(I received this question for my August 2017 newsletter, and repost my answer here.)
I do not have any real data on this, but these are my impressions of the pros and cons:
- Good for marketing to kids, and those who work with kids. (E.g., it’s easy for teachers to show them in class, and it gives librarians an instant book talk.)
- GREAT for school visits.
- Can build up anticipation and interest in an ongoing series especially. If you search for "book trailers" on YouTube, the trailers that have the most hits have a recognizable character at their center. See, for instance, this trailer for "Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes," which seems to be the book trailer with the most views ever, followed by a book about "A Day in the Life of the World's Cutest Dog" and a YA book trailer starring Zendaya.
- Hard to do them well on a meager budget.
- Fresh, creative ones can be useful; bad ones—PowerPoint slideshows or iMovie clip jobs—probably don’t hurt, but they might be a waste of money and time if you don’t do a lot of school visits or have a way to get the clip in front of a significant audience.
Some great ones, beyond those linked above:
- The Thug Kitchen Cookbook (NSFW language)
- The One -- kind of a model of "the YA book trailer that looks like a movie trailer" genre.
- The Hidden Alphabet
- ABC3D (about as low-tech as you can get, but SUCH a cool book & soundtrack, it works)
Feel free to post your own favorites, thoughts or tips below!