You see them, you covet them, those graphic teasers that capture a book in only a few sentences…that portray the WHOLE spirit of the book in one quick shot. A teaser that screams READ THIS DAMN BOOK! But, you just can’t get there. You try. You’ve pumped them out, and they just sit there. Kind of like the dude on the corner dressed like a crawfish holding up a sign that says “King Cakes $9.99”. Yeah, I just saw him, it was pathetic, mainly because when I see a crawfish I don’t think King Cake. I think crawfish. And yeah, they are both NOLA things, but frankly, I don’t want crawfish anywhere near my King Cake. So, it tells me this person couldn’t find a big creepy baby costume to advertise his King Cakes, so they just went for the second best costume in the store. Don’t put a Crawfish out there, when you need a Big Creepy Baby. Let’s learn the art of the TEASE. 

Why should you make a teaser graphic?

It’s like creating advertising for your book. People on social media like visuals. The statistics of sharing, commenting and liking and image are much higher than just a link to your book. In fact, the stats that I’ve seen put image reach at almost a 150% increase compared to link reach. People like images, they like videos more. But, that’s for another day. 😀

The Art of the Tease

Teaser Images to Promote Your Book...
Below images are examples of different teasers from around the author world. Everything but the Justice teaser is not designed by me.

A captivating image...

Contrasting Colors...

Size for the job...

Text that grabs...

Legible fonts...

The Perfect Quote

The first thing needed is the quote. It has to be just right. It can’t be too long, it can’t be too short. Readers will not read a long paragraph. You need it to poke them in the eye and go “wow.” Some tips on the perfect quote:

  • Stick to 1 or 2 sentences
  • The quote should invoke EMOTION
  • There should be no grammar issues!
  • It should embody the book, the overall feel of it

The Perfect Image

The image you pick is just as important as the quote. This is what people see first and draws them in to read. The image has to match the quote but also be compelling. If it’s a great image it will get shared.

  • Look for images that have “white space” – space to put your text
  • Make sure the image belongs to you! Do not use something you found on the internet. Purchase the image on a stock site, or ask permission from the photographer
  • Make sure the photo matches the quote
  • It doesn’t have to be a perfect match to your characters, don’t overthink it. If you see a hot image that is compelling – it will compel your potential readers.

The Perfect Size

Size it for what you will use it for. If it’s a Facebook promo, size it to fit. If it’s a twitter promo size it that way, etc. You want it to maximize space and look perfect when it’s shared. A great tool to use for perfect sizing is canva.com

  • Facebook – 940px x 788px
  • Instagram – 1080px x 1080px
  • Twitter – 1024px x 512px

The Perfect Fonts / Contrast

The fonts need to be legible and easy to read. There is  no exception!

  • Easy to read fonts
  • No script fonts for long sentences, excerpts
  • Serif fonts need to be a high font size than san-serif font
  • Contrast is needed, dark text on light background, light fonts on dark backgrounds
  • Do not use colored text if you can avoid it! Stick to white and black text or low opacity colors. If you want to have a purple color it should be a DARK purple on white background or LIGHT purple on a dark background.

Use Canva.com to Create a Simple Teaser

Ingredients:

  • Book Logo with transparent background ( save in PNG format)
  • A compelling image

Steps:

  1. Go to Canva.com and create an account if you do not already have one. I recommend just using your Google Account to login.
  2. Pick Facebook Post Image Your_Designs_–_Canva
  3. You can choose a premade template, but we are going with a blank template this time.
  4. Upload your compelling image and logo by dragging it and dropping it right onto the center of you canvas
  5. Click UPLOADS and then click on your compelling image
  6. Resize or move the image to the perfect spot on the canvas, you can use it as the background image – or do like I did – and match the background color with the background of the image. This was easy because it was black. Keep this in mind when choosing your image. You can change size by clicking on the circles at the corners of the image and dragging. You can also change the opacity by clicking on the downward triangle and looking for transparency option. Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 11.07.28 AM
  7. Add your logo to the canvas by going to UPLOADS and dragging and dropping it on the canvas. You can center just by dragging the logo across the screen and looking for line that appears.
  8. Hit T on your keyboard and a text box will appear.
  9. Add your quote and when you click in the text box you will be able to change font, size and color. Pick a good legible font to use and a contrasting color. I went with a simple font, IM Fell and chose to center it at 28pnts in white. You also want your font to match the look and feel of the cover.
  10. Add a Call to Action, keep it simple and to the point – add it by pressing T again and changing font, size etc. Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 11.20.28 AM
  11. I like to add my cover to my teasers, but it’s not required. If you have a 3D image of your cover, or just a thumbnail – you can place it strategically.
  12. Click Download and choose JPG or PNG , PNGs usually show up better in social media.
  13. Share your image!!!

If you make a teaser – show it off in the comments! Or tag me on Facebook / Twitter.

5 Comments

  1. Kathryn Dee

    Always great advice Gillian!

  2. Kathryn Dee

    Great tutorial Parajunkee.
    I will put your wonderful tips and trick to good use!
    Love Canva. Been using it of and on but I’ll make a more concerted effort with it from here on out!

    Thanks. Kathryn Dee

  3. Lucy

    I have been working on promos for an author for the last month. I have some more to do for upcoming books. I will keep some of this in mind.

    I have seen some recent promos with hard to read fonts or ones that change color. I hate the ones I have to work on reading.

  4. Midnyte Reader

    Amazing and well thought out post. So much information in such an easy format. I will go to Canva.com to try it!

    • Parajunkee

      And if you have any issues – you know I’ll make them for you. 😀 Waiting patiently to read your masterpiece. 😀