The Book Trailer: A Visual Sneak Peek

Haapchou: to be jealous (lit. take a sip of vinegar)

In ancient China, there was an emperor who wanted to give one of his female attendants as a concubine to a loyal minister. The minister did not dare accept because his wife was a jealous woman. The emperor called the woman to court and asked her, “I’m going to give your husband a concubine. Will you say yes or no?” “No, Your Majesty,” she said. “I would rather die.” The emperor said, “Well then, I’ll give you a cup of poison.” He told his attendants to bring the poison, and she drank without hesitation. It turned out, though, that the liquid she drank was vinegar.

I’m jealous of other writers’ book trailers. I’m researching whether I have the budget to produce one of these and if it’s a worthwhile exploit. A search on Youtube yields a number of clips; the most popular ones seem to focus on YA books.These short videos capture the attention of readers in a couple of minutes or less.  Looking through the selections, it seems to me that three types exist:

1. Images with words and music
The Night Circus:

2. Interview with the author
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet:

3. Actors showing a skit
Before I Fall: 

Which type would you prefer? Do book trailers influence your decision on whether to buy a book or not?  

Foodie Friday: Hainanese Chicken Rice
Bidding Failure


  1. All three drew me in with the visuals, esp. #2, but the big draw is hearing the synopsis of the book which I felt #2 accomplished, then #3.

    Book trailers, per se, don’t influence me to buy a book. Hearing what the story is about, from reviews (Amazon,Goodreads,blogs)are my biggest influencers and also word of mouth.

  2. Thanks, Monica! Given my tiny budget, I may have to postpone a book trailer, so it’s nice to know that good reviews are the most influential.

  3. Book trailers are fun to watch, but I don’t think I’ve ever bought a book because of one. Word-of-mouth, personal recommendations work for me.

  4. Thanks for your input, Amy!

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