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Is there value in creating a book trailer? In promoting a novel months before it's released? I'm curious about this marketing tool which seems to be popping up everywhere. Working with a talented friend, I was able to create a wonderful video - a way to introduce my story, and have already experience over 20,000 views on YouTube. Wouldn't it be great if this translated into sales? I'm curious as to the results other authors have experienced by using this type of media.

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Maybe you could share some of your key points?!?

Stores that touch the soul...
I had an opportunity to sneak over and read your blog, and I must tell you I totally agree, Cynthia. In fact, I have a great example to share. After completing and posting a gorgeous 4-minute video about my new book - Flaherty's Crossing, I posted it on YouTube. It's been four months now, and this video has been viewed 700 times. However, one week after realizing my video was a bit too long, I arranged to have it tweaked and re-edited to run exactly 2 minutes. Now although this video was posted only 7 days after the first one, it has had 20,635 visits. So your recommendation for shorter trailers definitely applies here.

But what I'm hoping to find out is... has anyone measured the effectiveness of book trailers? Perhaps a comparison between marketing books with and without this tool? I'd sure like to know the results
I would say that this type of media is excellent. 20,000 hits on YouTube is very impressive. Further your book trailer is very professional and simply a piece of art. It's more like watching a trailer for a movie than for a book. After I watched it, it was like darn, if only the movie was next.

Hint!, hint!, hint!

Many blessings to you Kaylin.
Great question.
In my opinion, if the book trailer is executed well, as yours is, it's definitely an asset. I featured an article in the Book Marketing Newsletter regarding a few months ago. "Books You Must See": .
Based on my experience most trailers, within our industry, is poorly done and therefore cannot be considered an effective promotional tool.
The other issues is distribution of these trailers. If it is embedded within the site, as yours is, than this will increase online credibility and help with branding. However, if it is sending hard-earned visitors of the site to Youtube or any other social video platform, oh dear. While watching the trailer they will be distracted by the the singing puppy amongst other suggestions and with a wink of an eye they not only left your site, but now watching something totally unrelated to your title. Youtube is like sponge. Good luck getting your potential book buyers back to your site or to your distributor. Please don't get me wrong. The other way around works great.
To summarize: I would focus on: Execution and Distribution. Otherwise "forgetaboutit".

I am just finishing up a new article that will open up a new can of worms: "How Can Social Networking Hurt Your Book Sales." If anyone is interested to receive a copy, feel free to subscribe: Book Marketing Newsletter

Online Book Publicist and SEO Specialist at Substance Books

"Due to the highly ephemeral nature of Search Engine Marketing, once your title is not within the TOP 10 listings of major Search Engines, your online exposure is essentially six feet under."
SUBMIT your book and feature it on the TOP of Search Engines!
If the book is as good as your trailer, you should have a best seller.
Okay, I'm lovin' this praise and thank you, dear Lorilyn. :D
Smitty, would LOVE to see my book become a movie. :D You're such a great promoter, I may need to put you on that assignment.

Hajni, haven't read your newsletter yet but I have the feeling that "excessive" social networking might be the greatest enemy to book sales. (Especially if you're doing this on your own) As they say...everything in moderation. Well, almost everything. :D

But back to the question at hand. Has anyone been able to measure the results of posted book trailers?? If not, there's a great project for someone to tackle. Authors everywhere have their ears up, waiting to hear...
Hi Kaylin,

I guess it depends on you and how you work it. If you just put the video on Youtube and your site like most authors, it's not going to work. You got to promote a trailer as much as you promote your book because you got to get people's attention. Personally, I don't know anyone who has bought a book from a trailer. I just saw an agent's blog the other day and she said it seems to be one of the least effective things of promotion and that the idea of an author making a video doesn't make sense and doesn't fit with how book promotion works. (Her words not mine). Another thing is, even if your book sells pretty well, you don't know for sure if it was the trailer or not. It's hard to pinpoint sales to one specific thing.

I've known a lot of authors who have spent a lot of money on book trailers and I'll just say this, they were disappointed and never did it again. There might be some authors who feel it helps them but from my experience, I don't know if they really matter unless they are really captivating in which yours just might be, I haven't checked it out.

Personally I've never wanted to do a trailer for my books so I never tried it. I'd rather focus on something like a blog tour and book reviews.

Another thing, about the views. That's a lot of views, but will it translate into sales? That's what you want to happen. This reminds me of when authors stress over website stats. They kill themselves to get hits and for what, if the book isn't selling? The book is where everyone should be focusing on the most and not hits or visitors because the sad thing is, you can have a lot of hits and you haven't sold one book. That's just reality. So my advice would be to tackle promotion that gets you closer to getting your books to buyers' hands. A lot of people visit Youtube, but how many go there looking for a book to buy? They might see the video, but will it really force them to buy the book? So remember, when you're looking at promotion, do your best to target your readers.

