENIUS yet. (I did a fun online quiz instead! What kind of Genius are YOU?) So today, I hope you'll help me out. I'm looking for reader and writer input as I decide whether or not to bite the bullet and hire one done. I don't care if you like the trailers. I don't care how cool you think they are.
Have you ever bought a book based solely on a trailer? Has it made you click to a website to learn more? Have you decided not to buy, based on a shoddy trailer?