Good Trailers?

Recently, I saw The Help.

No I'm going to admit, that it wasn't at all as good as the book. I should have known. I loved the book, and a lot of times I see movies that just aren't quite the same. But I was completely taken in by the movie trailer. I saw the trailer a few months ago when I hadn't even known they were making a movie (yeah, I don't know where I was on that one), and when the trailer ended, I wished I was sitting in the theater for The Help rather than whatever other movie I was seeing at the time. I couldn't wait for it to come out. I even went home and looked up the movie on IMDB in order to find out more details.

Obviously, for me, the trailer for The Help did it's job. It made me sit up, pay attention, and want to see the movie. It did it so well, that I saw the movie the first week it came out and tried to convince several other people to go with me.

With movies, there are some great trailers (I've seen great ones for bad movies, and great ones for great movies) and of course there are a few duds (any idea what that new move Warhorse is even about?), but  people talk about them, look forward to them, and at least the people I know, use trailers to help decide what movies they go to.

Obviously book trailers are a marketing tool with similar goals. Which got me thinking. Specifically about book trailers. I can't think of one trailer that made me want to buy the book. 

One caveat to those statements is that my favorite trailer is the one for Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall. If you haven't seen it, click here and watch. It's pretty awesome. I watched it after I'd read the book, but I think it might have convinced me to check the book out if I hadn't seen it.

So I haven't bought a book because of a trailer. But more than that, I can't think of that many book trailers that I really liked.

But both of those things might be because I won't watch that many of them. I buy books I hear about from people I know, or from announcements in PW, or from the image on the cover (I know, I can't help it!). And I only watch the trailers if I stumble on them on someone's blog or if someone emails it to me. 

But I think there are some really great things that can be done with trailers.  Recently I saw an article on (another Lauren Oliver) book trailer--for Delirium--that is interactive. How cool is that?

I want to know more and check out some more cool trailers.

So what I want to know from you is twofold.
1. What are some really good book trailers you've seen?
2. Are there any book trailers that have made you go out a buy the book?

And of course, any of your other thoughts are welcome!

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Carissa said...

1) There was this trailer on StarKid Potter's channel for an ebook called The Bully Book. It was really well-made.

2) Bought The Hunger Games partially because of the trailer. (And partially because my friend said I absolutely had to.)

Gemma Cooper said...

I normally don't like book trailers, especially if they are all text and screen shots. However, I completely did a 180 on my dislike after seeing the UK trailer for ‘My Sister Lives On The Mantelpiece’. It's fricking awesome – gives us all the backstory quickly, then shows us Jamie’s great voice by the way he describes his sister's death. Finally it shows the big obstacle Jamie has to overcome (and some of the smaller ones as well). It's like a perfectly formed blurb in a book trailer. And now I think about it, it ‘reads’ just like a perfectly written query letter. Tells us everything we need to know. I ordered the book the second I finished it.

Erin Bowman said...

The only book trailer that has ever stopped me in my tracks is this one, for HOLD STILL (Nina LaCour)

I don't even think it's the "official" trailer released by the publisher. It is beautiful though -- the narration, the music, the visuals. It gave me chills and made me want to pick up the book like no other trailer has before. Which is interesting, because if trailers are marketing tools aiming to build sales, does this mean most of them are failing?

Loved this post, Suzie. Definitely an interesting topic!

Anonymous said...

Must say, I'm really really happy you mentioned Warhorse. I had no idea they were doing this one as a movie. It is an absolutely wonderful book about Joey, a horse sold by his owner's drunk father to the army and sent to the front lines of World War I. Told from Joey's perspective, it highlights some of the atrocities of the war in France as it follows Joey on both sides of the lines, even as his young master tries desperately to find him again. It left my crying! Just hope they do it justice. :-)

I also have to agree with you on book trailers. I saw a lengthy forum discussion about them one day, and my first thought was "why waste the money?" I can't think of a single book trailer that made me have any interest in the book at all, or at I can even remember the title being promoted.

suzie townsend said...

Erin--you are so right. That trailer for Hold Still is awesome.

