“Book Trailers”: A new book promotion technique?

originally posted February 10, 2007
May 2021: reformatted; several links updated; revised text as noted

A new promotional technique known as “book trailers,” or “book teasers,” (think of the so-called trailers that preceed movies to tease us into seeing upcoming films) could be a hot new trend—if it catches on. Book trailers can occasionally be seen on the websites of major publishing houses (particularly Random House and Knopf), where they are used to promote new titles and to revive one-time best sellers.

Until last year, trailers were used primarily with adult books, but that trend is shifting a bit since TheBookStandard.com gave out the Teen Book Video Awards for three young adult titles last fall.

For additional examples of book trailers, try these web pages (list and links updated in May 2021):

the 10 Most-Viewed Book Trailers of All Time, according to Film 14, a production company that makes book trailers;
10 Great Book Trailers and Why They’re So Effective, along with some tips for making great trailers, from TCK Publishing;
Examples of High Quality, Professionally Produced Book Trailers, arranged by genre and type, from Author Learning Center.

UPDATE: Unlike TheBookStandard.com (while it lasted, one of the best sources of publishing industry updates and statistics), book trailers have held their own, with usage increasing slowly and often being combined with social media efforts. If you’re interested in learning more about book trailers, visit this post at The Book Designer or look over some of these tips, provided by the Oakridge Library Media Center in Muskegon, Michigan.

image information: Featured image, via Susan Penner (Pinterest) and the Digital Scoop.