Creating a book trailer

I’ve just created my second book trailer, this time for my erotic novella, Ice Hot, and I thought it might be helpful to share some insights into how I did this in case you are looking to do the same. I created this at absolutely zero cost, so whereas it could no doubt have been more sophisticated with some budget behind it, I wanted to see if it was possible to do it all for free, and found that indeed it is.

I’ve seen other authors creating book trailers and thought I’d give it a go. Some are brilliant, others not as much; some are just a few seconds, others go on well over a minute. I kept this one for Ice Hot to under a minute as I think any more than that and interest starts to wane.

I wanted the trailer to give a flavour of what the story was about and use the tone of the music, video and graphics to give a clue as to the mood of the story. I’m not suggesting this is the best trailer in the world, ever, but I’m proud of it for a second attempt, and pleased I’ve found some good, free resources for pics and video.

Editing Software

I have to confess, I was a bit green here having never created a video before. I researched ‘free video editing platforms’ and find a few including Animoto, Canva and Adobe Spark – the one I finally used.

I started on Animoto but if you use the free version the watermark is really obvious on every slide and I didn’t want this. Canva seemed more suited to graphic design rather than moving imagery, although an expert may have a different opinion. I’ve heard great things about Canva but I have no experience in it and it didn’t seem to me to be the easiest option. In the end I went for Adobe Spark as it was free and very easy to use.

It’s worth mentioning that for a fee you can upgrade your account and get rid of the watermark all together. A paid-for account almost certainly will do more whizzy things, but I found that the free version was perfectly suitable for what I needed.

Photos and Imagery

You have to be extremely careful when using photos and videos in your trailer as you’re not allowed to simply find this content online and use it. You can get in big trouble for this and end up with a fine. You’re free to use any photos and videos that belong to you, i.e. that you have taken and that you have the explicit permission of anyone in them to use.

I didn’t have anything of this type that was suitable, so I used photos and videos from a number of different websites which offer royalty-free content. These included:

Even on these sites, some of the images/video require a credit. The website makes it clear which videos/images need to be credit and even tells you how to do this. You can see on the final page of my Ice Hot trailer that I’ve included the credits here.


On Adobe Spark you can choose from a library of royalty-free tracks, all categorised by mood, which made the selection extremely easy. Most videos will be viewed through social media and therefore the sound will often be switched off, so it’s important to keep this in mind – your trailer has to be just as effective without music. Having said that, I wrote in the post that it’s best viewed with the sound on as I felt the music really added to the feel of the video.

My final video can be viewed here:

Good luck with your trailer, and if you have any pieces of wisdom as to how to create them, please share them in the comments below.

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