Will a new book trailer boost sales? Who knows? In fact, does anyone know? I doubt it. But there are a lot of books out there, and sales are not for publishers in general right now, so many seem to have fallen into a “try anything” mode. Publishers naturally encourage authors to get trailers. It can’t hurt and it costs the publisher nothing. Whether or not it convinces people to buy, it is at least entertaining for us all because by definition, authors are creative types. James Patterson talks directly to readers in his videos, pitching and explaining his books as if he were sitting in a book club’s meeting. And Meg Cabot deserves some sort of prize using Barbie dolls to put on a veritable puppet show on video to promote her books.
Entertaining, as I said, but what of my principle of evidence-based marketing? You know, my basic principle that one should not invest in any promotional effort unless there's evidence that it will pay for itself in sales? Well, I haven’t violated it, I’ve simply used some of that creativity I mentioned. Rather than being paid for serving as host of Book Bridge I’ve bartered my services for a book trailer. Their products are excellent, but what really attracted me was their distribution system.
Even their most basic book trailer comes with a lot of potential exposure. They offer the trailer to 30 social media sites, 4 more specific to my genre, half a dozen bookmarking sites and more than 300 bookseller sites. Of course, there’s no guarantee that the video will be accepted at all of them, but in most cases it is. I’m also getting the Transit TV service, which will take my book trailer beyond the internet. You see, mass transit buses in Los Angeles, Chicago, Orlando, Atlanta and Milwaukee have TV screens these days to keep the commuters from dying of boredom. Soon, commuters in those cities will be watching my book trailer.
And whether or not my new book trailer will convince people to buy several copies of Blood and Bone, it will certainly give me a good deal of exposure in new places and to new people. And if it DOES cause a bump in sales I will most surely tell you about it here.