Finally, I get to return to this completing series. I’m going to spend the last two blog posts in the Beyond the Book series on the importance of visual content. After your book release, there are many ways to make your book visible to potential readers. You might be thinking, “I’m no graphic designer. Is this really important?” Speaking as an author AND a graphic designer, I would have to say absolutely yes.
Remember The Literary Entrepreneur blog is about finding ways to attract readers to your book(s). Think about it. Your primary ways to attract readers start with your online platform which includes your website or blog and your social networks. All of these are very visual platforms these days.
Your Book Cover
The main image you’re consistently going to display is your book cover. The simplest way to include an image of your book is to add the direct link to your book on Amazon or any online bookstore to a social media post. Most social networks will automatically display your book cover.
You may be tempted to add “buy my book” every single time, but it’s wise to use a variety of text and call-to-actions to make your posts stand out. There are many ways to show off your book(s) so let’s look at various social media platforms below.
Facebook Cover Photo
These cover photos are from the author’s personal profile, but can easily be displayed on a Facebook Business page or Facebook Group. I like to use a similar Facebook Cover for both my personal and business Facebook pages because people seem to find you in different ways. I like my first impression to showcase that I’m an author.
Twitter Cover Photo
These authors are making use of their Twitter cover to highlight their latest are upcoming book release.
Twitter Cards (Posts)
— Author Tina Martin (@tinamartinbooks) July 19, 2016
— Claudette Melanson (@Bella623) July 31, 2016
Notice how both authors have visually appealing graphics that share a bit more information about their books, but there is no blatant “Buy Me.”
I love how this author uses popular hashtags to feature one of her past book releases.
A photo posted by Tyora Moody ☕️ (@tyora_moody) on
Sorry, I had to plug in my own book at some point. When I have a new book release, I do make an effort to create graphics for as many of my social media platforms as possible. I try to make a variety of graphics, sometimes pulling blurbs from the book to help entice a potential reader.
A Few More Platforms …
So you don’t forget here are a few more areas to display visuals for your books
- Author Website: top header, pages, slideshow, sidebar
- Blog: header, pages, blog post, sidebar
- Google+: cover photo, post
- LinkedIn: cover photo, post
- Pinterest: pin books to board
- Youtube: Cover photo, video
After reviewing the list, did you see a bit of a pattern? At a minimum, cover photos and posts on social media platforms provide prime real estate to display your latest book release or books. I don’t condone trying to be every and anywhere. It’s actually better to focus on at least two social media platforms for consistent posting.
Still if you have an account with the majority of the platforms mentioned above, use the graphical spaces wisely. As you draw closer to a new book release, make a reminder to change out the graphics to reflect the book release or even display as many books as you can in the space.
Now let’s look at some easy ways for you to create your own professional looking graphics.
How to Create Graphics
This has become one of my favorite online tools. It’s FREE! For my clients who come to me for book covers I still continue to use tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, and now Affinity Photo (really love!) I have found in the past year when it comes to making graphics for my blogs and social media, hands-down Canva is worth pulling up in the browser versus opening desktop software. In fact I love Canva so much I pay for the Canva for Work version which allows you to:
- Make various social media sizes on the fly from one design
- Keep your brand colors easily in one place
- What sold me was the iPad app and just recently the iPhone app was released. Love it!
Not to gush over Canva, check out these image editing tools too:
I have used this tool before and it’s definitely very good to use. One of the things I like about it is it allows you to do a bit more editing like cropping where you can’t do that with Canva. It’s FREE to use, but does offer a pro version. I just realized they have a mobile app too.
I have not used this one yet, but I do use Buffer.com so I imagine one day I would if I was in a pinch to make a graphic on the fly. It’s FREE to use.
Visual Content That Brings Value
Now that you have some fairly easy tools to use, I wanted to revisit a few more other graphics you can create. I mainly showed you graphics above that just show off the book cover, but if you can provide value with your visual content, that’s even better. When you can provide value that’s where you can truly make connections with readers.
- Slide Presentations
- Infographics (I will talk at length about this one in the next post)
- Visual Guide (This is the most interesting guide I have ever seen)
When you can provide value that's where you can truly make connections with readers.Click To Tweet