trailer homeI’m not thinking of a trailer home — the double-wide kind you live in.

No, I’m talking about movie or book trailers, the kind of snappy, short video that gives you a peek at what the movie or book is about, piques your interest, and makes you intrigued and eager for the release.

Don’t get me started on movie trailers (back in the day, they were just called coming attractions)!  If it’s a comedy or romcom, so many of them focus on the only truly funny jokes in the entire film.  Mystery-suspense trailers often give away important plot points.  So why should I spend my hard-earned money on actually going to the movie?

I’ve been more interested lately in book trailers.  I’ve watched sHomicide in HCo many of them and, frankly, some of them are downright cheesy.  I’m no expert, but I know what I like.  Here are some of my favorite Bandita trailers:

Kate Carlisle’s Homicide in Hardcover and

Anna Campbell’s My Reckless Surrender.  Check out these and other Bandita trailers here:

Coincidentally, I had a booMy Reckless Surrenderk ad running for my third story in the Bigler County Romantic Thriller series, The Traitor, when my grandson Mason texted me.

Now any grandmother knows that when a grandchild actually texts her from college, something’s up.  A scenario of troubles ran through my mind – underage drinking?  a loan for textbooks? a car accident? a break-up with his girlfriend?

The answers were all no because not only is this a really good kid, but his mother is his best adult friend and I knew he’d contact her if anything serious was going on. So I read the text, happily thrilled because he’s a sophomore at UC Santa Barbara and I’m a seventy-year old grandma, and like I said, this is the greatest kid his age that ever lived.  Seriously.

He asked if I was still interested in his making a book trailer for me. I’d asked him previously, but you know, school, work, girls … he was swamped.  But now, feeling a burst of creative energy, he wanted to try his hand at it.

I dashed off a long synopsis of “The Traitor,” gave him a few examples of other authors’ book trailers, some keywordthetraitor600x900s, and sent him the print cover. Check out the results here:

He got really excited!  I was excited too!  I’ve never had a book trailer for one of my books, and I trusted his creative genius completely.  All I indicated was I wanted “edgy, hip, engaging, and suspenseful.”  He ran with it, and today I’m presenting the You Tube clip for The Traitor. Follow the link to watch the 53-second trailer.

What about you?  Do you enjoy movie or book trailers?  Do they determine whether you’ll buy the book or go to the movie?  What’s your favorite kind of trailer – light and funny, slow and romantic, edgy and suspenseful?  Do book trailers ever lead you to purchase a book?

Or, alternately, do you hang out on You Tube very much?  Do you get caught up in the zany, hilarious, and often lovely and sentimental clips that are posted?  I confess that I’m not much of a You Tube hoverer, but my daughters and friends are always sending me something darling, funny, or simply moving that they found on You Tube or posted on their Facebook pages.

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  • Jane says:

    Hello Jo,
    I’ve actually only seen a few book trailers. The blurb is what usually sells me the book. I love movie trailers, but I hear that many people are now concerned that trailers give too much away. My cousin likes to watch cat videos and he would send me links, but I don’t head to YouTube unless I want to watch music videos or Comic Con panels.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Hi, Jane. I don’t look for the YouTube vids, but the ones that are my favorite have to do with children. Some of them are so tenderly hilarious. Kids DO say the darndest things!

    • Jo Robertson says:

      I agree that movie trailers are showing far too much of the storyline these days. Sometimes it feels like I’ve seen the entire movie by the time I see the trailer! I wonder why producers have gone that route?

  • Mozette says:

    I don’t normally go on trailers of movies or books much… usually, I go by what people and my friends say about them.

    Critics can be so… um… critical… about them. So, I don’t go on them about books and movies. And so when I do strike on a movie or television series or book series, it’s usually when I find that connection – that magic within them.

    It’s a rare thing I actually enjoy movie trailers and buy them from watching them.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      I agree, Mozette. Word of mouth is the best recommendation for books and/or movies. Especially if the person whose taste and judgment are similar to mine.

      I like watching book trailers, though, because they give me a very short idea of the book. Then I go to the blurb.

      I like reading reviews and usually only look at the 5-star and 1-star ones. Often the one-star reviews say something stupid, like “the book has too much romance in it,” and I think, “Oh, yeah, that’s what I want!”

  • Amy Conley says:

    Jo, I totally agree about movie trailors. They do tend to show the best parts. As for book trailers, I feel a bit robbed. Half the fun of reading, for me is using my imagination to “see” what the characters look like. If I have already read the book which has been made into a movie or television show, I am very excited to see who has been choosen, and why. One character I M Very upset about is one of the main characters. In my
    I can barely stand to watch. Now, in my opinion, OUTLANDER nailed Jamie, for me.

    opnion she is so wrong for the part, I can barely stand

    to watch!

