Promotion

Canva allows you to create beautiful images for your blog, Pinterest,Twitter and Facebook headers and other social media outlets.

For today’s #AtoZChallenge, the letter “C” is for Canva.

#AtoZChallenge is a blogging challenge that takes place in April (except on Sundays). Participants blog every day around a theme of their choosing, in alphabetical order. Throughout the month of April, I’ll share tips, links, and insights I’ve learned in my writing career.

 

"C" is for Canva, which allows you to create beautiful images for your blog and other social media outlets.

Canva allows you to create beautiful images for your blog, Pinterest,Twitter and Facebook headers and other social media outlets.

The letter “C” is for Canva, a useful online image site.

Canva.com is on online site you can use to create images for your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest—just about any social media outlet. In addition, you can create cards, posters, EBOOK COVERS, letterheads, infographics, menus, gift certificates—a slew of handy, dandy layouts you’d normally pay someone to create for you. The best part is, it’s FREE.

Canva does have a premium service you can use with groups (up to 50 team members), and gives you unlimited folders to store your work and other services. For me, the FREE version is good enough.

First, go to canva.com and sign up, either with a specific username/password, through Facebook, Google or your email. Then choose a design. Here is an ebook cover I designed for a short story I published in October:Quotes from The Alien and the CEO, a short story alien romance

 

Use Canva images, your own or others

The nice thing about Canva is that it has over a million images at your disposal. Some are free. Any others will cost you $1. That’s it. A single dollar will buy you an image of just about anything. (Hint: download a version without your captions and store it on your computer. If you have to tweak a completed image with text, Canva doesn’t recognize you’ve downloaded it previously and will charge you again).

You can upload any image or photo of your own or go to any free image website and upload. (Spoiler: I’ll be talking about where to get free images on the letter “I” day, April 11th).

 

The possibilities are endless

I’ve used Canva created images for blog posts (this one is about plot holes):

Fill in the holes of your story. My first draft looks like a tic-tac-toe game.

 

 

 

And book quotes I’ve posted on Twitter and Pinterest:

Quotes from The Alien and the CEO, a short story alien romance

 

 

 

In fact, whenever I need a graphic, I turn to Canva. It’s never let me down. The learning curve is short, and the time and money saved is invaluable.

Tomorrow is “D” day. I’ll be discussing a book distribution channel I’ve used in the past.

Until then,

Blessings!

Cheryl

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather
Read more

For today’s #AtoZChallenge, the letter “B” is for BoardBooster

AtoZChallenge the letter “B” is brought to you by BoardBooster, a tool that can pre-schedule your Pinterest pins.

BoardBooster can pre-schedule your Pinterest pins.

Today is the second day of the #AtoZChallenge, a blogging challenge that takes place in April (except on Sundays). Participants blog every day around a theme (in alphabetical order) of their choosing. Throughout the month of April, I’ll share tips, links, and insights I’ve learned in my writing career. Today’s AtoZChallenge, the letter “B” is for BoardBooster, an efficient tool used with Pinterest.

 

Social media is overwhelming for an author

The best heads recommend choosing two or three social media outlets to connect with your readers. Whether you pick Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other venue, you want to make sure you’re not spending so much time updating them that your writing suffers.

Pinterest is one of the social media platforms I’ve chosen to market my books. (visit me at https://www.pinterest.com/CherylProWriter). As of this writing, I have 40 boards, most devoted to writing resources, and over 1000 followers. That may not sound like much (or maybe it does), but in September, I had a following of 73. September is when I got serious about using Pinterest as a marketing tool. It’s also about the same time I started using BoardBooster.

 

BoardBooster will take your Pinterest boards to new heights

First, a disclaimer. Boardbooster is not free. Plans start at $5 per month, which I think is a reasonable amount to spend on your career. For $5, Boardbooster will pre-schedule 100 pins a month. You can also sign up for a FREE 30 day trial.

What does Boardbooster do?

(From their website):

“Scheduling pins is one of the most popular pinning strategies because it provides three great benefits:

  1. It publishes your pin during the best possible time (when your followers are most likely to notice your pins).
  2. It spreads your pins over time to avoid overwhelming your followers, and increase the chance of engagement.
  3. It makes your schedule more flexible. You can have daily activity on your boards without a daily pinning chore.”

Here’s an example. I find a great article about outlining a book. Instead of sharing it right away on my Writing board, I pin it to a “secret” -Writing board. The pin goes into BoardBooster‘s queue and will pin at a later date. I can set up how many pins I want scheduled per day and at what times, depending upon when my audience is most active.

