Thursday, September 29, 2011

Book Trailers: Yay or Nay?

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Book Trailers: Yay or Nay?

It seems like every major YA book coming out lately is prefaced with a trailer. These trailers are typically 1 to 2 minute Youtube videos teasing a soon-to-be-released novel. Some look professional, many look as though they were made very cheaply (understandably - no one has a budget for a book trailer). Some are more abstract previews, some give a good idea of what the book is about.

I am a nay on book trailers. I think they're a great idea in theory. Every movie and TV show is previewed by a trailer. Why shouldn't books get the same treatment? Given the reality of multimedia life on the Internet, it's smart to use video to promote your book. Plus, it's a great way to expose potential readers who don't routinely troll Goodreads or their local bookstore reading book synopses to books they would otherwise miss.

My issue with book trailers is that I don't have time to watch them. Sure, they're only 2 minutes, but it only takes me 10-20 seconds to read a book synopsis. I would rather spend my free time reading or writing than watching videos on Youtube. A lot of people connect very well with video. I have trouble focusing on movies, TV shows, or even brief videos. It is much easier for me to decide whether I want to read a book by look at the synopsis.

Plus, many book trailers are quite abstract. I love Maggie Stiefvater's beautiful trailers for her Wolves of Mercy Falls series. But if I wasn't already a fan of the books, I don't know that I would glean enough from the trailer to decide whether the book was worth reading.

Do you like book trailers? Do they influence the books you read?

40 comments:

  1. I can't say that book trailers actually influence what I read. I enjoy them immensely if they are done correct and you are right about budget. It is difficult.

    I don't look at many of them, but the ones I have checked out are usually of Big Market books and they capture the story and make me want to read the book. The most recent example is The Iron Knight trailer. It was amazing.

    Sometimes the visual is better for me than the synopsis.

    ~Kristin

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  2. They don't influence what I read. If I do watch a book trailer, it's usually for a book I'm already planning to read, by an author I love. But I'm not against them, they just aren't really my thing.

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  3. Nay as well!

    Many of them pale in comparison to the book, especially if they don't have the budget of a Big Six, and some ruin my urge to read a book. I've stopped watching them until AFTER I read the book.

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  4. I used to dislike them and found them too cheaply made, but I recently found the ones for Daughter of Smoke and Bone, The Night Circus and The Faerie Ring to look well done and set a fitting mood for the stories. The trailer for The Faerie Ring influenced me more than the cover did, as it put emphasis on its historical setting. I love historical fiction, but the cover gave no indication that The Faerie Ring was that. In this case, the trailer made me want to buy the book.

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  5. I rarely watch book trailers and when I do, they are for the books that are either already on my to-read list or I have already read them. So, I'd say book trailers do not affect my choice of reading a book or not.

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  6. When I first started blogging I wasn't a fan of book trailer, but I've found that over time they have improved A LOT! Have you seen the trailers for Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor? They are amazing! I also love the trailer for The Unbeoming of Mara Dyer - and the guy in the trailer (hot!)

    That said - a book trailer has never influenced me to actually go out and buy a book, but they have gotten me a little more interested in books I was already thinking of buying.

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  7. I have to say Nay to book trailers. Although some like Maggie Stievfater's are really nice and creative and I love them, it hasn't really propelled me into actually reading her books. (I don't think I'll like the Werewolves series, but The Scorpio Races sounds exciting (maybe just because I'm a Scorpio...)

    But overall, some trailers are way too long. Most movie trailers (though not any in recent history that I can remember) showed just enough of the movie that enticed me to go see it, but didn't give everything away. Book trailers don't do as well as book descriptions in getting me to read the book. You can have all the bells and whistles of a trailers, but if you can't hook me with a good book description, you're SOL

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  8. They can be very cool but they don't influence my book buying in the least. I do show them to my students, though. They think the trailers are interesting but I don't think it influences them all that much either.

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  9. I say "meh" to book trailers. Sometimes I click the play button, but usually I just pass over them. They can be pretty and arty, but to be honest they don't really add anything. If they were shown on TV, that would be a different matter, but on the internet I'd rather read a review or blurb.

