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Welcome to the Friday Roundup where you’ll find practical tips for marketing your books on the social web. This week’s segment includes summaries of four blog posts I found on the web, and of course, your tip of the week on how to incorporate images in your marketing with Canva.
Let’s start with my weekly tip.
If you haven’t heard of Canva, go to Canva.com. This is an amazing application and now also a social media network.
I use it to create nearly all of my images for my blog and social media posts. Now, I say nearly all because I also use PicMonkey, another great app.
But back to Canva ….
Producing books as an Indie author isn’t cheap. You need to pay editors; people to layout your books, and cover designers. Then there’s the cost of converting your book to an eBook format.
It all adds up quickly, doesn’t it?
Did you know that you can create Kindle eBook covers for free? Or at least for the small price of a photo purchase. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Just go to www.canva.com and select Kindle Cover from the menu in the banner. Canva will direct you to a blank image with samples of book covers on the left.
On the vertical taskbar on the left, Canva offers options for backgrounds, text and layouts. The layouts section is the default page you’re already on.
Select one of the layouts. Some will cost $1, and others will be available for free.
You can use the search bar to find images you might want to include on your cover, or you can upload your own by clicking Uploads and then Upload Your Own Images.
Perhaps you want a plain background. Just select your preferred color on the Background tab.
You can add text by using the text boxes on the layout pattern you chose, or you can use the Text tab to find text boxes that you like.
All you have to do once you decide on an image is follow the pattern that Canva layouts for you. It’s that simple.
I used Canva to create the cover for my eBook Twitter Just for Writers, and it took me about ten minutes to produce.
You can also use this tool to upload images and use a text overlay for an inspirational quote.
Or you can use it to create your Facebook banner, your Twitter header, and your Twitter and Facebook image posts.
Canva will save you time because you won’t have to look for the latest update on image dimensions for the social media networks you use. Canva has those dimensions built into their templates.
I’d love to see what you create with this great little app.
Visualize Your Book Marketing
I scoured the Internet and found some great posts related to visual content on social media.
Experts tell us that 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual and that visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. Wow! Right?
That explains why images that you tweet muster up far more retweets than your text messages.
Well, that’s where MavSocial comes in.
Of the 110 social media management dashboards on the web, MavSocial is the first one to manage your visual content.
What this means is that the dashboard will keep track of which images you use on different networks. Actually, it does more than store images. It also stores videos, audio and images that you create with apps like Canva. And it will size them appropriately for the Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.
Denise Wakeman provides a tutorial on how to use MavSocial in her post, MavSocial, The Social Media Dashboard for Visual Content Marketers. Be sure to check it out.
Next up is a post from the Fast Company Blog, 5 Apps That Will Change The Way You Think About Photos.
I’m always looking for great image apps so that I don’t have to use PhotoShop. Don’t get me wrong, PhotoShop is a great program, but I prefer Internet-based apps that don’t require any extra studying to figure them out.
TouchRetouch is available for the cost of just $0.99 and compatible with iOS and Android mobile devices. It allows users to remove unwanted errors or content from photos you took. Was there a cigarette in that group Selfie you took? Use TouchRetouch to remove it.
Did you take a great shot with your iPhone but the color is a tad off? Color Thief is an app that will make that correction for you. It sells for just $1.99.
This last mobile app is cool. The average person has a field of view of about 135 x 200 degrees, but a typical camera’s view is just 35 x 50. If you’d like to take a panoramic shot, this app will allow you to stitch together the separate images you take and, when combined, form the wider visual. You can use this app with the 64-bit Windows, Mac OSX, and iOS and Android mobile devices.
Finally, here’s a post I wrote called Writers: Use Visuals to Market Your Books. I provide a tutorial on how to use Canva so be sure to check it out.
If you’d like to learn how to become more efficient at handling your social media marketing so that you’ll have more time to write, check out my book: Avoid Social Media Time Suck. You’ll find it online and on my website.
About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by signing up for her newsletter. Connect with Frances on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.