Thursday, August 02, 2007

Book Trailer Videos: Boring or the Hot New Thing? by Diana Holquist

Book trailer videos are the hot new thing.

Book trailer videos are a big, huge snore.

What are book trailers, you ask?

Good question. If you've never seen one, they're like movie trailers, only there's no movie. And if you want popcorn, you've got to make it yourself. You watch book trailers on YouTube or on authors' websites. They tell the story of a book. This is the book trailer for my new book, Sexiest Man Alive. It might take a minute or two to come up on the page, but when it does, hit the little arrow in the center of the screen to play it:

I'm a geek, so I also made a bunch of er, amateur trailers. Okay, so one stars my cat. See, this is the trouble with this newfangled technology: anyone can do it. Or maybe, this is the good thing about this technology: anyone can do it. (Hi, Fluffy!)

What do you all think? Are book trailers a big huge bore? Or, are they fun, funny, and a great way to preview a book? Do you watch them when you see them on an author's website, or do you ignore them as too time-consuming and slow?

Hey, writers out there, do you have a book trailer to share? Put the URL in the comments so we can watch it and decide: book trailers--yes or no?


catslady said...

I'm afraid I have to say no on the trailers - I still have dial up and everything takes forever and a day.

Diana Holquist said...


Don't be sorry! That's the kind of info I'm after. Who watches these things? Do they watch them all the way through? Do they remember them?

(Er, Catslady, did I mention my other trailer stars my cat...?)

:-) Diana

Michelle said...

Diana... you did that trailer yourself? Very professional! What software did you use?

Here's my book trailer. I am really happy that I coughed up the money for it because it's been viewed a lot and was featured in the Borders newsletter last month. I've also had a lot of people who've told me that they bought my book because of it.

Diana Holquist said...


GREAT trailer. The Borders newsletter...that's awesome.

I didn't do this one myself--it was too complicated for me. But I did do a terrible thing and bought Final Cut Express, an advanced movie making program for Mac.(Yeah, how much writing am I getting done?) It's amazing. I'm thinking of it in terms of videoblogging...which is a whole 'nother kettle of fish...


catslady said...

I actually spent a while downloading some of your trailers (couldn't find the cat one?) and they are cute but it did take too long for me lol.

Elizabeth Hoyt said...

CAT TRAILER!!! I want to see the cat trailer! Um . . . is your cat really named Fluffy?

Diana Holquist said...

No. "Fluffy" was short for, "name lady gives to cat when she is the sort of lady who might include said cat in her book trailer." My cat has a dignified name. Catkin.

The cat trailer is at
and it's called "Why the Sexiest Man Alive Has No Head."

It had been called "Sexiest Cat Alive," but I had to take it down when I got too many weirdos looking for sexy cats.



Elizabeth Hoyt said...

AHHHHH! Weirdos looking for sexy cats. That's just WRONG.

Liked the trailer, tho. ;-)

Lois said...

Well, I have a cable connection, and to be perfectly honest, I rarely watch them. All I need is the blurb for me to decide whether I want to get the book (well, after the other stuff like if it's an author I always get and all that stuff LOL). The trailers are just something that I do tend to pass by when I'm at a site. :)

But I do love cats. Just ask my cat. :)


catslady said...

roflmao - okay that was adorable - don't know if it would make me by the book but it would put it in my memory bank so you never know lol.

Diana Holquist said...

Lois--Do you pass them by because they're too slow? Because you've seen one or two and you didn't like them?

Catslady--I'm so glad that you got to watch the video. And that you liked it. Let me know if you buy the book :-)

Elizabeth--I'm with you. I'm a dog person myself....(JOKE!!!! THAT WAS ABSOLUTELY A SICK, WRONG JOKE!!! Oh, dear, I better go to bed...)


helenk said...

Truthfully, I normally pass on trailers, b/c I've never really seen one I liked. But, I thought your trailer was really well done. More like how a trailer should be. (I don't like the 'movie style' with actors doing scenes.

I also looked at Michelle's and liked it.

Wow, I went from having no trailers I liked to 2 'this is what trailers should be' all in one day.

I'll have to show my DH and see what he thinks (he agrees with me in the 'trailers - yuck')


Diana Holquist said...


Yeah, I've heard that a lot. But then, I've also heard that some people really like the live actors. I think it's hard to get good actors on a book-type budget. But then, I guess some writers have bigger budgets than mine ;-) I had trouble with just the voice-overs, until some incredibly kind neighbors and friends of friends agreed to do them for me.

Maybe, as the genre sticks around, the quality is improving?


HelenK said...


I think they are improving, but more, I think authors and marketing people know better what to do with them.

The reason I like yours is it gives me the flavor of the book. It tells me all the basic ideas I need to know. It works more like a blurb or a pitch than an excerpt.

It's a teaser to get me excited about the book. (and it worked!) It's not someone acting out a particular scene or scenes in the book. I'd rather interpret/imagine that interaction myself.

Another two cents. :)

Shari Anton said...

Cool trailer, Diana!

I did one for Twilight Magic, and liked the response so I'll probably do one for the next book, too. You can see it at .

I'm not crazy about the ones with the actors, probably because those seem too long to me. I like 'em short and to the point. Like helenk said - give me a blurb, not the whole story.


Diana Holquist said...


Great video. Do you think it found you new readers?

And I agree with you and HelenK--actors are so tricky. And yet, I spoke to Sue Grimshaw at the Dallas convention, and she said she loves them...go figure.


Kelley St. John said...

You know I've told everyone I know about your fabulous trailers!!! I love yours, and I love trailers period. I have them for all my books and find that readers really connect with them.

Great job!

Shelley Bates said...

Diana, holy cow, did you really make this trailer? ::jaw drops:: It's professional, entertaining, and yes, it hooked me for the book :) And I loved the voices.



Diana Holquist said...

Hi Shelley--

I didn't make this trailer; I made all my others. A great example of how fancy you can get and also how simple, and still get a response.

I am hooked, though, and learning the software to make my own stuff look more professional. Although, there's something to be said for unprofessional and goofy (see Why the Sexiest Man Alive Has No Head.

:-) Diana

Barbara Elness said...

I have watched quite a few book trailers. I really enjoy them, and I think it gives me a feel for what the book is about and makes me excited to read it.

Diana Holquist said...

Hi Barbara.

Okay, I'll put you in the "yes" column.

I'd say it's about 50/50 for/against book trailers so far.

Something for everyone, I suppose....


HelenK said...

I just saw your newest trailer (on your website). It was hilarious. I loved the conversation between the 2 books.

More trailers should be like yours.

geetvin said...

This is really an interesting way. Book trailers are like movie trailers, but for books! You can find them all over the internet now, but here is a site that's featuring them on YouTube.