2014 Teen Book Trailer Contest

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2014 Teen Book Trailer Contest Winners


Check out the top 3 winning entries of the 2014 Book Trailer Contest


1st place (winner of an iPad Mini): Allison Pham -  Paper Towns by John Greene


2nd place (winner of a $50 Amazon gift card): Jessica Amores -  Insurgent by Veronica Roth


3rd place (winner of a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card): Kevin Prim - How They Met and Other Stories by David Levithan


Thank you to everyone who submitted such creative and fun videos!




Book Trailer Contest Information:

2014 Book Trailer Contest Flier


The San José Public Library invites teens, ages 12-18, to create a book trailer for our Summer Reading Challenge during the months of June and July.




Think of a favorite book you read during the summer and envision it as a short video, one that will capture the interest of your audience. Create your own book trailer, reviewing the book.


Be creative! The contest is open to all participants in the Teen Summer Reading Cha




How to enter the Book Trailer Contest?

  • Sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge starting on June 1, 2014.
  • Post the video on YouTube using the tag: SJPL2014SRC
  • Submit the YouTube link to your book trailer along with your name, age, contact information (either a phone number or email) and your library branch to: sjplbooktrailer@gmail.com
  • Post videos between 12:01 AM Saturday, June 1, 2014 and 11:59 PM Thursday, July 31, 2014

Who wins the Book Trailer Contest?

All book trailer entries will be posted on the official San Jose Public Library Book Trailer Contest site. All library customers will be invited to visit the page between Friday, August 1 and Friday, August 22 to watch the videos and cast their votes for their favorites. The top three winners will be announced the last week in August. 


What are the Book Trailer Contest Prizes?

The top 3 winners will receive:

  • First place: iPad Mini
  • Second place: $50 Amazon gift card
  • Third place: $25 Barnes & Noble gift card

Book Trailer Contest Rules:

  • All entries must be original work created by teens ages 12-18.
  • One entry per contestant.
  • Include San Jose Public Library in your trailer in some way. Be sure to let the audience know that the book you are promoting can be found at their local San Jose Public Library branch.
  • Story being reviewed must be cataloged as Young Adult (YA) in the San Jose Public Library catalog.
  • Book trailers may not be longer than four minutes in length.
  • Entries must be uploaded to YouTube between 12:01 AM Saturday, June 1, 2014 and 11:59 PM Thursday, July 31, 2014.
  • Winners will be announced the last week in August.
  • San Jose Public Library staff may disqualify any entry based on inappropriate content or production.
  • All videos must be original work, directed, filmed and edited by teens. You may use the book cover in your video. However, you may not use any other images that you did not create. Regarding music, you may use music you created or music that is in the public domain and appropriately documented (see http://search.creativecommons.org/). You may also use music that comes with a movie-making program such as iMovie, Photo Story or Windows Live Movie Maker. Please identify in the end credits where you got all sounds and music from and why they are free to use (for example: Song X performed by Band Y was sourced from the free music in iMovie).
  • ***See Photo/Creative Works Release Form below.

Tips to keep in mind when creating your book trailer:

  • Content: Your video should have a clear introduction a strong hook, and fresh and interesting commentary with a strong conclusion.
  • Voice/Sound: The sound in your video should be interesting, well rehearsed, hold the audience’s attention and have a smooth delivery. You should be able to hear the narration over the soundtrack.
  • Images: The images in the video should be crisp, clear, engaging and help extend the details and meaning of the narration.
  • Presentation: All elements of your video (color and graphics) should work together seamlessly to create an interesting and engaging book trailer.

***Photo/Creative Works Release Form:

You give permission for the City of San Jose to reproduce creative works resulting from your participation in the 2014 Teen Book Trailer Contest. You understand that the purpose is to promote the City of San Jose and its services/programs. You give your permission with the following understanding: No compensation of any kind will be paid to you at this time or in the future for the use of your creative works.

Posted by Michele Rowic on May 10, 2014 | Comments: 20 |

Comments from our readers...


Can I bribe people on the internet that i dont know to vote for me?

Is it okay to bribe people on

Is it okay to bribe people on social media to vote for me?


Where is the voting page?

Response: Voting

You may now vote for your favorite book trailer. Voting will be open August 6 through August 22. See above for the link to watch the book trailers and to vote.


Elaborate on what would qualify as music from a public domain, would youtube count (even if it is from an artist)? What if I used music from an artist that I have a cd from?

Response: Music From Public Domain

From Wikipedia entry on Public Domain: "Works in the public domain are those whose intellectual property rights have expired,[1] have been forfeited,[2] or are inapplicable." 


If you do not create your own music for your booktrailer, it has to be available for public use or be in the public domain.


You can use the recommended website, http://search.creativecommons.org/, to search for music that is in the public domain. The Jamendo site (link on Creative Commons) is easy to use.


Good luck and I hope you will find the perfect music for your video.

Video Confusion

For this contest can we do like actually acting? Or is it us just talking about the book? Because it says to have a strong hook and conclusion..

Response: Video Confusion

The video may include acting. A strong hook means that you have an introduction that catches people's attention. Having a conclusion means that you have a clearly defined end to your video. There are several methods you may employ to create a hook and conclusion. Both the hook and conclusion should lead the viewer to want to read the book to find out what happens in the story.


Customers of the SJPL will be asked to vote for their favorites, but who is judging the trailers for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place?

Response: Judging

Good question! The top vote getters will be reviewed by a committee of San Jose Public Library staff to finalize the top three winners. The committee will take into consideration the rules and tips mentioned in the above post.

Can we submit more than one

Can we submit more than one book trailer? Or is every person limited to only one?

Response: Can we submit more than one

For the 2014 Book Trailer Contest, the rule is "One entry per contestant."


If you have multiple videos you have created please submit your favorite. You may ask friends and family to preview the videos so they can help you choose which one to enter into the contest.

Already a movie

Can we do a trailer for a book that already has a movie? Or should we stick to books without any form of TV/Movie adaptations?

Response: Already a Movie

Hello. Thank you for visiting the San Jose Public Library online.


Yes, you may create a book trailer for a book that already has a movie. 


Please remember that all videos submitted for the book trailer contest must be original work, directed, filmed and edited by teens. 

Is it okay to ask our friends on Facebook to vote

Are we allowed to ask our friends/friends of friends on Facebook to vote for our video? (For example: "There's a book trailer contest () and if you like my video please vote for it:)")

Yes, Friends May Vote

Thank you for asking about having your friends vote. 


Friends and family are invited to vote for their favorite book trailer.


Please invite them to visit the San Jose Public Library's Book Trailer Contest webpage between Friday, August 1 and Friday, August 22 to cast their votes.

About the book having to be YA...

The book I want to read is categorized as either YA FICTION or PB FICTION depending on the library branch. Is it okay to use the PB one for this contest? Because my nearest library branch has the PB FICTION one..


Thank you for your interest in the contest and for contacting the San Jose Public Library.


Sometimes library materials appear in more than one collection. For example, the book, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is catalogued as:

For the purpose of the Book Trailer Contest, the book has to be catalogued as Young Adult (YA) in at least one instance.


In the case of  Of Mice and Men, all copies are eligible for the contest because it is catalogued as YA in at least one instance.





Who can vote?

Can people living anywhere in the US vote or only library customers in San Jose?

Response: Who can vote?

Anyone who visits the San Jose Public Library website may vote.