Gemma--I love that trailer and that book sounds so good. I must check it out.

Collectonian--interesting about Warhorse. The movie trailer is a little on the odd side.

Emily said...

I can think of a couple that have been compelling enough to make me want to read the book:

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. Cool narrator, cool animation.

The Wolves of Mercy Falls trailers by Maggie Stiefvater are very good. (I didn't like Shiver, but every time I see the trailers I think I really should finish the series.)

Other than those, I really find book trailers as kitschy and weird. Especially ones that only use stock photos and weird music.

jesse said...

The trailer for Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter enticed me to buy the book. It was well made, captured the essence of the book, and highlighted its strengths. Most book trailers fail to do any of this and, if poorly made, make me less likely to read.

Katherine Tomlinson said...

The best trailer I've ever seen was for Thomas Pynchon's INHERENT VICE. It was smart and funny and the narration is rumored to have been by Pynchon himself.

TirzahLaughs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TirzahLaughs said...

You can do your own cool trailers. Anything are better than the cheesy ones by Feehan. LOL.
Gator Baitin' Humorous Trailer
I wish I Was Engulfed in Flames--Memoir Trailer

Jeff King said...

I have watched several great trailers… and no, none of them made me buy a book.

Now, if they made it so a book could display a trailer on the back of said book, then I would have bought several!

Melissa said...

I can think of two trailers that made me buy the book: The Revenant, by Sonia Gensler, and The Sky is Everywhere, by Jandy Nelson.

And I loved both books too.

Katt said...

Cherry Adair's trailers are a treat!

Gemma Cooper said...

It's on the pile I left - probably in Jo's office :)

1600 Words A Day said...

I like the trailers for Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. I guess they worked because I bought both books, but I'm not sure I can say I expect the. To be good. Why do I do this to myself?

Hardygirl said...

Wow! I'm fascinated by your take on THE HELP's trailer. I live in Mississippi and am friends with Kathryn Stockett as well as Tate Taylor who made the movie. I was honestly disappointed in the trailer--it seemed like it made the movie seem like it was going to be campy and slapstick (which the movie was not).

So I was relieved that the movie, while funny at times, allowed the serious moments of the book shine.

And--I have to say that I avoid book trailers. I'd rather read flap copy.


Rachael Allen said...

The trailer for MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN was so good I got confused at first and thought I might be watching a trailer for a movie based on a book that hadn't even come out yet.

I bought the book because of the trailer (the only time I've done so). I can't even watch it now without getting goose bumps!

Stephsco said...

^Like Rachael, the first book trailer I ever saw confused me and I thought the book was being made into a movie (think it was Dawn of the Dreadfuls, the Pride & Prejudice & Zombies prequel).

I haven't gotten into book trailers but I think it's a great tool to reach the younger demo; all the pre-teens & teens I know love youtube and searching for videios online (most internet-savvy adults I know do too!) so I think making books accessible in more ways is always a plus. Unless the trailer is poorly done, then it may do a disservice.

Kristan said...
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Christina Auret said...

No book trailer on its own has ever made me want to buy a book, but I do think one or two of them have made me more aware of the books they promote. Which might have contributed to some eventual buys.

The Delirium trailer is nice, but I think it would have been a lot more interesting if they made the No option seem really unattractive in the second video and the Yes option really attractive. A little bit of world building propaganda could have gone a long way.

Unknown said...

I LOVED her book "Before I Fall" and I don't know how many times I picked up "Delirium" and put it back down because I don't want the disappointment...gotta say, after that trailer, it's definitely now on my "to read" list.
I usually avoid the book trailers I see on author's websites or even I'm thinkin' I'm gonna have to change that and start watching more of them.

Rachel Brooks said...

The Help is still on my TBR list. I need to read it before I see the movie!

Also, I’m a new follower—wonderful blog! Stop by my blog and follow me too? :)

Super Happy Jen said...

These trailers actually make me want to read the books. You're right, book trailers don't often do that. Perhaps because book marketing is not nearly as big budget as movie marketing.