Do Book Trailers Work?

I come across this question all the time. Do book trailers work?   Usually it is an author who is trying to figure out if this is really worth the time and or expense.   And then others will debate if readers really want to have their characters visualized, claiming that imagery should be in the mind only as the text unfolds.

Here goes my opinion.  For young adult and children’s literature – YES, YES, YES, -if it Connects and is Convenient 

  • The trailer should hook the student into the plot/ conflict  of the story — like an old fashioned librarian book talk.
  • Why –  you need to connect the student reader to the story & not just sell a book.
  • Teachers and librarians will show the trailer as part of a lesson to encourage reading.
  • Classroom Convenience: a school setting is a captive audience – much like your movie trailers in the cinema.
  • And as more students are taught to create their own book trailers – they become genuinely interested in book trailers themselves.
As e-readers become more and more common place – sure readers of all ages will watch a trailer put right in front of them before they buy.  Thus to make the sale the viewing of the trailer has to be both convenient and create a connection.
It has been my experience that when I show a quality book trailer – the first question my students ask is -“Do we have that book?’  or one day soon they’ll ask “Can I download that book now?”
Michelle Harclerode, Teacher Librarian




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