I don't know what your genre is or if your book is fiction or nonfiction, but instead of having the trailer on Youtube, why not ask book bloggers or book review sites where you know book lovers go, if you can put your trailer on their site? This is probably much more effective then just having the video on Youtube. At least you would be reaching readers. I bet half of the folks that spend time on Youtube don't even read and if they do, they don't get their books from trailers. So it's best to target the places that will most likely help you.

What is your book about and who does it appeal to? First off, readers. That's who you want to attract and who you want to see this trailer. Not just anybody. You can have many hits on Youtube, but say you were on a site like some popular book review blog and you had those same amount of views of your video? Which place would most likely translate into sales? The book blog because that's where your audience is.

Anyone and everyone is on Youtube and you got people on there 24 hours a day that just look at every video. But are they buying anything? Another thing, most say that men and boys hang out on Youtube way more than women. Women are your primary audience because women are the biggest readers by far. So target sites where female readers go, not where teenage boys hang out. I go to Youtube often, I'm an author and I love to read, but I don't think I've ever been tempted to look at a book trailer. When I'm on Youtube, that's the last thing I am looking for. So the key is smart promotion as well. Make the trailer work for you by having it reach your audience, not a bunch of people who most likely won't buy the books. Another thing about Youtube is that it's core audience is a young audience. Now, the truth is that many teenagers still don't read. So I'd focus on people who do and that's who I'd show the trailer to.

And please don't take my reply negatively or anything. I'm just straightforward and give realistic and real advice. I think that's best when helping people and I'd like the same in return. A lot of authors I think get disappointed with trailers because they don't know the correct way to promote them. It's all about getting to your audience, folks who are most likely to get that book.

Good luck to you!

Best Wishes!
I always do this test for myself when I am thinking about a promotional idea. I always put this out for others too.

If you're confused if something is effective or not, judge by your own ways. Have you ever been tempted to buy a book from a trailer? Have you ever bought a book from a trailer? A lot of times when we are on the fence of whether we should try things or not or if they might be effective, we can use our own experience as an example. If the author doesn't even buy books from trailers (not saying you don't, I speaking generally), then what makes them think it really works?

Readers buy books from word of mouth but it has to reach the right audience.

Best Wishes!
Great points, Stacy-Deanne! Thank you for posting this detailed response. At this time, I am involved with a virtual book tour and have my video on numerous sites. In this regard, based on my book trailer, would you feel compelled to purchase my book and if so, why? (This information may prove helpful to authors who are in the process of creating trailers.)
I feel that a author, especially the self published author must seek out all ways to promote and market their books. Many authors run around from site to site where other authors hang out attempting to promote their books. While this can create sales, definitely births wonderful friendships and lots of valuable information is exchanged. This is not targeted marketing or on the top of the list when it comes to author promotions and book marketing.

Each author must find their market and places that will best promote and market not only their books, but also themselves as a author. Book buyers want to connect or have a connection with the author also.

These book trailers while they may not again be on the top of the list with regards to author promotions and book marketing. They do provide another form of such and further help to promote not only the book, but the author.

One must also keep in mind that all forms of author promotions and book marketing can not only bring potential sales of a authors first book, but they can also create a online readership, interest and additional marketing for future books and projects.

In marketing, they say a potential buyer usually hears of a product or sees it numerous times before buying it. I'm sure that many times each of us considered buying or trying something the 1st time we saw it, but many times we would see it again and again being reminded of such before making that purchase. It can be the same with a book.

My point being that saturated marketing can be affective using all means of advertising and marketing.

Look at the online world like a ocean and your going fishing for potential customers in that ocean. With that said, would you use one pole and one type of bait or many poles and many types of bait. Now lets take that further, how about using or creating a net. That's where networking comes into play.

Kaylins book trailer may not be or become the number one selling or marketing tool regarding her book. However, if you perform a online search regarding Kaylin's promotions from her beautiful website, to her blog, to the marketing she is pursuing to include the book trailer. You will see that she is covering many basis and leaving no rocks unturned.

I would say the book trailer and the professional way it was put together is definitely a added addition to Kaylin's author promotions and book marketing. I would also say that the online promotions and book marketing that Kaylin has done so far definitely may be some of the determining factors with regards to not only book sales, but further successful projects.

Having a vision or game plan so to speak can prove to be very affective. Doing one's homework is better than shoot and miss. The truth is that if a author wants to find success and create book sales, 99% of all authors are going to have to pursue that success and use all means to create online friendships and gain the attention of readers and book buyers.

Something else to consider about the book trailer and the 20,000 hits on youtube is this. No one magically searched for the name Kaylin McFarren or the title of the book on youtube. Some form of promotions and marketing sent a large portion of those viewers to the site to view the book trailer. The key with these book trailers is to use them to promote the author, the book and the authors webiste and not youtube.

Here is a example of how to do this:
The Book Buzz
New Book Releases


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