How to Make Book Banners That Work


I love book banners and enjoy making them. They're like a visual summary of our books. As a consumer, I acknowledge how effective they are as an advertising tool. How many brands managed to sell products to me because of their ads? Many, I'm sure. So today, we'll talk about how to make book banners that work.


WHY DO YOU NEED BOOK BANNERS, ANYWAY?


Book banners are crucial to effective book launches and sales campaigns. They don't guarantee sales but they will bring attention to your books - and that increases the possibility of sales. Post the banners often enough and the information will be retained in the minds of the people who see it, consciously or unconsciously. 

When you walk through a mall, or when you're cruising along the highway, you see banners of all shapes and sizes. They can be reading material when you're stuck in traffic or you may only glance at them as you pass them by - either way, they get stored in your memory, if they're catchy enough. The result? The next time your husband needs a set of briefs, or you need to buy a new lipstick... your brain will retrieve the data from its memory bank. You will then remember the sexy hunky guy posing for the brief ad, and the luscious lips of the model on the billboard - and chances are high that you will buy the brand they were endorsing. 

That, is the power of advertising

Book Banners have the same purpose - to let people know that your book exists, to familiarize them with your brand. A visual ad, makes your posts several times more interesting than those without. They get attention... and isn't that why self-published authors spend time on Social Media? To bring attention to our books?

Images make our tweets and posts more eye-catching - as compared to a shout out without images. Which, if you ask me, is a waste of time. You may use the most intriguing words on Thesaurus, but nothing can beat a beautiful and descriptive image - if you're using the right image, that is. If it's really good, people will pause just to see what it's about. You'd have met your goal then. You have brought attention to your book.

On Twitter especially, banners are a must for authors who advertise. You do notice that when you turn your head the other way, you have 100 new tweets - that's how fast posts get buried in Twitterdom. Without something that makes your post stand out, you'll be outshouted. Is Twitter a shouting match? It's not that. There are thousands of content and they go by especially fast on Twitter. 

I know this cause I always notice posts with beautiful banners. I just have to RT. They're pretty... Think about it, which books advertised on Twitter are embedded in your mind? The one that you often see images of, right? So... do I need to convince you more? You know it's true.

Another purpose of banners is that they save you from having to sell your book directly, which often happens when you just use words. "Buy now for only $0.99!" When I do that, I can't help but flinch. Indirect advertising is what sells - not flaunting the product in people's faces. I hate it when someone pushes their books at me all the time. It's so... not classy, you know? Your book banners can speak for you instead - you can then be mysterious and vague on your tweets. With a banner that's complete in details, you can just tweet the book link and use those 140 characters for #hashtags.

If you're taking the time to make book banners, might as well make it as effective as you can. 

WHAT MAKES AN EFFECTIVE BOOK BANNER?

I started a collection of book banners on Pinterest. If you find your banners there, it means that it answers most of these questions.

A perfect banner answers the following: (This applies to all advertising banners, not just for books.)

What is the Product?
So you need to have the book's cover on it. Without the image of the book on the banner, it's not much of a book banner... is it? You want your book's image to be embedded in people's minds and that means showing them what the book looks like.

What is your book about?
This would be a short description or teaser. Is it a scary horror novel, a fast-paced mystery thriller, or a toe curling romance? Would-be buyers want to know what it's about. Give them a hint.

Ex. "Reading this book will help you know your partner better." "A heart-pounding mystery thriller that will keep you turning the pages."

How do I know it's worth buying?
If you notice, snippets of reviews are included on some of the banners that you see. This is to add credibility to the book. You might say that it's the best book in the world, but who would believe that statement when it comes from the author themselves? An unbiased or published opinion is more believable. So, copy a portion of your 5 star review. The more credible the reviewer, the better. If the book has earned badges and medals, please, flaunt it!

How much is it?
The price of the book can be helpful. I see no reason why it shouldn't be there, unless you know your book is overpriced or doesn't deserve the price tag you put on it. Being transparent can lead to good things. Like a buyer trusting that you're not lying about any part of the advertisement.

Where can I get it, if I decide to buy it?
Where can they buy the book? On Amazon, Smashwords, your Website? Tell the readers what their buying options are. Like if it's available on paperback or audio book. Don't make the reader search for the book on Google. When you get to be a famous author, then you can do that. For now, show the way... lay down a trail of breadcrumbs if needed. Include the book link to your post.


OTHER POINTS TO CONSIDER

On Twitter, a banner that appears as a link on the post is a total fail. Your friends might click it, but others? Very slim chance. It might as well not be there. If you're using a 3rd party tweeting service, make sure that it's set to show the image as is. I have an article on how to configure Hootsuite to display images, if that's what you're using.


Next is the Dimension. On other social media networks, like FB, Pinterest and Google+, size doesn't matter. But on Twitter it does. If the banner does not have the right dimension for Twitter images, it will be cropped. Such a waste! The required dimension for images included on Twitter posts is 1024 x 512 pixels. But when I configure some of my banners to this dimension, sometimes it still gets cropped. Don't ask me why...

You can use Canva to create banners for Twitter. (There's a template there called... Twitter Post. LOL) If you use your own backgrounds, you can make a nice banner for free. Some images are free, some are priced at $1. Still pretty cheap.

Colors should be vivid and use only 2 combinations of Fonts - same rule as Book Covers. Make sure it's readable.

Make several versions of your book banner. Sometimes, when I go to someone's profile page so I can RT their book, there's only 1 version. Variety keeps readers from developing advertising numbness. What's that? That's when people see too much of the same thing, it doesn't affect them anymore.

Did I miss something?....

We spend so much time on Social Media and I know many authors hate marketing. So I think it's important that we make every post count. I see so many tweeting about their books, using all the captivating and intriguing words in the dictionary. You don't have to try so hard and do aggressive marketing. Book Banners can help you promote your brand more effectively and have a bigger impact for a shorter period of tweeting time.

If graphic design is not your cup of tea, you can have beautiful banners made HERE.

Read: 5 Reasons Why Your Banner AD Is A Bomb

If you found this article helpful, do share it. Thanks for reading!




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