Beneath the Surface

2014 Summer at the Library for Teens

2014 Read It! Film It! Screen It!

Book Trailer Contest

How the Book Trailer Contest Works

  • Make a video book trailer for a chance to win a gift certificate for
  • What’s a book trailer?  Think movie trailer, but for a favorite book.
  • Anyone 18 or under living in the Timberland Regional Library service area can enter.
  • You can work in a group of up to four people or individually. Minimal help from adults is allowed.
  • Videos must be 3 minutes or shorter.
  • Submit through Vimeo or YouTube (instructions follow).
  • No use of copyrighted material without permission (see Copyright Information below).
  • Be as true to the book as possible but keep in mind that these videos may be seen by viewers of all ages.
  • Submit your entry by August 30, 2014.
  • Winners will be contacted on September 17, 2013.  Winning entries can be viewed after that date on the TRL Teens Facebook page:
  • Questions?  E-mail us at

How do you make your book trailer?

Where do you get a camera if you don’t have one?

  • Borrow one from a friend or a relative.
  • Use a phone with a built-in video camera.

How do you edit video?

  • Use the video editing software that comes with your computer, like Windows Movie Maker or Apple iMovie.
  • Most computers should come with built in editing software.

Ideas and Inspiration

Here are some links to Book Trailers that have been entered in the past, as well as other book trailers from the Internet. Check them out for inspiration:

How to Submit Using Vimeo

Step One: Create a Vimeo Account

  1. Go to
  2. Click "Join" on the top of the page.  A basic membership is free and will allow you to upload up to 500 MB a week.
  3. Fill out the form with all your info. If you're under 15, make sure your parents help you create your account.
  4. Vimeo will send you an e-mail with a link.
  5. Open the e-mail, click the link, and your account is created. In your account settings be sure that ANYONE can see your videos or we may not be able to find your entry.

Step Two: Upload Your Video

  1. Your completed video file needs to be smaller than 500 MB.
  2. Log into your Vimeo account. Click "Upload" at the top of the Vimeo home page.
  3. Click "Choose a video to upload..." and find the video file on your computer.
  4. Click on the video filename and the video will upload. Be patient - after uploading it may take a while before your video is available to view.

Step Three: Share Your Video

  1. Once your video is uploaded, fill out the Book Trailer Entry Form. Be sure to include all requested information, including the URL for your video so we can find it.

How to Submit Using YouTube

Step One: Create a YouTube Account

  1. Go to
  2. You can log into YouTube with a gmail/Google account by clicking on “Sign In” on the top right corner of the website.  If you don’t have a YouTube account, click on “Sign In”, then click on “Create an Account” on the top right of the page.
  3. Once you have an account, Sign In to YouTube using the account you just created.

Step Two: Upload Your Video

  1. Once you are logged in, click on “Upload” at the top of the page. 
  2. Click on “Select Files to Upload” in the middle of the page, then find the video file on your computer.
  3. Make sure that you’ve set your video to be accessible to “Public”, or we wont’ be able to see it.  YouTube will provide a link where your video can be viewed. 

Step Three: Share Your Video

  1. Once your video is uploaded, fill out the Book Trailer Entry Form.  Be sure to include all requested information, including the URL for your video. We want to make sure we can find it.

Copyright Information

For this contest you must comply with copyright law for all images, music and video used in your book trailer. Copyright is a form of protection given to the authors or creators of "original works of authorship," including music, photographs, images, video, and other artistic and intellectual works.

If something is copyrighted:

  • You are not allowed to use it without permission from the creator. Unless you get direct written permission from the creator, you may not use it!
  • Because of this, you will either have to create your own images, music, and video, or find material that is copyright free or covered under a Creative Commons license.

Make sure you cite your sources according to the creator's wishes. This is required even if you use copyright-free music. Read on for some great resources for copyright-free music, images, and video.

Creative Commons

Creative commons is a non-profit organization from San Francisco whose goal is to create a network of creative works that people can expand upon and share legally.

When a work has a Creative Commons license, it usually means that it is free for you to use in your own work as long as you give the artist proper credit. Read the license to make sure that you are allowed to use it for free in your own work before you use it. To learn more about Creative Commons, go to this Wikipedia article: Creative Commons licenses.

Sources of Free Music

  • A resource for royalty-free music of all genres. Make sure you give credit at the end of your trailer.
  • Free music specifically created for use in films. Make sure you give proper credit at the end of your trailer.
  • A great website for open source music - each song is tagged with the Copyright Commons license it uses. Make sure you click on the license (found on the bottom right of the song's page) to make sure you're allowed to use it.

Sources of Free Images

  • The Flickr pool for images with a Creative Commons License. You probably want to use the images from the "Attribution License" pool, which means you can use the image as long as you give the artist credit.