By using BoardBooster, I don’t have to constantly be on Pinterest, but I can give the illusion that I am. I can efficiently bulk schedule, devoting an hour or so a week to my pins, then go onto something else (WRITING!). Or I can secret pin as I happen upon an article, an image, or as I post on my blog (yes, pin your blog posts. I pin them across multiple boards for more exposure).

BoardBooster can also loop pins and help with maintenance

What is looping? Boardbooster will pick a pin at random from your established boards and re-pin it for you. I’ve discontinued using this in most cases as I’d rather manually re-pin the most popular pins.

BoardBooster can check for broken links, duplicates, and split your boards (for example, moving plotting and outlining related pins to their own board without you doing it one-by-one manually).

BoardBooster can also handle group boards, streamlining and also hosting them. I am not an active participant on any group boards, so I cannot testify to this element of their services.

Use BoardBooster‘s reports to fine-tune what you pin

Are you reaching your followers with your pins? BoardBooster has an array of reports—history, performance, the best time to pin, follower growth, etc. I use their reports to determine the most popular pins. From this information, I’ll repin the heavy hitters and look for similar new links I can pin in the future.

Track your growth

Boardbooster will send you daily emails on how many pins and to which boards they were scheduled. They’ll also email a report on weekly increases and decreases in followers.

 

BoardBooster supplies you with valuable reports. #AtoZChallenge letter "B"

BoardBooster supplies you with valuable reports

 

Save

If you’ve selected Pinterest as one of your social media outlets, sign up for BoardBooster.

You’ll have a clearer idea of what you followers like, plus you’ll be active on your boards without being active on your boards. The minimum price is well worth the cost.

Tomorrow’s AtoZChallenge is “C”-centric.

Until then, blessings,

Cheryl

Save

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather
Read more

Kindle Select offers advantages and disadvantages to self-published authors. Explore each at www.cherylsterlingbooks.com

Today is April 1st, but this blog is not an April Fool’s Joke

An Amazon Author Page is an efficient tool to promote your books.

An Amazon Author Page is an efficient tool to promote your books.

April 1 is the first day of the #AtoZChallenge. If you don’t know, the #AtoZChallenge is a blogging challenge that takes place in April (except on Sundays). Participants blog every day around a theme of their choosing, in alphabetical order. For example, on the 1st, they blog about something “A” related. On the 3rd (the 2nd is a Sunday), they blog about something “B”, etc. Throughout the month of April, I’ll share tips, links, and insights I’ve learned in my writing career.

For today’s #AtoZChallenge the letter “A” is for Amazon Author Page.

One of the easiest, most effective tool you can use to market your book(s) and promote yourself is by creating an Amazon Author Page. It’s a FREE and easy way to communicate with your readers. Not only can you list your book(s), but any upcoming events (booksignings, readings), images and videos, and book trailers. Plus, it will automatically import your blog. Win-win!

 

How to create your author page:

Once your book is published (or if it is in pre-order status), go to https://authorcentral.amazon.com. Sign up using your existing Amazon account information. Add the following:

  • Professional author photo and biography
    • Use a picture of you, not your dog or a sunset from your last vacation. Your readers want a connection, and a photo of a person brings them one step deeper into your world.
    • Your bio should be centered around your professional accomplishments, not how you’ve been writing since third grade and how your family and friends love your writing. Remember, you’re showing your qualifications to your audience.
  • Your books
    • You can use Amazon’s ASIN number (similar to an ISBN) to add your book information.
  • Your blog
    • What a nice feature! Within 24 hours of posting your blog, Amazon’s bots will go out and fetch your post and display it on your author page.
  • Events
    • Do you have an upcoming booksigning? An author reading? This is the place to share.
  • Photos and videos
    • Not only can you share your author photo, but any images you’ve created for your story. Are you using a celebrity as an avatar for one of your characters? Post it here. Have you created a book trailer? Share it with your readers.

Other benefits of an Amazon Author Page:

Besides listing the above information, your Amazon Author Page works for you as well. Amazon is unparalleled in keeping track of information, which is to your advantage. They will list other authors your customers bought from (this is handy when you start to target your ideal reader). Sales rank and customer reviews are listed, so you can rejoice that your book is moving up in their ranking, and know when someone has reviewed your book.

Amazon will also issue you a URL for your author page, which you can use in promotion and social media. Here’s mine: amazon.com/author/www.cherylsterlingbooks.com

Look professional. Be smart. Create an Amazon Author Page. Let Amazon take over part of your marketing.

My next post will be about the letter “B”, another tool that can be used to increase followers on an unexpected social media venue.

See you on Monday, our “B” day!

Blessings,

Cheryl

 

 

 

 

Save

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather
Read more