    Now on STARZ, OUTLANDER, for me, they picked the perfect Jamie. He matches just what my ima

    One actress who was picked for Debbie Macomber’s

    • Amy Conley says:

      sorry for the mess up. This is what happens when you use your phone.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      LOL, Amy, I think I decoded it. I agree that Sam Houghnan (sp?) is perfect for Jamie, but at first I wasn’t so sure. He’s grown on me. I think there was some reader outrage when he was first chosen b/c his hair wasn’t red? Is that correct?

      I can’t wait for Outlander to return in Feb. I’m in the middle of “The Fiery Cross,” and I feel like I’m getting too far ahead!

    • Jo Robertson says:

      You know, I never thought about the look of the character when transformed from the book into movie or TV. I figure the physical characteristics are easily adjustable in my mind. But I don’t want them to mess with the characters’ core personalities!

  • Helen says:

    Hi Jo

    I am not a bigh movie or book trailer watcher I decide on a book because of the author the blurb or friends recomendation and movies maybe if someone recomends them or I have seen a short trailer via and ad on the TV. My PC and youtube don’t go well together sadly and it can take a while to watch a short clip but I did watch your one and it is good but of course I love your stories 🙂

    Have Fun

    • Jo Robertson says:

      You’re such a sweetie, Helen. Thank you. This was my grandson’s first venture and for my next one, I’ll give him a bit more direction about what I want.

      I have to say I’m fascinated by book trailers, but my biggest complaint is that many of them are too long! If the music is slow and the text gives you enough time to read it, you can end up with a 3-4 minute trailer. Way too long in my opinion.

      Sorry your PC doesn’t play nice with YouTube :-)).

  • Shannon says:

    The ladies and I who go to movies on Saturday have a running joke that we see the trailers, and then get involved in the movie so we forget trailers. Over coffee or dinner, our conversation over dinner is usually, there was that one with the woman and the kid but what was the title? Of course, they complain about things blowing up, saying I’m not interested.

    This weekend, we have a choice of four movies, and I’m leaning towards the one that I’ve seen a trailer for, so it’s probably good for that film.

    That said, there’s a trailer for an art film that is coming out. Every time I see it, I like the character even less.

    About YouTube, let’s just say, I had to figure out how to plug the audio in to my new computer, which I’ve had since July.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      I’m LOL about your audio and You Tube, Shannon, because my husband was just having the same sort of problem!

      Now you’ve piqued my curiosity. What four movies are you considering going to?

      I envy you going to movies with friends every week. I used to do that and I really miss the fun conversation and interaction with my movie-friends.

      • Shannon says:

        You can tell I was in a hurry when I wrote this for Julia.

        The Homesman-3 crazy women, one sane one, and a crude dude go across dangerous country to a safe place. Male actor is famous.
        Rosewater-journalist jailed and tortured in Iran
        Foxcatcher-wrestler story with some kind of obsession and brotherly competition
        Force Majeure-man, avalanche, family
        Little White Lie-black girl believes she’s Jewish and white until she finds out she’s not, and then goes on search for identity.

  • pjpuppymom says:

    I occasionally watch a book trailer but it’s usually one for a book that I’ve already read and I’m just watching out of curiosity. Like Amy, I prefer to “see” the characters in my mind.

    About the only time I’m on YouTube is when somebody sends me a link that looks interesting. I never go searching on my own.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Me, too, PJ! But I’m beginning to think I’m missing out on something b/c my daughters often send the most interesting or funny clips via their Facebook pages.

      I never thought of watching the book trailer after reading the book. That’s interesting.

    • Amy Conley says:

      I don’t particularly like YouTube either. Now I will watch my Australian shows since they have allowed it to be shown on YouTube and it’s a lot easier than downloading it. Otherwise forget it I really don’t mess with it.

  • Deb says:

    Oooh, Mason! Great job on the trailer! The music was “mysterious” without being too much so. I like the flashing of the words, then the pause at LOVE, then BETRAYAL. Very effective.
    Jo, thanks for sharing! I am not swayed by trailers, but sometimes something in them catches my attention so that I check out the movie ads. I go to YouTube occasionally. I have found some neat little clips to use in my classroom, or just to view a video someone may have posted on FB.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Thanks for the compliment, Deb. I’ll pass it on to Mason. You pointed out the very things I liked most. I would’ve liked the beginning to be less fuzzy, but I liked out he timed the music to coincide so well with the ending of the words. But, you know, child labor . . . lol.