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  10. I really like book trailers, but honestly I don't go looking for them. If they didn't have them, it wouldn't bother me to much.

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  11. I enjoy some of them, I usually don't go looking for them, they seem to find me either from a blog or from twitter. I have even posted a few on my blog along with the review. I will say that they Never influence my reading decision , I usually watch a book trailer after I read the book.

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  12. Nay. Some can be nice, but none have convinced me to read the book. I try to avoid them, too. I don't like tainting my reading experience with a visual created by someone else. Especially since that visual is very often low budget.

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  13. I love book trailers! And I don't mind watching them. But some are just, idk. I rather just read the book myself.

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  14. The responses to this post kind of amuse me, because now I'm wondering who out there really LOVES book trailers and is influenced by them? I know I barely ever watch them. I see them posted on blogs or linked on Twitter but I rarely click on the link. They just don't interest me because quite often they're boring and/or cheesy. Plus I like to picture characters for myself.

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  15. Though book trailers are fun, I don't think they've ever influenced my need to read a book... they're just plain entertainment.

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  16. Book trailers I can usually take or leave. For books I'm really excited about I enjoy watching the trailers because it gives me a different creative aspect to the book I'm dying to read, but I don't necessarily run to You Tube and devour every one I can find:)

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  17. Nay here as well. I mean theyre okay, but I usually end up looking at them after I've already read the book, and mainly because I'm mobsessed with all things relating to that book. The point of the trailer is to get people to read your book, not to make obsessed readers fall that much more in love. Hence the reason I say its really unnecessary. Dont spend time and money on something thats only going to attract people you've already gotten time and money out of.

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  18. Book trailers are a hit or miss with me. I guess it depends if it's a book that I'm waiting to read like the Infernal Devices series or Where She Went (which was awesome by the way and I watched it repeatedly). I've also seen some really bad ones. I just think this phenomenon is still a bit new to really make a solid discussion.

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  19. ummm..typing too fast...*I'm obsessed (as if you couldnt tell what it said)

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  20. I only seen one book trailer I've really liked. The rest, I tend to avoid. That being said, I understand why authors want them. I made one for my book and posted it on my blog and the result was someone bought (and enjoyed) my book. So they do work. Are they for everyone? Nope. But they do have a place I believe.

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  21. I'm not a huge fan of book trailers. Like you said, in theory they're great. But, I just can't get into them. I usually drawn in by the cover and synopsis of a story. I feel like most trailers give away too much information and I don't want that info until I read the book.

    Plus, the reason I usually like to watch trailers is because of the actors. Most book trailer actors are average at best and don't interest me. Put Ewan McGregor in a book trailer and I'll definitely watch. He doesn't even have to do anything other than stand there and look pretty. ;)

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  22. To be honest I can't say they make me buy a book. I know that I watch them if I seriously cannot wait to read a book, for example in a series, or if it's from a book I loved. Otherwise, I usually don't. I see it as something fun more for fans than actual help when considering buying, I guess.

    Rebecca
    Kindle Fever

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  23. I honestly don't like to watch embedded videos on my computer in general so nay to trailers although i know that some people like them.

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  24. I'm not usually impressed by book trailers, though I understand that there usually isn't a big budget for them. Like you, I'd rather read a synopsis to get what I want, unless it's a particularly good one like The Wolves of Mercy Falls, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, etc.

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  25. I'm not interested. I have watched a few after the book to see if I like them but haven't got into them to help choose a book to read etc.

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  26. I'm pretty picky about which trailers I'll watch. If they look like mini movies, I usually love them. But if they are just a bunch of pictures falling on each other, I don't have time for that.

