Kernels of Nonsense: Book Trailers

Kernels of Nonsense (2)Kernels of Nonsense is a bimonthly discussion feature where I tackle various book-related topics. This week I’m discussing book trailers and how adverse I am to them.

I don’t make it a secret that I tend to dislike movie adaptations. I tend to be disappointed either in the casting or the overall feel of the movie in relation to the book. They usually don’t do a book justice and I think their existence can take away from the validity of a book, at least in the public’s eye.

I have more of a passing relationship with book trailers than movie adaptations. I see publishers promote them on Twitter and every once in a while I’ll come across a blogger who promotes a book by posting the official trailer. And I confess, I don’t feel even a little bit tempted to click on these videos.

They are often poorly cast, awkwardly narrated, and I have never been persuaded to pick up a book after watching one.Β Before writing this discussion post, I could count on one hand the amount of book trailers I have seen. And after watching a few more in order to get ready for this post, my opinion of them hasn’t changed.

And I really hate to bring such harsh criticism on projects that I’m sure take a lot of effort and time, but I’m going to do it anyways because I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. In fact, I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. One look at the comments section on the above book trailer for Marissa Meyer’s Cinder and it’s pretty clear no one is a fan. As a fan of this series, I find the video pretty cringe-worthy and at the end of the day, I’m not sure these book trailers are necessary.

Now the statistic would disagree with me. The number of views number in the hundred thousands and that in itself is motivation enough for publishers to continue making these trailers. But as a fan of book, I believe these novels deserve better. Perhaps fans should be given an opportunity to share their own projects or maybe it would be best to hire young film makers to put together these trailers. For me, unless something changes, I’ll be avoiding these trailers.

I’ll leave you with a fan-made video by the talented Yulin Kuang of an excerpt from Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. This is the kind of video that I’m looking for when it comes to book trailers. Be sure to check out her entire channel here, she has another video for Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl that I’m sure fans of the book will love.

What are your thoughts on book trailers? Do you watch them or promote them? Has a trailer ever persuaded you to read a book? Are there any book trailers that you find especially cringe-worthy? Share your thoughts in the comments and let’s discuss!


20 thoughts on “Kernels of Nonsense: Book Trailers

  1. I don’t watch book trailers unless they’re commercials I can’t skip past, and I rend to agree with you: they don’t satisfy or entice me. More often than not (like the one you posted) they come across as cheesy; if that were my only exposure to Cinder, I would avoid it, rather than be drawn to it. I do like the adapration, though, of the Jenny Han novel. That looks like something I might like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Curse those commercials you can’t skip! I long for the days of commercial-free YouTube. I agree, this trailer for Cinder would more likely put me off of reading it than make me want to find out more. Cheesy is a really good word for book trailers. I absolutely adore the little fan-made To All the Boys adaptation.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I usually don’t watch book trailers. The Cinder trailer is pretty cringe-worthy. Most of the few I’ve seen are way cheesy.
    I haven’t read “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” but this trailer is really great. I might have to pick up the book.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t ever watch book trailers to decide if I will read that book like I do with movies. But I do watch them after I read the books, which is kind of useless. But Maggie Stiefvater’s trailers are gorgeous, she made them herself and I was so impressed by them!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You know, I usually don’t watch book trailers either. I couldn’t even make it through all 30 seconds of that Cinder trailer. Sometimes though you can come across pretty good fan made stuff. I didn’t really care for To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, but I liked the trailer here. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think I’ve only ever seen one or two book trailers that made me interested in the book, but I can’t even remember what those trailers were. I love the concept of trailers, but the execution is like you said, cringe worthy. I support the idea of them, but I hardly ever take the time to actually sit and watch them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have always found book trailers incredibly cheesy! I feel like they would have the opposite impact on me as a reader, and make me NOT want to read a book had I seen the trailer and nothing else promoting a YA book. I love the fan video though, I am going to be checking out the rest of her trailers as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve actually purchased a book based on a book trailer before, so I guess they’re not all bad as far as marketing tools go XD However, I do have to agree that the majority of them are very poor in quality O:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Despite the overall poor quality, I do believe they have marketing value, at least in terms of number of views. I’d love to see how much influence they have on readers deciding to buy a book. I know people watch the trailers, there’s no denying that, but if I were just to go by the comments section, these same viewers don’t seem too impressed.


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