Are Middle Grade Book Trailers Important?

Five years ago I would have said no. Today and in the future? A whole different story. There’s still not widespread use of middle graders downloading digital copies of books. But they do look at videos. I’ve had more than one 9-13 year old say to me in the past year, “Have you seen such and such a video?” Most of the time not, but they always insist sharing it with me like it’s their own personal treasure (I may never get “What did the Fox Say?” out of my head; last year’s most watched video).

Much as movie trailers are used to get you interested in seeing a movie, book trailers should entice a reader to pick up the book. The past three years has seen a drastic increase in the number of middle grade book trailers. Sadly, most aren’t that good.

With award shows screaming out their winners this time of the year, it got me thinking about giving some recognition to the best book trailers for 2013. I’ve looked at more than 50 and used the following criteria to find the best ones:

  1. Make them short. Around a minute in length. The 3-minute book trailer is not going to hold my interest.
  2. Stills and video. I don’t want to watch a slide show. Show me in pictures and moving images what the book is about. Add some appropriate music, too.
  3. Good use of words or spoken voice. This means don’t just read or display the book jacket. Provide a narration that gets me excited that this is the book I have to have.

Drum roll. Here are my favorites. What do you think?

One thought on “Are Middle Grade Book Trailers Important?

  1. Daniel Johnston February 12, 2014 / 9:46 pm

    Yeah, I definitely think that book trailers are important. I remember in fifth grade our librarian would show us awesome book trailers that would get us all exciting and wanting to read the book.

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