Video book trailers do not sell books. Sample chapters, good reviews and word-of-mouth sell books.


Video trailers provide a visual way to draw attention to the fact the work exists. Beyond that, it doesn't say much about the experience of reading. If you bought my Cleansing Eden crime novel from Amazon, you wouldn't be watching a video.

So are they worth the effort? They are if you...


1) Like to make video book trailers.



2) Create something buzzworthy.




3) You already have a massive audience and want a different way to get the word out.


I fall into 1). Choosing pictures, music and copy is interesting to me. Did it sell the Cleansing Eden novel? I don't think so. But I had fun doing it. As with much of creative writing, this is the litmus test. If I enjoy it, I'm going to do it.

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Yes, 47% of people know that.

I'm just going on what I've seen. Trailers are fun to make and look nice. But I've never heard of someone saying, "Hey, I was on YouTube and found a book I want to buy." Wrong market, in my opinion. Videos don't speak to the experience of reading. I'd spend my time getting reviews instead.

Have you made one? What results did you get?

You've seen videos not sell books?  Wow.

I couldn't say if they do or don't, actually.   My feeling is that nobody can.  

The idea of "speaking to the experience of writing" is pointless.  Does a billboard speak to the experience of sleeping in a hotel?  Does a superbowl ad speak to the experience of tasting beer?

Actually the first published novel I contributed to has a program of  several videos for the book.  As I already said, "results" are sketchy.  As with the other media I mentioned.

The guy who did the videos for that novel also did one for a NF book of his own.  It got 30,000 views on YouTube and a bunch more on other video sites.  The book sells very well online.  He sees spikes in sales when he runs around posting links and comments for the video.  And says, You can't just slap them up and leave them.  They're a way of getting attention and approval for your book.

I've seen a couple of people show indications that there video worked for them.

I see nothing from you that indicates they don't.

I see nothing to back up your statement that sample chapters sell books.

Benjamin, it's not so much whether video trailers sell books. I don't know anyone who trolls YouTube looking for trailers either, but I did video trailers for both my novels. They get a fair amount of hits. However, I also embedded them on the book pages on my website. When people get there, they're already interested in the book. Maybe the trailer convinces them to buy it, maybe it doesn't, but they're pretty good, I think.

Here's a link to one:  DIVA trailer

Here's the other: ABSOLUTION trailer

Part of the reason people say things like this is due to the fact that videos aren't "clickable" and therefore don't show a hard-wired trace.

But neither do billboards or TV ads.

But if you run a video and push it for a few days and see your analytics pop up a little, then see some sales on your amazon chart for that time, it gives you an idea.

I have that information second hand from my video guru.  But I tend to believe him more than anybody who comes out with fake 90% proclamations.

So, what makes you think that sample chapters sell books?

Clearly you're on the warpath (see earlier response to one of my posts).  The difference between an ad (and a trailer is an ad) and a sample chapter is that the latter gives readers an idea of the actual writing.  Sort of like looking at a picture of an apple vs. tasting a sample slice.

Please don't share your insights into my mental state, OK.  I don't see that your personal observations add to discussion.

In fact, ads DO sell things.  Look around you.  Ask yourself why people are paying all this money for ads.

And you still don't answer the question of what is there to show that samples sell books.

Maybe i'm just overly strict or something, but when I see people making flat statements about what is or is not true, I generally like to see some justification for it.  I don't think I'm all that weird about that.

And when I see people saying that other writers "shouldn't be writing" it puts my back up and I don't think I'm all that strange about that either, or that reacting to their being some "should" out there on human expression is "on the war path".

Please don't get personal with me, okay?  It's not such a good thing to do in discussions, and I don't care for it, personally.

Well, I decided to try this out, instead of just wondering about it.

I had some little crazies from the high school make me a video and cajoled my publisher into putting it up on YouTube.  Within an hour I had three sales for my book, which has so far had no other form of promotion. (Except maybe the kids next door, who I told to buy it or I'd torture their puppy)

This isn't a "crime book" except in a very technical sense (it's still a crime do what the book suggests, but that might be changed some day when we get better leglislators)  but for the topic under discussion, I think it presents a pretty incontrovertible "maybe".

Wow, that worked!!!  Cool! First time I've done it. Piece of cake.

So Cammy, what's up with Mr. Beerbelly? Oh, wait, is that Rush Limberger?

Typicql boyfriend.  And poster boy for my "final solution to the boyfriend problem"... a muzzle blast to the nuts.


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