There seems to be a wide variety of methods to creating book trailers that authors are employing. I've seen everything from the book blurb scrolling across the screen set to music, to still photos telling the story of the blurb along with music, to cartoon animation, to live action with actors, and everything in between.
I'm not 100% sold on them, though. They seem like they have the potential to suck up a lot of an author's time and resources that could have been directed towards writing more books--without a lot of proof (that I've seen) of providing value in return. Do people actually watch book trailers? Do the people who watch book trailers then go out and buy the related books? And are their purchases due to the book trailers, or were they already planning to buy the books anyway, or else they wouldn't have watched the book trailer in the first place? I've got a lot of unanswered questions--or at least, unanswered by anyone other than me. Any statistician will tell you that a sample size of one is a bit on the small side.
Over the last several years, I've watched a number of authors' book trailers. Not one of them has convinced me to buy a book that I didn't already intend to buy. A couple of them have made me question whether I wanted to buy the book at all. Only two stand out in my memory as being terribly inventive or different--and while I did buy the books they were advertising, my decision to purchase had more to do with the author being an auto-buy for me, or the general anticipation I already had leading up to the book's release, than it did with the book trailer itself. A few stand out in memory because the trailer made the book seem like something other than what I expected from reading the blurb--and in a way that made me less inclined to want to read the book.
Essentially, for me as a reader, a book trailer has more potential to turn me off than turn me on.
At this point, I don't plan to create any book trailers for my books--largely because of my impression of them. But I know my opinion is simply that--mine. So I'm curious what other readers think of book trailers. In fact, I've put together a little (highly) unscientific poll for our readers, to help me decide what direction to take. (If you're reading through email or a feed reader, please click through to participate in the poll.)
Have you ever bought a book because of watching a book trailer? (And if you're an author, do you make book trailers, and do you think they're effective?) Please elaborate on your answers in the comments, if you're so inclined. :)