    My favs are the ones for The Perfect Chemistry series. I even watched the "making of" videos. *be's a dork*

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  27. I was fairly indifferent to book trailers until it came time to make my own lol. I watched a few to get some ideas of what I liked and didn't like, and ended up really loving a few. There are some truly terrible ones out there though. I wouldn't necessarily say they affect whether I read a book or not, but there have been a few that have been so good they got me interested in reading a book when I might not have otherwise been interested. I'm a very visual person, so I do tend to enjoy watching trailers now, even though I didn't care that much before. I don't generally seek them out, but if someone sends me one, or someone has one posted on their blog, or even if YouTube recommends one based on my tastes, I'll usually watch them.

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  28. I don't usually watch them. Too often I've tried and they've turned me off of a book.

    That said there are a few I love, I usually only will watch those when others say how great they are!

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  29. Since I am a very visual person by nature, I'm all for book trailers! Still, I won't base my purchase of a book only on watching a book trailer. I'll still want to look it up on Goodreads and Amazon, where I can not only read the synopsis, but also some reviews.

    I do find book traileers enjoyable, even if they're sometimes too abstract. i consider them an art form -- they are part movie, part painting/sculpture, part musical composition. I do believe they enhance the experience of the book itself.

    Another thing about trailers -- they can give a reader an idea of how the book would look as a movie. Many books never make it to the silver screen, and I think that's sad. There are many books I've read that I believe would have made excellent movies, and they were never turned into films. So a book trailer is satisfying to me in this regard. Two books I read recently would make great movies -- "Abandon", by Meg Cabot, and "Die For Me", by Amy Plum. "Nightshade" and "Wolfsbane" (I'm currently reading the first one) would also make great movies. They might never become movies, though. At leasts the book trailers give me a taste of what these movies might be like.

    My two cents!! : )

    Maria @ http://anightsdreamofbooks.blogspot.com/

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  30. I don't think they make me want to buy the book they're just an added bonus, and like someone said above, if it's done almost like a movie trailer then I enjoy those (Enclave being an example. I loved that trailer. Bedbugs another one that was pretty good.) There are a few however that aren't movie-ish that I enjoy too. I guess it really just depends on how they are made.

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  31. Please excuse the typos....I have "Tired Thursday Syndrome"....can't wait for 5:00 PM tomorrow....Lol. : )

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  32. I'm with you on the nay. I think they are a good idea in theory, but don't normally want to take the time to watch them. And when I actually do, it's for a book I'm already excited about and can't wait to read.

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  33. I actually like book trailers. I have a facebook page that goes with my YA Book Club on goodreads.com and I try to get the younger crowd excited about our monthly book reads by posting the trailer. Whether or not it works... who knows? But I hope it sparks interest.

    Angie

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  34. I've watched three book trailers. Two were on YouTube and one was actually a commercial on TV. The TV commercial happened to be for an author whose books I already read. I bought that book. The others, though, no.

    Mostly I read books based on book blogger reviews.

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  35. I'm a "nay" too. If I want to decide on a movie or tv show to watch, I'll "watch" the trailer. If I want to decide what to read, I'll "read" the summary or reviews. I don't want a trailer putting preconceived notions about the setting and characters -- I want to create that in my head as I read.

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  36. I think they're a great idea, and I watch some of them. Though, they are usually already for books that I know I'll read or am anxiously waiting for.

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  37. I'm with you on the nay side. I don't have time to watch them, and the sound on computer usually isn't on anyways, so there isn't much point. I much prefer a cover and summary.

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  38. I'm with you-Nay all the way. I've yet to see a book trailer that made me think I wanted to read a particular book. I'd much rather read the blurb that gives me some idea what the book is about.

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  39. I actually love a well -made book trailer. I've definitely been convinced to read a book by watching one. One notable example is Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. I had no intention of picking that one up until I saw the book trailer. I agree that it is quicker to just read a summary, but a well made trailer gets the mood of the book across very well.

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  40. I am usually nay on a book trailer but that's because most of them are not made well. The ones that are made well however usually influence me to pick up a book or add it to my TBR for example - Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse and Hold Still by Nina LaCour. I loved these trailers and because of them instantly added the books to my goodreads TBR. I love watching movie trailers however so that's probably also why I don't mind taking 2 minutes to watch a book trailer.

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