So maybe my idea of starting web based business revolving around book trailers is really not such a good idea:
1. If a book is poorly written, it's a fairly safe bet that the trailer for the book is not going to be good either. It's also possible that an amateurishly produced book trailer could discourage people from picking up a book that is actually pretty good.
2. Any book trailer website that wants to retain its credibility will have to guarantee the level of quality of the trailers being posted which means that someone has to view each trailer that is submitted. The amount of time required to do this is probably not commensurate with the level of revenue such a website would generate.
3. Unless a book trailer is extremely well done or has something unique that sets it apart from all the others - say, like an interview with Stephen King - they all start to blur together after a while. In a movie theater where you are more or less semi-captive (unless you want to risk missing the start of the movie by going to the restroom or concession stand) you are likely going to watch the movie trailers whether or not what they are promoting has any appeal to you. When watching book trailers on an electronic screen, you are going to be likely to click out of anything that doesn't grab your total attention within the first 5 to 10 seconds.
4. Public libraries throughout the US are currently facing serious budget cuts and are not going to spend any of their precious funds on a subscription that provided book trailers at a time when libraries are struggling simply to keep the doors open.
5. With all the existing free websites out there that cater to book lovers, there probably aren't too many readers out there who would see the need to subscribe to and regularly visit a book trailer specific website. Websites without a lot of traffic will not generate a whole lot of advertising revenue.
So, is there anything good left to say about book trailers?
1. Teachers have found them to be a very good way to get children more interested in reading in general. Well done book trailers can also lead kids to titles they might not otherwise have considered.
2. Students who are encouraged to create their own book trailers develop more of an interest in reading while also developing valuable computer skills.
3. As my experience at the Indie Book Buzz proved, a well done trailer is an effective and relatively inexpensive tool for introducing a book to a targeted audience.
4. One of my library director colleagues recently mentioned that his library had begun to post selected book trailers on their facebook page which I thought was an excellent idea.
I do also wonder why there are still so many public librarians out there who have yet to see their first book trailer. Aside from some articles in School Library Journal, there's almost no acknowledgement of their existence in other library publications.
At some future date, I would still like to offer a library program centered around book trailers, possibly using the members of my library's book discussion group as guinea pigs for the first go round. I will keep you posted and I promise that this is the last you'll hear from me about book trailers for at least the next few months.