Are book trailers good things?

I don’t know. I’m just getting used to using Twitter and Facebook as marketing tools (I have a long way to go). I’m not sure I’m ready to include YouTube in the mix, especially when it comes to marketing books.

I can’t help it. What I love most about novels is the language. When I read (or listen), I get to feel the atmosphere, sense the mood, and picture the characters on the basis of the words the writer has chosen to use. I become invested in an image created by a descriptive author.  Based on an understanding between myself and a good writer, created by words, I get to see the world as I think the author wants me to. (Plus, I also get the pleasure of touting “Yes, that’s exactly as I pictured it” or “Nope, they didn’t get that quite right” once the TV show or movie is made.)

However, if a novel is advertised by a short (and often cheaply made) trailer even before I’ve read those words, I’m denied the pleasure of my imagination. The colors and lighting and features of the story are chosen for me. Someone else’s vision trumps mine. Once seen, that creates a powerful and lasting image – for good or bad.

Despite my misgivings, however, book trailers seem to be the trend. One more weapon in the marketing arsenal. One less opportunity to experience the magic of words, in my opinion.

What about you?

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About Lori Hart Beninger

Lori Hart Beninger is a native California writer with three critically acclaimed historical novels (Embracing the Elephant, A Veil of Fog and Flames, and A Peculiar Peace) that follow two 19th century young adults as they struggle with survival and acceptance in the pivotal era of the California Gold Rush up to the American Civil War. Please visit for synopses, availability, reviews, and more.
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