The biggest challenge in book marketing is a simple one. How do you find the TIME to market your books (and ebooks too of course)?
One of the authors in our writing group ordered glitzy bookmarks and postcards to market her latest release. It was a great idea. However she’s found that marketing with them takes a lot of time.
She said: “I’ve given a talk at the local library, and to a book club. I distributed my cards — but I haven’t seen the results I wanted in sales. I know I should do more, but in the time it takes to find a group, then prepare the presentation and give it, I could be halfway through another book.”
Book marketing: where do you find the time?
Social media may provide a solution, even though it can be hit and miss for book marketing — and it still takes time. However, it takes a lot less time than some other marketing methods.
Members of our group have all been using social media to market, with varying results. We did get a very useful insight.
Here it is: images get attention, so you MUST use images in social media marketing. Some networks, like Instagram, Pinterest, and to a lesser extent Tumblr, are more image-focused than others. If you want shares however, you must include images in your postings.
Social media planning app Hootsuite offers An Epic Guide For Creating Social Media Visuals and suggests a reason images are vital:
… you’ve likely heard before that 65 percent of people are visual learners and 90 percent of the information we absorb is visual. Think about it, social media is now an integral part of our day-to-day lives. Visuals have become a vital component in engaging our audiences.
Let’s look at some tips for using images in book marketing.
1. Get the original PSD (Photoshop) file of your book cover: you can create additional images from it to use in your social media marketing
You love your latest book cover. It’s wonderful. Most designers however, and most premade book cover sites, only offer you a JPG file. There’s not much you can do with a JPG file. Yes, you can alter the size, and you can add it to other images, but to get the most use from your cover on the social media networks, you need the original PSD file.
Ask your designer for the PSD. You may need to pay a little extra, but it’s worth it. Most websites who sell premade covers don’t offer a PSD option, but some do. Ask on authors’ groups for links to premade sites which do offer you the option of buying the PSD.
2. Develop a style for your images, and include a watermark, to make YOUR images instantly recognizable
I use an easy style; I just watermark images with my website URL.
This blog post from Buffer offers lots of great ideas for creating good visuals.
3. Check the licensing on “free” and royalty-free images to avoid hassles
When you’re sourcing an image from a royalty free website, read the license you’re buying carefully, to make sure that you can use the image in the way you want to use it.
4. Get familiar with Picmonkey and Canva: both are easy to use, and free
You’ll want to edit, resize, and add text and overlays to your social media images. Both PicMonkey and Canva are free for basic use. You’ll master the basics of image editing in less than an hour. Be sure to read the Help files, and the sites’ blogs, for imaginative ways to use your images for book marketing.
Book marketing via social media: avoid focusing solely on your books
Social media networks are social, above all. Although you can advertise your books via these sites, do avoid focusing solely on your books. Engage. Post others’ materials too. Aim to form relationships.
A vital tip. You’re using social media to become known to readers, and selling more copies isn’t as simple as just posting to social media. You will make more sales of your books, but only over time. So grow your social media accounts with images, and have patience.