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!
Wow, that is something I really do not know how to do.
I am expert at finding friends who do. But for me, the only photo manipulation software I can use is PowerPoint, believe it or not.
I have followed Canva’s tutorial, and still have no idea how to use it. I can’t make heads or tails of Photoshop. I was trained as a kid in school how to use Microsoft Paintbrush, but that was long ago, and I was never good at it unless I had the instructions open and followed every step. As soon as I closed the book, I completely forgot everything.
So my hat’s off to anyone who can create promo art. I think you are incredibly talented.
Well, that begs the question as to where my promo art comes from. Easy. One of two sources. I either commission it or I barter services. That works for me. I like to BETA read, what I usually barter services for.
June, according to my schedule, is the month to discuss Promo Art, Radio Silence for Authors, and Author Retreats.
Well, considering I don’t know much of anything about any of the above, looks like I will be doing some research.
Let’s start the month off by chatting about Promo Art.
Promo Art is awesome. I use teasers and book trailers all the time. I use them on Pintrest, or I will use them on Pintrest whenever I get around to it. I use them on Twitter for fun, they are all over my Facebook Page.
As a blogger who interviews authors on my personal blog, jqmserv.wordpress.com, weekly, I see a big difference in interviews with promo art and the ones that are just text. Guess which ones I find more interesting?
Above are my two favorite promo images I use for The United, The Realm of the Light Book 1, thanks to Alicia Scarborough, a Photoshop Sorceress in her own right. The Light bless the day I met her. She understands these things a lot better than I, and is so generous with her time, and such a sweet person, that she willingly barters services with me. To be honest, I think I do less for her than she does for me, but that’s why it’s important to me to have good friends I can trust.
Promo Art, it can be the difference between a best seller and lost in the crowd. (no, that is not a quote from someone else, I just thought of it. Hmm, maybe I can create an image with it on it. *shaking head. Nah. We want someone who knows how to make good promo art do that, so maybe I will commission it to be done at some distant future time.)
Have a great night, and may June be a wonderful month!
I’m excited to share with you my thoughts and lessons on promo art and radio silence.
I can’t believe it’s June already y’all. It’s too soon.
Could’ve swore that yesterday was the middle of May.
Oh well. Guess that’s what happens when ya got tons of stuff to do and little time to do it.
This month’s discussion topic is PERFECT because you and I are going to be talking about promotional art / graphics and radio silence.
Radio Silence? What’s that?
Oh, it’s my term that I like to use when I drop off the end of the social media world. Meaning my account goes silent on specific days or during certain hours of the day.
The first time I did that stunt it totally freaked out all of my friends because I did not tell them that I was going to do it. Yet, after I did it then I kind of set a schedule to keep on doing it on specific days or times.
I’m not saying that social media is bad… it’s something that having too much of can lead to grief.
But, first, Promo Graphics…
You and I are going to discuss promotional art / graphics during the next two Mondays of this month.
You’ll learn about the tools that other authors use and why you’d want to do your own graphics too.
So, let’s kick off this month with an enthusiactic “HURRAY FOR JUNE” then get ready to learn about graphics and the importance of life balance.
The Benefits of Belonging to a Community of Authors when Publishing
Words fail to express how much my author friends have helped me in my publishing journey.
Without the help and support and bartering of services with Alicia Scarborough, I would have been forced to pay someone to create covers for my various self published short stories.
The various friends who have volunteered to either BETA read or edit my manuscripts saved me hundreds of dollars in editing fees for my self-published titles. While at the same time costing me many hours in BETA reading their manuscripts in return. However, reading their works is more of a pleasure than anything else.
I have said it many times, my favorite part of being an author is meeting new author friends. Most my author friends will never be able to BETA read one of my stories. Nor will they join my ARC (advanced reader copies) team, someone who agrees to read your book before the release and post a review of your book on release day. My friends are there to help to support me when I feel depressed. Or when I want to talk out a certain problem or plot hole, and so on.
In short, I have benefited greatly by surrounding myself with other authors, sharing each other’s frustrations, successes, and literary discussions.
That is why I chose to create the Burning Embers Author Discussion Group on Facebook. And that is why Ally & I created this blog. It is another platform we can use to reach out to and help more author friends.
Publishing costs can run anywhere from $0 – as much as you desire to spend.
I have not spent a single dime on any of my current publications, self-published or traditional published.
Here are a few various categories that may cost money:
As I have shared before, I barter services for editing, so I am not familiar with editing costs. I do know from previous inquiries that some editors charge you by the page, others charge by the word count. If you confident in your editing abilities, then you may choose to edit your own books free of charge, but I am not confident in my own editing prowess, which is why I barter services. Content editing gets very expensive, but I hear the end result is worth the cost, both in the quality of your story and in the value of the experience to improve your own writing prowess. I know the one time I bartered services for a content editor, my content editor was instrumental in helping me see what did and did not work in my book, and helped me understand why.
There are some fantastic covers out there that cost thousands of dollars, others that are fantastic and only cost a few dollars. And you have everything in between for both cost and quality. If you publish with a traditional publishing house, you do not pay for your cover, pending on your contract with your publisher. If you create your own covers, which some of my authors friends do, then you also do not pay for covers. And if you barter services, well, then you do not pay for covers with money, just time to accomplish whatever it is you and the cover designer agreed to.
So I get my formatting free in three different ways. First, I barter services for formatting for some self published titles. Second, I upload my books to either Amazon KDP Publishing or Draft 2 Digital, and they do all the formatting free of charge. Third, my publisher formats my books I have contracted with them free of charge. But if you want specific formatting done just the right way, you can research how to do it yourself, you can barter services with someone who knows how to format well, or you can pay for it. I don’t know if formatting services are expensive or inexpensive, but I do know it is one other cost that needs to be taken into consideration.
The one thing that all authors need to consider when looking at publishing costs is marketing and advertising costs. The larger the publisher, the greater that publishers reach and marketing value, but that does not mean they do not do everything for their authors. It does not matter who is publishing your book, you want to look into having a marketing and advertising budget. How much you spend will depend on several variables that I cannot tell you, because they are not universal. But, in general, if you want to find new readers, well, then not spending any money at all on any aspect of marketing or advertising will be detrimental to your sales goals.