Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down — Book Trailers!

Last TUTD we had a great conversation about “extra” novellas to go along with your favorite series, this week I want to talk about book trailers!

We all know the effect that a well done movie trailer can have on movie-goers at a crowded movie. From the exhilarating ones that make your heart pound in that 30 second time frame to the ones that make you want to wet your pants because GOSH DARN IT, IT LOOKS SO FUNNY even if we know all the funny parts have probably just been shown…the effect is audible as you can hear murmurs of “I’ve got to see that” or “that looks so good.” A good trailer is key. They’ve got 30 or so seconds to woo you with carefully chosen reels that are in the perfect order to the perfect music. They’ve got to showcase their goodies to entice you and make sure you’ll be in those same seats with your oversized, overbuttered and overpriced tub o’ popcorn.

But what about for books? It seems book publishing is looking to the trailers to spice up how they are promoting books. With the amount of Youtubing and thirst for all things visual these days, it does seem to make quite a bit of sense to try to hook an audience in a different way. Find those people who don’t browse the bookshops or creep the catalogs as we do so regularly. Examine a new avenue of promotion. Find a new way to entice readers or make a book memorable.

My question(s) for you: Do you watch them? Do you like them in general? Do you find them to be effective in making you want to read certain books? Why do you think they are becoming more  popular? Which ones have you found to be done really well and most memorable? Anything else you want to add to what I’ve said?

Thumbs up if you like them/watch them; thumbs down if you don’t find them to be effective for you or don’t watch them

My Thoughts: I personally don’t watch them. It’s more of a time thing. I already watch too many things on Youtube (Jenna Marbles, beauty vloggers, musicians) and I’d rather just read a quick blurb of a book. I think it’s also that I’ve seen quite a few bad/boring ones that really turned me off to them. So to me, they haven’t been worth the extra time. I’m always on the lookout for book trailers that people say are really well done. I feel like I watched one for The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney that was really well done. I think it was that book anyways! lol. Maybe I’m not watching the right ones? But I sure am curious to hear if you guys watch them/find them to be effective for you. I’m also hoping you will link me to really well done ones! I’d be a convert perhaps if I saw really great ones!

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Funny enough just today I have a post about Book Trailers where I show some that really grabbed me. Some of them are so incredibly professional that I just love watching them. I do not seek them out, but when I see one it can actually make me want to read a book I wouldn’t have considered before.

  2. I don’t watch them. I generally read a blurb about a book and decide to read it. Or, keep seeing a novel mentioned on other blogs gets me interested. If like-minded bloggers love it chances are, I’ll want to get my hands on it as well.

  3. I don’t watch them and I don’t like them. For me, there is something intimate about reading a book and I don’t think the publicists’ view will match mine.

  4. I feel mixed on these. On the one hand, I think most of them are sort of cheesy and just attempts to get another outlet to market the book. On the other, I think it’s a great ploy to get non-readers interested in a book. I think younger people are so much more visual and need stimulation that it’s harder for them to read books than our parents or even us (yikes that I’m in a different generation than younger people!). So if they have this stimulating and well-done trailer, maybe those non-readers will be interested in the book. I guess it’s just your preference. I like them when they’re good – one that I think was GREAT was 52 reasons to hate my father. It could have been an actual movie trailer!

    Great topic today!

  5. Book trailers tend to make me feel a little awkward, like people are trying too hard. I know some people who love them, but I prefer reading about books instead of watching… about them? Besides, I can read the blurb faster when I don’t have to watch the letters artistically fading… no, they’re not for me.

  6. Ooooh great topic!
    I RARELY watch book trailers. I find a lot of them to be cheesy and don’t do the book much justice. In fact, the ones I do watch are usually for books I’ve already read, just to see what they did for the trailer now that I know what’s going on.

  7. I rarely watch them, because I feel too lazy to search for them on youtube. I tend to click on the trailer when someone adds them to their review 🙂 I’m always afraid that it will spoiler me in a certain way and I don’t see the value of them.

  8. I rarely watch book trailers, but since I can’t seem to do anything by absolutes, I have recently seen a few. In particular, the trailer for libba bray’s the diviners delivered the coup de grace that pushed me over the edge. So while I typically don’t pay them much attention, occasionally I’ll run across one that features a book I’ve heard about, and it frequently sells me wholeheartedly on that book.

  9. I am probably 50/50 or somewhere close to that when it comes to watching trailers. I have a hard time when they put people’s faces in them because when I read a book, *I* want to visualize the characters. Most often, I actually watch the trailers after I read the book because I want to see how well what I imagined matched up with what they marketed. 🙂

  10. I never watch them! The few I have seen are boring and useless, and the stock (or otherwise) photo stills in the videos are unimpressive. Videos in general can help heighten web rankings for certain sites, as well as reach a broader, and sometimes, different audience. The only memorable book trailer I have seen is the one for Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith. Unless I am a die-hard fan of an upcoming book, I will never waste my time watching the trailers!

  11. I have to agree with you Jaime, I don’t watch book trailers either. I don’t really watch anything on Youtube that much to begin with so that’s probably why. However, I will watch a book trailer now and then if someone recommends one to me.