      I used to use clips from movies or ads or whatever I could find that fit the lesson I was giving that day, too. A sort of hook for this multi-media generation.

  • catslady says:

    i am hit and miss on the trailers. I usually enjoy the ones I watch but my computer is old and too many videos seem to drain it. Plus the constant video pop ups which seem to be more prevalent and quite aggravating drain it too. But there are some lovely ones out there.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Oh, I hate those popups, Catslady. It seems like everyone is doing it! I have Yahoo and I’m constantly barraged with ads. Plus my bank has started taking me to an ad page instead of my sign-in page. I do hate that!

  • Jo, your trailer is very edgy and all the other adjectives you mentioned! Congrats to you and your talented grandson!!

    And thanks for the mention of mine! I love it!(It was created by my talented nephew. :-))

    I do love watching book trailers but I’m not always compelled to buy the book. Other than a very few exceptions, I think book trailers should be made simply for the enjoyment of the author. I feel the same way about Pinterest. I absolutely love it, but I’m not convinced it sells many books.

    And YouTube? I can spend hours there! I’m especially a sucker for adorable pet videos. 🙂

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Thanks, Kate, talented nephew. I liked yours because of the voice, very well done!

      Pets and kids — that’s what attracts us to You Tube lol.

      I’ve actually been drawn to a book or two from the trailer, but I always check out the reviews or authors I know before I buy.

  • Kaelee says:

    There are only two times I go to you tube ~ when someone sends me there or when I want to hear a certain song.
    I am not a movie watcher and read mainly from my own favorite authors and recommendations.

    I think your grandson did a great job with the book trailer.

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Thanks, Kaelee, that’s kind of you to say so.

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Off to watch two granddaughters sing at the Mall. They have solos, so break a leg, right?

  • Pissenlit says:

    I suppose I mostly like movie trailers for movies that I’m not entirely sure about. For some movies that I really really want to see, I don’t even want to be spoiled by that much so I sometimes stay away from them. I like funny trailers.

    As for book trailers, I don’t have any use for them. The different media doesn’t translate for me. A movie trailer uses scenes from the movie so you get an idea about what you’re gonna get but it’s less so for book trailers since it’s all the trailer creator’s interpretation of the book or synopsis. When book trailers first became a thing, the few that I watched put me off the books more than grabbed me(even for the books that I enjoyed) so I don’t watch them anymore.

    Me and YouTube have a sort of love-hate relationship. So fun…but such a HUGE time suck if you aren’t careful.

    Aww, that’s awesome of your grandson to make you a book trailer! 😀

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Me too, Pissenlit!! I’m always afraid they’ll give away something important and that always, well, pisses me off (ha, ha).

      I hear you about book trailers. Many of them don’t grab me at all, especially, as you say, when they first became fashionable. But others are really good. I guess it depends on the artist. I think it’s a very hard thing to do exactly right.

      Yeah, I worry that once on You Tube I’ll get started I’ll have yet another addition!

  • Jo, Mason did a great job! Very atmospheric.

    I don’t hang out on YouTube much because I tend to get absorbed and lose a lot of time. I do some research on there sometimes.

    I love watching book trailers–doesn’t matter what the tone is, though I think it should fit the book. I’ve never bought a book because of one, though. The blurb and the author’s voice are more reliable measures gpfor me.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Thanks, Nancy. It’s Mason’s first book trailer so I cut him a lot of slack :-)).

      I enjoy watching book trailers too, but I’m not sure they are the best tool to use for promoting one’s books.

  • Caren Crane says:

    Jo, I love the trailer for “The Traitor”! He really created a lot of suspense. I also love the fast pace of the flashing words. Great stuff!

    I’m not sure I’ve ever bought a book because of a trailer, but I have seen LOTS of movies because of them. Movie trailers really create an excitement that reading a review or synopsis can’t. I love movie trailers!

    YouTube could eat my whole life. Music videos and comedy clips are my downfall. I could watch them all day long!

    As for book trailers, I think I need to read the words to be convinced to buy. At least a synopsis, though I prefer an excerpt. Different media, I suppose!

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Thanks, Caren, so nice of you to say so.

    I’m glad to hear you say you love movie trailers. For me the coming attractions are the best part of the movie and I get really, really mad if I miss them because the ticket or popcorn lines are too long!

    I agree that you need either words or a voice in the book trailers. That’s what I was worried about in this one, but in the end decided to keep it short and flashy.