Book Trailer Talks: Trailer Length Preferences

YABookShelf BookTrailerTalks Book Trailer Talks: Trailer Length Preferences

Book Trailer Talks @ YA Book Shelf is a weekly meme started by yours truly. Each Friday, book marketers, authors, agents, book bloggers, teachers, librarians, and anyone else who enjoys talking about book trailers comes together to discuss a particular topic. You can create your own blog post and link it up here or merely leave a lengthy comment below. However you prefer to participate to you, but the main thing is that our conversations can help authors and publishers come up with the best strategies they can to help market their up-and-coming novels for the YA audience. Have other questions? Check out the original post in this series to learn more.

This week’s question: Do you prefer short, medium length or long book trailers? (Short is under 1 min, medium length is between 1 min and 1 min: 30 secs, and long is 1 min: 31 secs and longer.) Use some examples to prove your point!

A couple of week’s ago Sarah Darer Littman, the contemporary YA author of PurgeLife, After, and the August 2011 release, Want To Go Private?, asked me a question through the comments of an unrelated Book Trailer Talks post. She wanted to know what I thought about the length of a book trailer, and whether I agreed with her that a trailer of less than one minute long was optimal or not.

When I first saw the question, I thought the amount of time she mentioned was a little low, but before answering I checked out a bunch of my favorite book trailers to see how they matched up with this time constraint. I soon realized that the majority of the one’s that had caught my eye were either under one minute long or at most about 15 seconds over that time. Book trailers as diverse as those made for Hold Still by Nina LaCour, both of the books in the If I Stay series by Gayle Forman, Tell Me A Secret by Holly Cupala, and even the Australian trailer for Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver all fell into this time constraint. (In case you want to check these trailers out for yourself, feel free to check out my teen book trailer posts as they can all be found among past articles.)

Seeing these quick results made me want to take a closer look at them using a larger sample of people, and so I did what any one with access to the interwebs at her disposal – I used my social media connections to generate additional responses. Some of the people who responded to my request via Twitter and my question on Facebook are published or aspiring authors, some are librarians, and many of them were bloggers. Is this a definitive study…ummm…maybe not. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t find some interesting results from this experiment.

Check out the infographic below to learn the results:

YABookShelf BookTrailerLength Infographic Book Trailer Talks: Trailer Length Preferences

According to the questions I asked users on Twitter and Facebook, 16 respondents or approximately 51.61% of them claimed to prefer book trailers that were between the range of 1 minute to 1 minute and 30 seconds long. At approximately 29.03% or 9 respondents, the next most popular answer was under 1 minute only. Interestingly, 4 of the 31 respondents or approximately 12.90% asked the question, “Books have trailers?” None of those respondents were on Twitter, but it’s quite possible that a survey of the general population would have yielded a much higher percentage of people who didn’t know that book trailers actually existed. Only 2 respondents or 6.45% said that they didn’t watch book trailers, but again, I think that a survey of the general population would have likely yielded a much higher result for this response as well. Finally, not one person said that they preferred a book trailer that was over 1 minute and 30 seconds long, so at the very least, that should help you decide what not to do.survey

One of the other things that I couldn’t capture in this online survey that might be worth noting is what trailers people associated with being under 1 minute long or between 1 minute and 1 minute and 3o seconds long. Remember, I thought that a trailer that was under 1 minute might be a little short, but many of the ones I really like are actually at that length. This survey couldn’t measure what trailers respondents associated with the various lengths in question, so that might be one way in which the results are skewed slightly.

Sorry that I didn’t actually share any book trailer this week, but I hope that you enjoyed this little experiment! Feel free to comment on that or any other ideas this post brings up for you in the comments section below or make your own post and link it up. To Sarah Darer Littman, I hope this post helped your book trailer planning.

Next week’s question: How can you make an effective book trailer if you aren’t technologically gifted? Let’s share some free or inexpensive services to help authors make a trailer themselves that looks good and fits their budget.

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