I was thinking recently of fun, easy ways to authors to promote books without posting their covers with a desperate plea over and over. I mean, that’s just not fun. For anyone. What IS fun, however, are TEASERS!
I hear you say, “I’m not artistic.”
Neither am I. Trust me on this.
“But I don’t have Photoshop.”
Neither do I. You don’t need it.
“I don’t know how.”
Neither did I, but I do now. And I’ma show you.
First off, let me share my latest and greatest:
I created this teaser just the other day for my upcoming novel, Mistwalker. In this case, it was SUPER easy because the image was already super spiffy. I didn’t need to mess with it other than to resize it and slap on the text. Sometimes, however, you need a bit more.
FIRST off, you’re going to need an image. Here’s the thing. You probably know this already, but just in case, you can’t go grabbing random photos off the internet. Celebrity images and what not. This is illegal. You are a business person. You are creating a marketing tool. You need to properly purchase a stock image.
I personally love Depositphotos. It’s a great site. Easy to use. And they have deals now and then. Right now, for just $29 a month, you can download 30 images a month. Additional images are just $1 each. You can totally stock up.
Another great choice is StockUnlimited. There are a limited number of images you can download free, and plans start at just $9 a month. SCORE!
Once you have an image in mind, you need a good photo editing program. I use PicMonkey. It’s crazy easy to use, and there is both a free and a paid version. I use the paid version because it’s not expensive and I get access to more goodies which means cooler teasers.
FINALLY, you need text. This can be a line from your novel, or like I did above, it can be stats about a character. Or just an announcement of a release date or that the book is out. Here are samples of some of my other teasers:
Now you’ve got your image and text, you can hop over to PicMonkey, select “edit a pic,” and start playing.
First I recommend cropping and resizing your photo (There’s a great cheat sheet for social media required photo sizes HERE). As you can see, I’ve cropped out a bunch of extra background stuff that didn’t suit my purposes. You can also crop in to focus on the eyes, shoulders, or whatever.
Next comes Fun With Effects. See that cute little magic want to the left of the screen? Click on that. You’ll get all kinds of cool options from turning the image blue, to adding frost around the edges. I went with something simple that would boost the image.
It’s time to Play With Textures! Click on the grid icon. Again, lots of options here to give the image depth and feel. You can do some old, cracked pavement looking stuff, or something more subtle like papyrus. Again, I went subtle for this image.
There are SO MANY OPTIONS you can play with. You can add frames, insert your cover, pump up the volume on the model’s lipstick, and so on. Play around. Have fun. Create what moves you. This is art, people!
Finally, we’re going to add the Text. Click on the “Tt” icon, choose your text, click on “Add Text” and start typing. There’s also a little pop-up screen that lets you change text size, color, and so on. Play with it until your text looks how you want it.
And voila! You’ve got a groovy new teaser!