I've just made a book trailer, and I've been planting it about the internet. I noticed that on Crimespace, it's only had two views, and those are both from me. It's done rather better elsewhere.

My question to authors and readers is, do you think book trailers help to sell a book? Have you ever bought a book because it had an irresistible trailer? And how do you promote the trailer so that it gets a chance to promote your book?

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Maybe a time issue?
Very true.

Also, where else did you post the trailer?
Perhaps I should recognize the photo, but I don't. What point are you making, Alan?
I think one mistake many new (and experienced) writers make here, Crimespace regulars are mostly authors and writers themselves. We're here to talk about the business, maybe network a little, learn something, but we're not interested in viewing much, if any, of each other's promotional stories, films, trailers, guest blogs, appearances, and free giveaways. Or maybe its just me.
I like a good trailer. Reminds of home. Especially if there's a car up on blocks in the front yard.
Here's mine:

You'd be surprised how many books I can fit into that thing.
You are hysterical! A hoot and a half!
You made me spit out my coffee laughing! Coolest "book trailer" I've seen yet. :)
You have to try, and of equal importance, you have to evaluate the return.

I have a viewpoint for you and I state this with no clue how much time and/or money you invested preparing the trailer.

When I just viewed it on Youtube, it said that a) it was posted on Sept. 11 and b) 119 people had viewed it.

Let's take away 15 or so for family, friends and you, and you still have over 100 views in three days. What this tells me is that since Saturday, you have either exposed or reinforced the book to 100 people, give or take.

This is an area where social media really shines.

You link your Youtube video, your Facebook page, your book's fan page on Facebook, your Crimespace page, Twitter, Flickr, your blog and anything else you might be using.

An example of how this works, is you use your blog and create a following by offering really strong, credible content. Then after you have a solid reputation of providing content, maybe you do a blog post one day about how the idea for the book came about. This blog is linked to ALL your social media, to help drive readership to the blog.

At the same time, this interesting blog post about the development of a book idea includes a link to your trailer, and a link to a review perhaps. And while folks frown on blogs that are "sales" in nature, you would probably get away with a link on how to buy the book. Regardless, if you've been developing a following, they will want to read what you have to say and will pay for it.

You interact, you respond to comments online, and answer questions. It's all about SOCIAL!

The best part is when the social media starts to grow. People "share" the link to your video with THEIR Facebook friends or they retweet it - the popularity grows very organically and in an electronic version of word of mouth.

But it takes time, no?

Regardless of whether this has or will happen or not, over 100 people have been exposed to your book's trailer in three days. If nothing else, it is a start.

Now, you must begin to seek ways to drive more traffic, create some excitement, and measure the return on your investment.
Trailers offer validation to the work. They may not sell the book, but they indicate how seriously the author/publisher takes the book. If it's worth the time to make a nice trailer, it's more likely to be worth the time to the reader.

As the market becomes more cluttered with more books, this type of quality presentation and branding is what will separate quality books from oceans of slush, especially on eBook distrubutors like Smashwords.
Actually that's the argument used to sell books heavily promoted by the publisher. And yes, it works.
The risk is that a poorly done trailer will turn people off, and brand the author as a rank amateur. Most of the DIY book trailers I've seen have been pretty cheesy. If that's the case, it's a safe bet that the books are cheesy, too. I don't object to the idea of the book trailer, and a really good one might actually sell some books. The question is, what distinguishes a good trailer from a bad one? And is it possible, really, to make a good one on your own dime?


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