By Marcia Thornton Jones

From the author’s point of view, trailers are promotional tools used to advertise books with the ultimate goal of selling copies. From the reader’s point of view, they entertain. From a teacher’s perspective, trailers provide a tool for encouraging reading—either in conjunction with an author visit or to supplement core content.

All good things.

There are countless whiz-bang ones out there, with trailers getting more and more sophisticated—they have to in order to snag the attention of a media-savvy world. But something that bothers me about book trailers is that watching them is a removed and passive experience by the audience; rather like watching a basketball game on television. Fleetingly entertaining and with no personal connection (unless, of course, you’re from Kentucky and the basketball Wildcats make it to the NCAA tournament finals…but that’s another story).

It’s nice when event organizers tell me my book trailers have been viewed prior to an author appearance, but to me it’s AWESOME when kids practically mob me at the door because they can’t wait for me to see trailers THEY made. Trailers that celebrate the joyful experience of reading and story—and more importantly—that show an authentic connection between actively engaged readers and the story I wrote for them.

So all you readers—kids, media specialists, bookstore owners, teachers, and parents—why not start a media reading club where kids read and then produce their own book trailers? For me, those would be the best book trailers ever because authentic beats whiz-bang any day! And I have a sneaking suspicion that these reader-produced trailers will be remembered far longer than the professionally produced ones that required nothing more from readers than to sit and stare at images flashing across a screen.

(Visit my Web site to see trailers for a few of my books: )


  1. I really enjoyed your trailers, Marcia. Thanks!

  2. LOVE the fact that you have reader-created trailers!!

  3. I totally agree that authentic beats whiz-bang--authentic has so much more heart! :)


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