6 Degrees of Book Trailers: Do You? Would You? Which Ones?

Around Crime HQ we’ve been talking about book trailers. If you don’t know what we mean, here are samples of the 6 basic types we’ve seen kicking around the interweebs: Authorial, Informational, Personal, Demonstrational, Comical, and DIY!

1) Authorial

This clip by James Patterson for Kill Me If You Can, co-authored with Marshall Karp, was created for book club members. It contains information about his writing approach, working process, and history as an author.

2) Informational

This trailer for The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye explains the historical background and premise of the book with thematic images and music to help set the mood.

3) Personal

Mac Slater Hunts the Cool is for middle-graders, and is not crime fiction per se, but Australian author Tristan Bancks has an upbeat example of this type of book trailer, sharing images of his dog and beaches near his home, among other tidbits.

4) Demonstrational

Avery Aames writes the Cheese Shop mystery series, including Lost and Fondue, for which she made a video (yes, the recipe’s at her website) of a yummy-looking three-cheese version.

5) Comical

If you don’t already know the Gretchen Lowell and Archie Sheridan series, this trailer for Kill You Twice by Chelsea Cain isn’t spilling much. But just like the novels, the plot’s got a heckuva twist.

6) DIY (or something else entirely)

Seed by Ania AhlbornIf any of these examples have inspired you . . .

Amazon studios is hosting a contest to create a trailer for Ania Ahlborn’s contemporary gothic horror novel Seed. The filmmaker whose trailer is chosen will win $3,000. Details and deadlines are here.





Have you ever investigated a book or taken one home based on its book trailer? Share, please!


  1. Allison Brennan

    I can’t say that I’ve bought a book off a trailer, but I enjoy them and share the ones I think are fun or original or interesting. They’ve reminded me when something I was waiting for is out. I’ve had book trailers made for my books, and I have no idea if they’ve helped sales or not … I think a lot is unquantifyable. (i.e. a reader saw the trailer, but doesn’t know or think it had an impact on their purchase.)

  2. Denise Z

    I am a huge fan of book trailers and have definitely looked into a book and wishlisted or if the budget gods were friendly that day bought the book LOL When they are done well they are real works of art!

  3. ladysaotome

    Hmm, I hadn’t thought about it but book trailers don’t tend to do much for me. In fact, I usually only watch them if I happen to already know about the book and be checking the author or book site. The informational trailer makes the most sense logically but wouldn’t make me interested unless I already was curious. I liked the example of the comedic one as it would make me want to find out what the book was about. And if it’s funny enough, viewers will share with their friends which just increases promotion. (btw, the recaptcha here is even more difficult than most – I’ve never had to repeat myself more than twice before!)

  4. Clare 2e

    @ladysaotome You’re right. Our captcha is tough! Even we find it so when we have to test things. I promise it’s not a nefarious plan to get you to become a registered user so you never have to see it again, but if it were our nefarious plan, would it be brilliant?

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