If you think pictures speak louder than words, you’re right. Here are some tips for using images – beyond a snapshot of your book cover – to market your eBook.
Tip 1: Don’t release anything on your blog or social media without including an image.
Just like real people, Google loves pretty pictures. Including an image in any type of post will always increase the relevance of that post to Google and other search engines. Also, it’s harder for people to ignore a compelling image than to ignore words. Images tell the story faster – what do you want people to understand in a heartbeat? Take a picture of it. Tweet pictures, not words. Post pictures on Facebook pages, not words. Add an image to each and every blog post – at least one! Just try using images to market your eBook for a week, and measure your traffic to your blog before and after.
Tip 2: Take pics of yourself in interesting situations.
This was a tough one for me, because I hate the way I look in photographs. My nose looks its true size, I can suddenly witness how bad my posture is, and so on. But putting yourself in context of situations relevant to the readers of your book is important for things like building trust with your audience. Plus, it gets you recognized in a sexy, rockstar-author kind of way. I have been recognized at everything from a real-estate open house, to shopping at Wally World, of course book conventions, and even when I renewed my driver’s license. At first, it will make you cringe, but after a while, you’ll relax about it and understand that people don’t expect you to be perfect: they just want to talk to you about your book, or in my case, their book.
Tip 3: Make the photos yourself instead of buying them.
While there are plenty of places to get cheap images for using in this way, I strongly recommend taking them yourself. First of all, it’s cheaper. (We are all writers, so let’s face it, we’re not spendy types.) But equally important, it’s faster! I can snap a fast photo with my phone, and it’s online within seconds. I prefer pictures of people, but I will also snap a quick shot of things like really great cars, attractive window displays, a lovely sunset, beautiful gardens, book covers I like, and so on. It doesn’t need to be directly related to you or your book, but it does need to be interesting. Always offer a comment to the photo, such as, “I like this because the designer has placed such-and-such next to so-and-so…” or the reverse, as in, what’s bad about it. Invite controversial opinions, but always be polite.
If you think you can’t find enough things that are interesting, you’re not looking hard enough, or you have an even worse social life than I do. Try harder. Use Hootsuite (free, by the way) to include photos in tweets, Facebook posts, and so on. It uploads the photos for you and makes it super-easy.
Tip 4: Four Legs Good.
Have you ever heard this expression in the world of TV, radio, or journalism? People love dogs and cats, and other furry, scaly, or feathered friends. (At least, I’ve *heard* people like cats – I don’t, but I promise not to hold it against you if you do.) Animal photos will always get more attention. This is very evident on the web: look at the plethora of adorable pet photos out there. I’ve even taken a few myself.
Tip 5: Include photos of words, such as interesting quotes.
Easy to make these yourself! Use automated websites for this such as http://behappy.me/generator, http://quozio.com/, or http://pinstamatic.com/. There are TONS more of things like this, but you can also do it yourself in something like Photoshop if you have it. The reason this is important is because it adds visual interest to the text we’re trying to enhance here. People will look at a picture of words more than they will look at actual words. ‘Tis true.
Obviously, using your book’s cover image is important in marketing your book and your brand as a whole. All I’m saying is, “Don’t stop there.” There’s so much more to say with pictures.