The Book Publicity Blog

News, Tips, Trends and Miscellany for Book Publicists

Effectiveness of book trailers

Don’t know if you might need to log in to view this Wall Street Journal piece on book trailers, so I’ll pull out a few facts that hit me:

“There is scant evidence, however, that the average book trailer actually has much impact on book sales. Despite Doubleday’s recent video upload for the self-help book ‘We Plan, God Laughs,’ by Sherre Hirsch, the book has sold only about 3,000 copies, according to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks about 70% of U.S. book sales. And even though Jami Attenberg’s trailer for her novel ‘The Kept Man’ is reminiscent of Miranda July’s short films, only 3,000 copies of Ms. Attenberg’s recent book have sold. Most trailers cost about $2,000 to produce.”

On the other hand, Jen Lancaster’s book trailer for Such a Pretty Fat apparently got her bookings on morning shows across the country.  And the trailer for The Average American Male garnered thousands of views on YouTube and the book has sold 25,000 copies.

Looks like the jury’s still out on this one …


June 11, 2008 - Posted by | Book trailers |


  1. […] On the effectiveness of book trailers. […]

    Pingback by Matt’s Bookosphere 6/12/08 « Enter the Octopus | June 12, 2008 | Reply

  2. One of the recent guest speakers to my writers club, Kemble Scott, talked about how a series of Youtube videos that preceded the release of his novel “SoMa” helped to propel his book onto the San Francisco Chronicle’s best seller list.

    He produced them himself, so he didn’t spend the $2,000 you mentioned as an average cost.

    It didn’t generate tens of thousands of hits, but it did help create buzz before the book came out and it debuted on that best seller list. It dropped off for the period of time when the stock ran out and had not yet been reprinted.

    To me, that’s a success story.

    I wrote a post about it on my blog.

    Comment by L.C.McCabe | June 19, 2008 | Reply


    Gray Collar Crimes is a contemporary crime thriller set in the world of identity theft, bank fraud, and high finance money laundering. How does an inexperienced mortgage broker pull off the biggest white collar crime in the history of American finance and walk away? The answer is really quite simple…by accident!

    Comment by | December 8, 2008 | Reply

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