Your brand is your author name. Everything we post on our website, social media or blogs help add content to that author brand. For someone like me, still unpublished, I want to create posts that are worthwhile even if I’m not selling books yet. Figuring out what to do can be overwhelming and time-intensive. Here I share with you three website/apps I use that have helped save me time and mental energy.
I love the WordSwag App. For $4.99 in the app store, you can create memes for your social media fast and easy. You can use any photo from your phone and customize the text using either the given quotes or writing your own. I love to quote scripture this way using a nature pic I’ve taken. There’s even a way to enter a watermark so you can have your website listed at the bottom, branding your memes.
One of the websites I like to use is design-seeds.com. There, you will find blends of colors that make a variety of color palettes. You can select the colors you like and write down the color codes. Color codes are universal. In different design software programs you can type in a color code and it will match. So anyone you hire for cover designs or creating materials can use these codes and you can have a consistent look.
Having a recognizable color scheme with your author brand is a great way to build awareness and identity across your books, website and social media. Take a look at the books you read and notice the fonts and colors used on the covers. Then go to their website and social media and see if you see a connection.
So what are the colors you want to associate with your author name? You can select 5-6 colors from light to dark and use them in everything you create. Your website, memes for your social media, and yes, even to incorporate into your book cover designs. (You can then select additional colors for that specific series or book).
I would recommend creating a Pinterest board where you save the photos of the color schemes you like and reference back to them.
Once you’ve selected a palette of colors for your brand, write down the color numbers to use in your graphics.
Another website I love using is Canva. This website lets you create all sorts of media, including banners and social media sized for any app, to flyers, postcards and more. I created the image for this blog by uploading an image I purchased through a photo website. You can upload your own pictures that you take or buy and you can use the color codes selected from design-seeds.com (the brown in the image is one of my colors). You have the choice to use existing designs or create your own. I use this program to create memes. I even used it to design my son’s high school graduation announcement.
If you would like to learn more about these and other programs, I would highly recommend signing up for the teachable class Author Elena Dillon has created titled Visual Content Marketing for Authors. Take a look at http://confused-and-terrified-writer.teachable.com/ Her videos offer step by step instructions and she provides written out lessons explaining things in detail. (More information here.)
Although new to the writing fiction world, Denise Colby has over 20+ years experience in marketing, creating different forms of content and copy for promotional materials. Taking the lessons learned from creating her own author brand Denise M. Colby, Denise enjoys sharing her combined knowledge with other authors.
If you are interested in a marketing evaluation and would like help in developing a strategy for your author brand you can find out more here http://denisemcolby.com/marketing-for-authors/
The answer is simple.
Visual content is anything that uses pictures, graphics, video, etc. When you see a GIF of cats falling off tables? That’s visual content. A pretty graphic with a quote from a book? Visual Content. Those fabulous cooking videos where they make a cinnamon roll apple pie in twenty seconds? Visual content.
It’s what will get your content seen. As a matter of fact, statistically your readers are 44% more likely to engage with visual content. Hmmm. 44%? Hard to ignore. We all want to work smarter not harder, right? In this class, you will learn:
This class for you if you’ve never created any kind of graphics on your own. It’s for authors who need to learn how to create visual content for their author business and are unsure about using new technology. We will go over:
And believe it or not? I’ll make it fun. I’ll teach you how to create a graphic while you’re standing in line for coffee. =)
Who Am I?
I’m Elena Dillon, an author of the award winning Young Adult Breathe series. When I’m not writing, I love to help my author friends with technology and social media. I’ve taught Social Media for the Confused and Terrified, Pinterest for the Confused and Terrified, Visual Content for Authors and spoken at numerous conferences, chapters, and groups about social media and indie publishing.
Most of the time, I’m a wife to my husband of twenty-six years, mom to my two grown kids and servant to my high-maintenance English bulldog, Brutus, while I wait, not so patiently, for grandbabies.
I am a huge fan of Facebook [FB] Ads. Having said that. Let’s get started.
