Sherrilyn Kenyon is one of the few authors I can honestly say I found through her book trailers. She has a lot of them, and they are always fun.
I read here that it was no coincidence I found Kenyon through her trailer. There was a huge campaign associated with her first book trailer.
With a summer release for the paranormal romance, St. Martin's had a huge investment in a 350,000-copy first printing. They hired professionals to create a 33-second book trailer, Dark-Hunter Acheron, then hired Zeitghost Media to manage the campaign. The publishing house sent an e‑mail with a link to the video on YouTube.com to 90,000 people, which was preceded by teasers several days before announcing that something big was coming. Zeitghost Media distributed the video across the Web, and dozens of blogs and Web sites picked it up and continue to feature it. It's had more than 429,000 views. On the Dark Hunter website and offline, they also used these marketing tools:This is mindboggling and, for an author, a little intimidating. I don't know about you, but I don't have a list of 90,000 friends to whom I might email my latest trailer.
Ebook giveaways Wallpaper, screen savers, cursors, banners Dark Hunter quiz Publicity through media channels such as Publisher's Weekly Twitter feed, Facebook Fan page, MySpace page, Free short story to downloadThe video was important as a destination for potential readers, but email announcements were used to jumpstart the video. Once on the site, there were other ways to find information about the book. There were downloads, giveaways. In addition, St. Martin's used traditional press and many social media. Was it the book trailer that made the difference in people choosing to buy the book? Or was it the combination of efforts?
There's an ongoing debate among authors and publishers about whether book trailers do any good at all promoting books. (This is a slice of the ongoing debate among authors and publishers about whether ANYTHING AT ALL does any good at all promoting books.) I think it's one of those things that doesn't help much if it's done cheaply, which, alas, is all that most of us can afford, but as part of a huge, well-funded campaign can do wonders.
Helpful, I know. ;)
I'd be curious to know what experiences other authors have had with book trailers. Does a trailer have to be a big-budget production to help, or can a simple, home-made video also attract readers?