Discussion Time (1/8): Book Trailers

Do any of you actually watch book trailers?

What do you think about them?

I’ve seen them around, due to a couple people posting them, and I think I’ve even watched one or two out of curiosity, but my general reaction when I see a book trailer is to tilt my head to the side and go “Eh? “

There’s definitely nothing wrong with it, but it just puzzles me. Where in the world did this start? Why did it start? I’ve got to assume its because we’re all such visual people that it’s a way of getting attention.

Do any of you actually go looking *for* book trailers now?

I actually just googled  now and looked for one for a book that I’d actually read. I found this one for Red Queen. Now, mind you, I listened with the sound off because…well, I just tend to not actually want to *listen* to things.

It was okay. Would it have made me want to read the book? I don’t think so.

Then I found this one for another book I’d read.

Initially I went “What? NO. This is not how I saw it in my head!” However, I think this one actually would have made me look for this book. So, I guess it can be a good advertisement for a book.

I think I’m just naturally sort of growly when anyone tries to impose rules on my imagination. I want to play in the sandbox of the written word. I don’t want anyone else’s take on the words planting ideas in my head.  I mean, obviously there’s exceptions. There always is (like when authors actually have a hand in making the trailers), but… for the most part… why try to cross formats? Books hold an appeal all of their own because for the most part all we get is a cover, and our imaginations have to take over and paint in the pictures that the author has sketched out for us. I like that.

Are putting book trailers/teasers in a visual format a good idea? Do you like them? Hate them? Not think much of them one way or the other?

Do you have a favorite you think people NEED to see?

Talk to me 🙂




27 thoughts on “Discussion Time (1/8): Book Trailers

  1. I absolutely do not watch book trailers. Twice I’ve thought that making book trailers would be an awesome final assessment instead of a big exam for a book my students read. Both times, the vote was 100% against making a book trailer. Maybe for a film and lit class?
    The reason I won’t watch a book trailer is the same reason I won’t watch a movie of a book I’ve read. I want to imagine how the characters look and sound. I want to imagine their walk, their gestures. A book trailer would ruin that.

  2. Just… ALL of this!

    I saw my first book trailer around Christmas (on TV, no less) for Stephen King’s new book and was oh so confused. I completely thought they were making a movie and got so excited only to have that joy taken away when they announced it was just the book that I’d already known about. I don’t get book trailers in the slightest.

    From a marketing standpoint, is it a good idea? Sure… because you’re reaching a totally new audience. Personally, though, I am 100% not a fan. It’s almost a turn off for me.

  3. So I had never heard of book trailers until, during the few months the kiddo went to school, I volunteered in the elementary school library. The librarian would give each class that came in a little lesson before they got to look for books and she would show trailers. They confused me so much. In my very limited experience, they never explained the book in a way that would make me pick it up and read it. Not the way the fourth and fifth graders explained the books they were checking out to me, which incidentally I would frequently check out from the public library and read.

    1. Well, I guess its cool the librarian was showing them. At least shows she was trying to get the kids interested any way she could…right?? I think. Midlde-grade books are fun. Just finished reading one. (Skycastle, the Demon, and Me)

  4. I remember only watching one book trailer, accidentally, for The Girl With All the Gifts, because i thought maybe they were making it into a film? It was terrible… like, worse than the news of a film adaptation would have been.

    I don’t want anyone else’s take on the words planting ideas in my head.
    I agree with this so much, and this is also why i don’t get on well with audio books. I don’t like to have other people’s reading–the pace and emphasis and emotion in their words; i like to do all of that myself.

    1. Now, see, with audiobooks, its a matter of getting the right audiobook. There’s only a few narrators I trust, but I swear its like they’re in my head, seeing the character as I see them. (R.C. Bray and Ray Porter, namely).

      1. To be fair, the only audiobook i really tried was Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter… and i love Stephen Fry, but hated his reading. He’s disillusioned me forever.

            1. Yeah. If you ever get the chance/urge to try another one, try R.C. Bray reading The Martian. or Ray Porter reading 14. If something lighter is more your style, try Night of the Living Deed (don’t remember the narrator, but she was funny.)

              1. Thanks for the recommendations! I’ll give The Martian and Night of the Living Dead a go as research for my planned paper vs e- vs audio-book debate post!

  5. I don’t often watch book trailers but the ones I’ve watched made me want to read the book. The only one coming to mind now is a trailer for Elian Black’mor’s In Search of Dragons.

  6. I was barely aware of them at all, so clearly they aren’t working on me. But I think I’m like you, they make me growly. I haven’t read either of the books for the trailers you provided, and they still made me growly. I like having the book world in my head. It’s the reason I read books.

    Posters, on the other hand, I like. I still remember seeing the poster for Thud! by Terry Pratchett in a bookshop years ago. It just had the cover (with the title Thud! in big letters) and “laugh your head off”. I still think that’s funny. I would hang that poster in my house.

  7. Right! Some book trailers tend to mislead. They market falsely mostly for profit-geared purposes. I don’t really rely on them much though they’re a factor for me grabbing the book 😉

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