Like most Indie Writers, I am my own marketing director and publicist. Ultimately, I am the only one getting the word out about my books. No matter how many people I bribe, I mean beg to post on their social media or who voluntarily spread the word, getting the word out is on me.
I have been very fortunate to participate in a couple of book promotional events that helped build my mailing list. As well as, using Facebook ads.
The first time I placed a FB ad, I didn’t expect thousands or even hundreds of subscribers. I was just hoping someone clicked the ad.
I thought my first FB ad, did decent…reach 3,050, subscribers 46 and $23.47 over a 5 day period. The second time I placed a FB ad the reach was 2,589, number of subscribers 81 and $53.49 over a 7 day period. [I might be off on my duration by a day or two.] Again, I thought those were good numbers. I tried it one more time. This time the reach was 3,609 with 144 subscribers at a cost of $74.47. [Each ad was done with a different book or a free book.]
I recently got a reality check when it came to my results…these were not that good. Another thing I didn’t do, was keep good records. All I was looking at was how many subscriptions I got and not going over budget.
I recently completed Mark Dawson’s course on Facebook Ads and realize I could have done better. [This isn’t a post for the course or Mark Dawson.] Some of my classmates have been posting their results and even the examples in the lectures, revealed, I could have done much, much better.
I finished the class excited about correcting my mistakes. I know I can’t fall prey to the writer’s golden rule, “Don’t compare your progress/success to another writer. I hear myself saying the words and see them in this post. Yet, I can’t help but compare my results to much more successful writers.
I ran a couple, okay a few ads and the results were horrible. See for yourself.
No, those aren’t my Amazon rankings, but the results of my FB ads. I got so frustrated. I ran these numbers by my accountability group and in the FB group for my class. Check out the ads throughout the post and tell me, what the problem is, because I’m stumped.
My numbers were doing so badly, I would change ads in the middle of the day or only let the ad run a day, maybe two. I finally settled on one ad and then I pulled the rest. I let that ad run three days, but the numbers never got any better.
I posted my issue on my class group and someone in my FB group came up with the only thing that made since…reviews. I have a nice library or catalogue, but I don’t have a lot of reviews on the books I was trying to sell. True, there are a couple of ads that are bad, but the reviews is the thing that really made the most sense. I also changed the audience, but the numbers didn’t improve.
Apparently, reviews play a much bigger part than I knew. Let me back track, because that makes me sound ill-informed. I know reviews are very important. It was just when I ran the ads to increase my mailing list they really didn’t matter because I was looking to increase my mailing list. Not sell books.
Again, not to push Mark’s course, but in the course, he shared a way to build a mailing list via an email sequence. [I’m in the process of setting up an email sequence. I’ll post about that later.] I thought I could dive right into the ad game without expanding my mailing list. My mailing list is over 2,100. Like most writers, I’ve had some unsubscribe, which is cool. I’ve also had some join organically. However, I need to bump that number up. Let me rephrase that, I want to bump it up. A larger list, can improve my sales numbers. More possible readers equals more possible sales. Which can also mean a bigger pool or source of reviews.
I am determined to correct my epic FB ad fail and start over. Step one, increase my email list. Step two, set up a new FB ad attached to an email sequence. Step three, get some reviews.
I plan to put my new plan into action on next week. I’ll update you next month.
Perhaps the most difficult part of a writer’s career is selling your books. Whether your book is traditionally published or self-published, trying to figure out how to let readers know your book is available can be enough to make you tear your hair out.
In this 4-week online class, learn at least seven things you can do to find your readers and tell them about your book. We’ll look at creating newsletters (including why, what to say, and how often to send them), giveaways, free promotions, free advertising, paid advertising, Facebook ads, box sets, and more!
Join us and find more ways to increase visibility of your books without emptying your wallet. It’s easier than you might think!
Taught by Kitty Bucholtz
Kitty Bucholtz writes superhero urban fantasy and romantic comedy, often with an inspirational element woven in. After she earned her MA in Creative Writing, she decided to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher, forming Daydreamer Entertainment and self-publishing her first novel in late 2011. Founder of WRITE NOW! Workshop, she loves to teach writing workshops online and in person.