2017 Book Trailer Contest

San Jose Public Library - Book Trailer Contest - image of teens looking out over city at sunset

San Jose Public Library invites teens who are 12 - 18 years of age and registered in the Summer Reading Challenge to put their creativity into action by developing a book trailer that will be engaging and exciting to viewers. Teens should create a video book trailer for a young adult book. Use special effects, animation, music, etc. to engage viewers and make them want to read the book.

Requirements and Guidelines

Please follow the below requirements and guidelines for SJPL’s Teen Book Trailer Contest.

Your Book Trailer Should

  • Intrigue and interest readers
  • Last no longer than 2 minutes
  • Include the book’s title and author and “available at San Jose Public Library”

Your Book Trailer Should Not

  • Use video, music, or images that you do not have the right to use. There are many resources for royalty free material online. For more information, see: http://search.creativecommons.org.

What Makes a Great Book Trailer

To help guide you, check out this YouTube video for what makes a book trailer great.

How to Enter

  • Post the video on YouTube using the tag: #SJPL2017SRC
  • Complete the online submission form that includes a link to your YouTube book trailer along with your contact information, by July 31, 2017.
  • Post your video between Monday, July 24 and Friday, July 31, 2017.

Submission Requirements:

In a video, no longer than 2 minutes, you must:

  • Choose only a Young Adult book and create an engaging trailer to excite potential readers about the book.
  • Display the book’s title and author as text on screen at least once during your video.
  • Display that the book is “available at San Jose Public Library” at least once during your video.

Additional Requirements:

  • The video’s creator must be 12 - 18 years of age.
  • You must use appropriate language and content. Trailer can be disqualified based on inappropriate content.
  • You must properly clear and credit any source film clips, images, or locations you use. To verify winning entries, participants will be asked to submit proof of this.
  • Trailer must be original work, directed, filmed and edited by YOU (a teen).
  • You can only submit one entry.
  • Creative Works Release: You give permission for the City of San Jose to reproduce creative works resulting from your participation in the 2017 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.

Teens who enter the contest will have the chance of winning a Google Play gift card. Winning videos will be featured and promoted by San Jose Public Library in newsletters, online, and through social media channels. All entries deemed appropriate will be featured on San Jose Public Library’s website.

Key Dates

  • July 24, 2017: Contest opens
  • July 31, 2017: Last day to post your video on YouTube and complete the online submission form (by 11:59 pm PST)
  • August 7, 2017: Finalists (10) are announced
  • On or around August 14, 2017: Winners (3) are announced

Judging and Prizes

Finalist and Winner Judging Criteria:

Ten finalists will be chosen from all the entries. All book trailer videos will be evaluated based on the following criteria, weighted equally:

  • Creativity and innovation: Your video presents the book in an intriguing and artistic way. We want to read the book after watching your book trailer!
  • Quality of video production: Your video has high resolution and audio quality and demonstrates good production skills.
  • Appropriate content: Your video does not contain indecent, obscene, hateful, defamatory, or offensive material.

In the event of a tie, the tie will be broken on the basis of creativity and innovation scores. The ten finalists will be voted on by San Jose Public Librarians to choose first, second and third place winners.

The final three videos will be judge by the public through YouTube thumbs up. The most thumbs’ up will receive first place, the next most thumbs’ up will receive second place, and the last thumbs’ up will receive third place. Thumbs down will not be counted or be considered.

Library customers will be invited to visit the San Jose Public Library website between Monday, August 7 and Friday, August 25, 2017 to watch the videos and cast their votes for their favorites. The top three winners will be announced the last week in August.


  • First Place Winner - Teen will receive a $150 Google Play gift card.
  • Second Place Winner - Teen will a $100 Google Play gift card.
  • Third Place Winner - Teen will receive a $50 Google Play card.

All winners and their book trailers will be announced through the library’s social media channels and posted on the San Jose Public Library Website.


It says specifically YA books but what if we cant tell if its YA or Adult?

My sister and I (ages 13 and 15) would like to make a book trailer together. Can we submit a trailer as a team?

Me and my friends want to do this is that possible.

If I turn 12 in August, can I join the competition?

Hello! Does the video need to be public or can it be private?

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