I know this is off topic, but. Do you ever have a project you know you have to do, but since you really don’t want to do it, you find every possible means to procrastinate?
Well, that is where I am right now with writing The United, Screenplay. It will be a rough draft, it will not be a good draft, but it was requested by my publisher, and I am running out of projects to get done first.
When that happens, what do you do to overcome procrastination and accomplish an undesirable writing/marketing/publishing task?
Media Blackout Thoughts Last Thursday, as promised, I had a media blackout that extended until Monday afternoon.Now, the length of the blackout was accidental. It was supposed to be just one day. But I had a long day at work on both Wed & Friday, and volunteered to work on Sunday. Saturday i spent the day with my family, running errands most the days. So, my extended blackout was more out of exhaustion and managing stress. Sometimes that happens to me. Where i do an unplanned blackout due to stress or being overwhelmed by one project or another. That said, it was a fresh change of pace to not worry about a new post for Thursday last week. And i was able to carve out a little time to spend with my family, which is always good. However, now i am very, very, very far behind on emails, scheduling interviews & book spotlights, and on my writing projects. So, at least this time, the blackout and rest from writing has caused me more stress than it relieved, which is more often than not the case with me.
There are two kinds of people when promo art is brought up…
The ones that scream and kick and don’t want to do it…
… And the ones that smile with glee and spend hours making several of them.
Which camp do you fall into?
Me? I’m the one that LOVES making graphics but that’s only because I have templates and know what to do for promotional graphics.
Now perhaps you may not like creating your own graphic arts. Maybe it’s too hard or you think it’s a waste of time.
But Do You Want To Be Seen?
Did you know that even a little bit of promo art can give your story a boost among the sea of stories out there?
With the two online tools that we talked about last week there’s no excuse, really, that would prevent you from creating at least one graphic for your story.
Colors attract the eyes. Bright ones or stuff with stuff going on will always attract the eyes. Give your audience something interesting to look at…
Then… hit ’em with your story.
Take the following for instance… which one catches your eye?
You’re probably looking at the one with the mermaid tail, aren’t you?
No, worries. But do you now see my point?
Reward your audience with something to look at and then they’ll pay attention to what you have written in the photo.
Remember to make your text easy to read.
Do a squint test.
Basically, if you can’t read it when you’re squinting then it’s too hard to read.
You need to simplify the text and colors.
Recognition for you
Authors that I have helped create graphics for in the past have reported that they’ve seen an uptick in recognition for their titles.
Go ahead and give it a shot. It’s super easy to create a graphic in Canva.
Take your new graphics out for a spin for at least a month then report back here.
Where to use promotional art?
Oops. Silly me. I forgot to tell you where you would use these… didn’t I?
Well, most of the time authors use these promotion graphics in author takeovers, digital book fairs, Instagram, Pinterest, twitter and their Facebook feed.
Try them and you’ll start to see an improvement. It might take a bit of time but you will see an improvement.
One more thing…
Don’t put Apple, Amazon or Kindle branding into the graphics. Apparently these corporations have been doing a smack down on authors who have been using Apple / Amazon branding without permission.
I’m talking about these images:
The images / logos that I have posted above are to keep you informed and are not to be used within any promotion graphic / art / ad.
If your book is available on Amazon then you can say in text available on Amazon.com (yes, you have to capitalize the ‘A’ in Amazon) but do not use their images / logo in your promo art without their permission.
By radio silence, Ally and I mean it is important to take a day or two a week to avoid social media. That doesn’t mean you can’t have something scheduled to post on your silence day, it just means that on your silence day, you stay away from social media platforms and play the video games on your phone instead.
Why do I think radio silence is important?
I don’t know. I’m really good at not being on my social media platforms for long stretches, but am really bad at staying off of Messenger for even one day. It seems every time I promise myself I will stay offline, someone wants to chat.
I do strive to have my radio silence days on Saturday and Sundays.
The benefits to me of having radio silence is that when I do come back to work I am more energetic, refreshed, and creative.
And in the name of testing radio silence, I am not going to post anything on Thursday, and let you know next week how that went for me.
What is thing that you speak of that is called promo art?
Promo Art is short for promotional art or also know as promotional graphics.
It’s what is used for ads that you see on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, Instagram and more.
Have you ever been on a website and saw those ads? That my friend is a form of promo art.
Though I’m not asking you to go out and make a whole bunch of ads.
This post is to focus on author promotional art and making graphics that would resonate with your audience.
So where do you go to make promotional graphics? How do you do it?
Do you need photoshop or other expensive software to do it?
Nope. You don’t need that stuff.
Would you believe me if I told you that you can do it for F-R-E-E.
Got your attention? Good.
There are two really good online tools that YOU can use to make promotional art / graphics.
The first one is the one that I use on a daily basis. I used the free version for two years before switching to their paid version.
But you don’t need to pay them to create awesome graphics. In fact with the free version you can make “templates” to use over and over for future promotional graphics. You just need a few tips and tricks.
So what is the first online app that I’m talking about?
Yup, you heard me right. Canva.com is a wonderful online tool that lets you create fast promotional art / graphics for your social media groups and feeds.
It’s super simple to hop in and choose a template they have available and then customize to your hearts content.
Sure some of the stuff is only available for paid subscribers but don’t let that stop you from creating awesome work.
How did I work around the limitations of the free version for Canva?
First for images I hit up pixabay.com and downloaded the ones that worked for the theme that I was wanting to use. Then I would upload the image to Canva and drop it into the template.
Second for special little doo-dahs you can use the free competitor of Photoshop which is GIMP. In there you can create custom graphics that you can save as PNG then upload them to Canva.
After you’ve finished making your art you can always make a copy of it to use for a new piece. This is what I do for my book promotion pieces that I created in Canva.
One version serves as a template that I can copy and reuse over and over by only needing to update the pictures and text. Pretty cool, eh?
What about the other online too?
The second online tool for creating promotional art / graphics is Bookbrush.
Bookbrush is fairly new to the scene but is absolutely perfect for authors who want to make graphics highlighting their books.
The free version of this app is easy to use and has enough stuff to keep you going for at least a few month… maybe a year.
However, I feel like if you’re going to use this tool then you might want to consider purchasing a subscription to get the full use of this awesome application.
For the auto mockup is an awesome feature that is only available to paid subscribers. You get a taste of it when you sign up and they give you a freebie to try it out.
Sneaky, I would have to say but at least you can find out if you like those extra features before you plunk down your hard earned cash for it.
So, which tool should you use to create promotional art / graphics?
If you only want to focus on book promotional art / graphics then I would say Bookbrush hands down. But don’t forget that Canva can help you create other graphics that you need for social media such as group and email banners.
With that said, go ahead and give both of those a shot. You never know… you might become a fan of both Bookbrush and Canva!