  12. I too prefer the blurbs of books, or just reading what other bloggers are saying. I mean, we are all avid readers in the first place, I think us reading about the books makes more sense than a silly trailer. I definitely don’t seek out book trailers, but that being said, I get them from publishers/authors on occasion, and some of them are pretty well done.

  13. The only book trailer I really enjoyed was Sensibility & Sea Monsters. I just thought it was so clever & funny. Not sure they’d work for all books though.

  14. I agree with most of you and rarely watch book trailers. The intersting thing is how hard publishers push authors to make book trailers. My last publisher expected authors to make a trailer ($5000 for a quality one) and most of the authors weren’t making that much profit on their books. I thought it was silly when they don’t seem to be that effective.
    Thanks for the discussion!

  15. Big thumbs down to book trailers! Most of them are terrible and so cheesy, ag!

  16. I used to not watch them, and it was ENTIRELY a time thing. I just don’t have the time, or the inclination.


    Recently I watched the book trailer for The Diviners, and it was AMAZING. I’m reading the book now, and hearing the eerie singing running through my head as I read adds this whole new dimension.

    And I just saw the trailer for Every Day by David Levithan, which was cool… and Maggie Stiefvater? OK, the woman’s trailers are AMAZING. I want to make everyone watch the stop-motion brilliance that is the Linger book trailer ♥

  17. I have no problem whatsoever with book trailers. Anything that encourages people to pick up a book is okay with me. I haven’t seen a ton of book trailers, though. The ones I have seen I have liked. I like the one for Julia Quinn’s book What Happens in London, and I recently came across one for Love That Dog by Sharon Creech that was adorable!

    But, like anything, there are some I didn’t like. I didn’t like the trailer for Julia Quinn’s Ten Things I Love About You.

    I think they can be fun, if done right. Good book trailers do get me excited for the book. I also really like watching book trailers for books I’ve read and enjoyed.

  18. It wasn’t until recently that I even knew about book trailers! While I find some of them entertaining, they won’t sway me into reading or not reading a particular book so they’re not totally necessary.

  19. Honestly, as someone who is OBSESSED with books, I do prefer to read the blurbs of books myself or to see their covers. It’s still a visual thing, but more… bookish.


    I do, sometimes, watch book trailers. The funny thing is that the trailers I watch are only of books that I’ve already read the blurb of/heard about/seen a review… But what REALLY ties them all together is that I want to read them. Sometimes, I watch just for the heck of it, to see what interpretation they’ve come up with for the book. Other times (like in the case of Maggie Stiefvater), I just think they’re utterly creative.

    I think they’re a good marketing tool for people who wouldn’t normally want to read books. It definitely worked on one of my best friends recently, who found herself curious about that James Patterson series because of a book trailer. I appreciate the fact that it can reach out to that type of reader!

    BUT, for me, they would never sway whether or not I read a book. I always decide that based on (a) blurbs and (b) how I feel about the author, if it’s someone I’ve read before and (c) what my book blogger friends have to say.

  20. So far, I’m not a fan. Like you, I just don’t want to spend the time when I’m already reading blurbs and reviews.

  21. I have FEELINGS on this too, mostly not very good and was planning a discussion post for it in early November! I don’t really see the point in them because they’re just so embarrassing usually for me and rarely sell the book for me. They can be done well though but IDK, it seems like they’re not exactly NECESSARY, y’know.

  22. I have pretty mixed feelings about book trailers. I remember just a few years ago they were basically just picture slide shows and some text scrolling across the screen. But, they have grown up quite a bit. I remember watching the one for Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver, and I was blown away. It was so beautiful and well done.

    If a blogger includes a book trailer in a post, I might watch it. But, I don’t actively seek out book trailers.

  23. I saw this post last week and i wanted to post on it, but packing for the Mouse got in the way. Hmmm, I have noticed a lot of book trailers lately. It really depends on the trailer. I can’t say that a trailer has made me want to read a book, because I usually know about it before the trailer comes out. Book trailers tend to be released super close to when the book comes out, which I understand, but I’ve already read the description and added it to my list if I’m interested.

    Most book trailers I’ve seen are super lame. I think the ones that just show a picture of the book, plus a quote or two , or even the description from the back is a waste of money. if your gonna do it.. do it right! lol. Some trailers that have stood out for me are The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa. That one was a the shit. Also Maggie Stiefvaters trailers are awesome. I always look forward to watching those.

    I can see how trailers help though. You’ve seen my blog so you know I make them with my Sims game. I have had bloggers, Sims video makers, and random viewers comment on them saying they are interested in reading the book after watching them. I’ve had many comment telling me that mine are better than the publishers trailer. Maybe because I make the characters and try to show scenes from the book that aren’t mentioned in the blurbs.

    I dont know. I personally dont watch them very often. I do if one catches my eye, but I enjoy making them, and if I can get just one person to buy the book from that, then its a super yay for me in my book! 🙂

    sorry for the long comment. lol. I think I wrote a book. ha!

  24. I watch them when people tweet links about them definitely. I can’t say how effective they are, because I’m so judgy when it comes to these things, but I love it when they’re well done!

    And I really hope you did like the one for The Mockingbirds because that’s the one I produced. 😉