with guest Tyora Moody.
I want to thank Tina Radcliffe for this opportunity! I have been a huge fan of Seekerville for years and it’s an honor to write about one of my favorite topics. 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.
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. There are many ways to show off your book(s) so let’s look at various online platforms below.
Don’t Forget You Need an Author Website (or Blog)
I retired designing websites a few years back, but I still encourage authors to invest in an author website. There is nothing more beautiful, in my opinion, than a clean, well-organized professional website. First impressions are important and even more so in this fast-paced world. I cover how to create a professional website over three chapters in my book, The Literary Entrepreneur’s Toolkit.
When a reader googles your name, be sure to provide them that “official” experience of browsing your author website. Work with your designer or if you’re a DIY kind of person, be sure all of your books, including the latest book release are visually displayed. I’m always surprised when I visit an author’s website and I see no mention of the most recent book release.
Now you may be wondering why am I focusing on the website. As a part of your author branding online, you should always include a link on your social media visuals to your website. This becomes increasingly necessary as you publish more books.
No! Don’t always depend on the Amazon author page as the main place to send people. I love Amazon like anyone else, but you’re the brand. Plus when you don’t encourage people to visit your website, you lose the opportunity to build your mailing list… that’s another whole blog post. I will be back to talk about that another time. ;)
Focusing on Social Media
Next up, I do want to address social media. Social media platforms are mainly about gaining visibility and encouraging traffic. I recommend that authors try NOT to be everywhere. It’s okay to at least claim your name on a platform, but you really need to focus on 1-2 platforms or else you won’t have much time for writing.
Now ALL the platforms that you are on should at the minimum have your latest book release in the cover photo. The social media platforms that are your main focus should be displaying as much visual content as possible.
Social Media Avatars or Profile Photos
I recommend using the same headshot you’ve used on your website also on all your social networks. This is how readers get to know or recognize you. Changing your profile photo too often will confuse people. A lot of authors will use this space to “promote” their book cover. There are plenty of opportunities to show your book cover. Don’t be shy! Show your face so readers can connect to you.
Social Media Cover Photos
Cover photos represent the first opportunity to showcase that you’re an author. They are usually the largest graphic allowed by the social network platform so make your cover photos count. Cover photos can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Youtube. Pinterest does allow for you to add custom board covers.
View a few examples of cover photos in the slideshow below:
Social Media Posts
The heart of your social media activity will be what you post. Of course, the main image you’re consistently going to post 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. You want your posts stand out, but not be annoying. In fact on platforms like Pinterest and Instagram you want to really step up your visuals. How interesting is an Instagram feed that displays the same book cover over and over again? Well, really any social media profile… that’s not a good look!
View a few examples of social media posts in the slideshow below:
As a recap from the slides above some ideas that authors can use are:
1. Create memes from their book(s)
2. Extract quotes or short excerpts from their book(s)
3. Find people who look like your characters
4. Gather quotes from famous writers or people that relate to their book
5. Gather Bible verses and create motivational graphics
6. Create an Infographics or visual map of the characters and/or setting in their book
7. Create a video book trailer or explainer video
I do want to caution to be aware of copyrights. Don’t just grab other people’s content from Google or their social media profiles. We will talk in the next section about creating your own original creations.
Creating Your Own Graphics
At a minimum, cover photos and posts on social media platforms provide prime real estate to display your latest book release or books. If you want access to a social media image size cheat sheet, visit https://makeawebsitehub.com/social-media-image-sizes-cheat-sheet/
There are also plenty of design tools out there that don’t require you being a Photoshop whiz or keeping up with that cheat sheet. Here are some websites that offer super easy ways to create your own professional looking 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.
I have used this tool before and it's definitely very good. 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.
Stock Photos and Background
Sometimes you can’t always find the image you may be seeking. That’s where stock photo and websites for creatives come in handy. Here are a few below that I enjoy using.
● Pixabay.com (Free images)
● UnSplash.com (Free Images)
Alright, I hope I gave you enough to get your creative juices flowing in the area of visuals.
What’s your visual content plan for your current or next book release? Have you used one of the tools or websites I mentioned above?
About the Author
Tyora Moody is the author Soul-Searching Suspense books which include the Reed Family Novellas, Eugeena Patterson Mysteries, Serena Manchester Series, and the Victory Gospel Series. As a literary-focused entrepreneur, she has assisted countless authors with developing an online presence via her design and marketing company, Tywebbin Creations LLC. For more about visual content and how to attract readers to your book, visit The Literary Entrepreneur.
Seekerville is so excited about Tyora's visit and this very excellent post, that we're giving away two Kindle copies of the Literary Entrepreneur's Toolkit. Two winners will be announced in the Weekend Edition!