Creating a professional book trailer using Adobe Spark

Piu Eatwell shows how any author can produce a book trailer.

The received wisdom is that book trailers are only useful to YA writers. For the rest of us authors, the average cost of having one made – anything from £500 to over £2,000 – is simply not worth the money. Well, yes and no. Cetainly, book trailers won’t make a success of a book by themselves. However, if shared on social media or uploaded onto Youtube or Reddit, they can help spread the word about a new book. If, like me, you are a writer of narrative fiction or non-fiction who is keen to increase the chances of having a feature film or TV drama made of your work, book trailers can really help with submissions to film companies: film producers are notoriously wary of reading large tomes, and a cleverly put together trailer can encapsulate, in a brief and easily-digested mode, the essential ‘look’ or world of your book, to help any film producer to get a feel of it.

The fact remains, however, that book trailers are costly. And the alternative, up to now – an amateur clip recorded on the video of one’s Iphone – is more likely to do the average author more harm than good, unless you happen to have a degree in the art of film-making. Enter Adobe Spark. Whilst there are a myriad different film-making apps on the market, this clever little app is distinctive for its stylish finish and fool-proof user-friendliness. The app is free and can be downloaded from Apple or Android applications; and it’s so simple to use that you can, literally, create a one- or two-minute book trailer from your phone camera roll and share it on social media or upload it to Youtube in less than half a hour. Even if, like me, you have zero knowledge of html and think that “chips and salsa” are something you order in a Mexican restaurant (big mistake: as anybody half-tech savvy knows, “chips” stands for hardware and “salsa” for software).

To create a one-minute trailer for your book using Adobe Spark, all you need are 13 or so decent pictures that you can use to tell the story of your book, or explain what it is about, or create the atmosphere you want. You then upload the photos to the app, which lets you re-order them as you wish. Text can also be added to the photos. You can then choose one of 32 “themes”, or packages of fonts, colours and layouts, each of which will automatically format your slideshow into a very slick, professional-looking video: anything from “Film”, a grainy, noir-ish option, to “Da Vinci”, based on the sketch books of the eponymous artist. For sound, you can either press a button and record your own soundtrack; or the app itself offers a range of musical tracks, from spooky horror to jazz themes. There is even a handy search tool to help track down royalty-free images, should you not have any yourself.

Once you’ve completed your trailer, all you need to do is press the ‘share’ option, which will allow you to save the video, share directly on Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook, embed the code in your own website, or upload it to Youtube or Reddit. And voilà! You have created a book trailer that looks professional, slick, and saved yourself several hundred, if not thousand, quid. Which means you can go get yourself a drink to celebrate.

Piu Eatwell writes true crime and books about her adopted country, France. Her latest book is a solution to the notorious Black Dahlia murder, published by Norton in the USA and Hodder & Stoughton in the UK. Piu made a book trailer for this book in thirty minutes on her cellphone using Adobe Spark, which can be seen on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ol5TeornWsM

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Piu Eatwell

Piu Eatwell is based in Paris, France.  She writes historical true crime as well as books about her adopted home country. Piu was born in India, of mixed Anglo-Indian descent. She studied English at Oxford University, graduating ‘summa cum laude’ with a starred First Class degre...More about Piu Eatwell