>A couple of days ago, I posted a link to a book trailer on Sue Grimshaw’s blog at Borders. It was for the new book by Michelle Moran, Cleopatra’s Daughter. After viewing the trailer, I immediately got it for my TBR. In my post with the link to the video, I indicated that if the book was HALF as good as the trailer, it would be one hell of a read.
One of the reactions to my post got me to thinking about book trailers and covers in general. I suppose my thinking actually originated because of the commenter’s snarky attitude. There was this sneer in the comment that ticked me off. Essentially, I was chastised for even thinking I should buy a book simply off a book trailer, and that if I did so, I was an idiot. To some degree, I can understand this individual questioning why I would purchase the book strictly on a book video (Although I confess I didn’t understand the outrage or snark that oozed from the comment itself.). It does seem rather odd, doesn’t it to buy a book just after seeing the book video? But then I don’t see it as being any odder than using a review to buy a book or seeing a pretty cover and slapping your dollars on the counter. However, the book trailer for Cleopatra’s Daughter had three things going for it from the get go with me.
Let’s Take ‘Em One At A Time
A) I love a slick trailer. Doesn’t matter if it’s a movie or a book or whatever. If it sucks me in, I’ve got to think that there are at least SOME good parts to the item being marketed. And this trailer was like a fricking movie production! I should be so lucky to have such a great trailer.
B) A book set in Ancient Rome is going to get me every time. I don’t care if it’s bad or good, I’ll watch it or read it. I have both seasons of ROME the HBO series, simply because I love that time period. It doesn’t necessarily signify the series is good (although Season 1 are phenomenal IMHO), but because I love the time period, a good-looking trailer about a book set in Ancient Rome is going to grab my attention.
C) Michelle Moran is the author! I know the author. I know her work, and after seeing the book trailer, I’m definitely going to want the book, not just because of her past works, but because the trailer totally hooked me as to the story line of this latest book. Moran is a newcomer to historical fiction, but I love her voice, and to date, her three books are set in time periods I love! So it sort of goes with the territory that the book trailer would totally captivate and inspire me to order this latest book.
So the commenter really didn’t have the FULL story before they posted their snippy comment that implied I was an idiot for buying a book strictly based on a book trailer. Of course, if this individual goes to the movies even once a year, I’m wondering how often a movie trailer has captured their attention enough to go see the film, or at least caused them to investigate whether the movie warranted an extra hard look at the movie as something to see. Of course, I could call someone an idiot for going to see the latest Gerard Butler movie based on a movie trailer, but then I allow for individual tastes, and I’m not inclined to call someone an idiot (implied or not), unless they actually act like one.
Covers and Impulses
Impulse buys aren’t limited to just book trailers either. The same thing happens with covers too. Covers can propel sales according to people I’ve talked too. I know they have for me. My bestsellers have been books that have great covers (Dangerous and Obsession are good examples). These books were good books, but the ones that won awards didn’t sell as well, and I’m convinced it’s because of the covers. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people say a cover can make or break a sale. Most of the time, it’s about getting the potential buyer to just pick up the book. If the cover is compelling, it makes the consumer pick it up and flip it over for the blurb. If the blurb is exciting and concise, that makes the consumer even more interested in buying the book. Some people don’t even open the book in a situation like this. It’s an impulse buy for them because the cover looks sexy, pretty, elegant, etc. and the blurb makes it sound like the book is going to be a great read. Now, I admit that readers are becoming more discriminating with their buying dollars, but there are still PLENTY of impulse buyers out there (I’m counting on that come January, along with some decent reviews). Buyers who may or may not know my name or what kind of a book they’re going to get when they read me.
Nonetheless, I’m convinced that for impulse buys, a book trailer and/or a great cover/blurb will sell a book a lot more often than people think. Is the quantity sold as many as one that gets a mention on Regis & Kelly (are they even still on??) or a starred review in Publishers Weekly. I’ve no real idea, but I believe a great trailer or a great cover can definitely pique a reader’s interest and even spur the reader to buy, especially if it’s an author the reader knows already.
And as for the individual who implied I was stupid for making my book buying decision based solely on a video, it’s a shame they weren’t a little more open-minded to at least go check out Moran’s work. I think they’re missing out on a great writer by being so cavalier. Which reminds me, I forgot to order Susan Holloway Scott’s latest. Grrrr *banging head on desk*