Need help promoting your new self-published book? Old Mate Media’s handy tips will guide you through the process.
Congratulations! You’e a published author! There are few better feelings than holding your own creative work in your hands and imagining it being enjoyed by many eager readers. But now, the hard work of spreading the word begins. After all, what is art without an audience?
It goes without saying that social media is an essential part of the book marketing process. It gives you direct conduit to connect with your existing and potential audience, and helps prove to them why your book is exactly what they’ve been looking for. But your brand needs to look and feel as professional on social and does in your book.
With that in mind, you might consider the difference that posting professional, well-crafted photos, will make in helping your book stand out from the noise. How can you get your images to grab a reader’s attention on a crowded hashtag? How do you create a human connection with your readers?
Today we bring you a guest post from product photography maven, Kim Fisher. She shares five easy steps to take photos of your book to the next level.
Five Easy Steps to Create Viral Friendly Photos of Your Book and Images for Social Media
Start with a scenario
Imagine a scenario in which your books are being used. For example, a children’s book being read in a cosy armchair by a mother and child after bath time. Or a romance novel being indulged in whilst in the bath. Perhaps a cookbook being used in the process of making some of its delicious contents.
The more scenarios you can create in which your book is being read the better! The image above presents a simple, relatable situation for photos of your book. Author Chris Stead reads The Little Green Boat to his children before bed.
I love to use people in my images, as I feel it creates a greater connection to the viewer. Your potential reader can imagine themselves in that situation. For the camera shy, you don’t have to take a photo showing the full face. Just the hands opening the book or reading the book from behind over the shoulder is enough. You don’t have to use models if you don’t want to or if they aren’t available; you can use props to convey a similar feeling.
Not too many props.
When choosing your props for a photo, make sure they add to the scenario you imaged. Less is definitely more! Too many props are distracting and take away from the focus: your book!
For example, if a mother and child are reading a story together, you could have them sitting in a large cosy armchair. There might be a snuggly, knitted blanket over the arm of the chair and the child might be cuddling a plush, soft toy whilst the mother holds the book. That’s enough.
With a cookbook - like Old Mate Media’s own Thermo Cookbook: 50 Best Family Recipes (Amazon | iPhone | iPad) - you may have it open to the page “being used.” As a result, you could have some of the ingredients scattered around the book, giving the feeling of capturing someone in the process of making something.
One more tip would be to ensure props aren’t too detailed. Something overly textured or eye-catchingly patterned will be distracting.
Use the same set up for multiple shots
With your imagined scenario established, snap away! Take full frame shots and close up shots from various angles. It would be a shame to have put in all the hard work getting the scene just right for just one photo. Challenge yourself to get at least five different photos of your book from any one set up.
Edit, edit, edit
Before posting to your social network or website, edit your images! Editing allows you to fine tune your images and add some personality. Perhaps your image needs some more light, so you might increase the exposure. Or decreasing the contrast might add the softer feel you were after. There are many free editing apps available online. Explore some of the images Old Mate Media posts, or author Chris Stead.
Who can help with creating amazing social images?
It can be daunting to think about everything you need to consider to get that one perfect image. You need to be a creative director, stylist and photographer all in one. And of course it takes time to create. You put so much of yourself into making your book perfect, it's a shame to have your social media promotion let you down with poor images.
So sometimes it is worth investing in a professional photographer. A great professional photographer has the tools and experience to take your vision and turn it into a visual story. Because while a picture may say a thousand words, you don’t want it to be saying the wrong thousand words!
Where to next
Learn more about how to choose the best professional photographer for your book on Kim’s blog. As well as this guide, we also have plenty more designed to help guide authors through the many steps of the self-publishing journey. A great starting point is our Guide to Creating a Children’s Book and don’t forget to have a look at our full catalogue of books currently on sale.
Kim Fisher is a professional Lifestyle Photographer, specialising in creating a personalised portfolio of images that reflect your story and values. Her aforementioned blog showcases how lifestyle photography can be used to connect and engage with your audience through visual story telling. Kim is a self-confessed feminie tomboy with an obsession for skinny jeans! Although Kim is originally from South Africa, she now calls Adelaide home. When she is not behind the camera you will find her spending time with “her boys” - a Husband and two sons - who keep her very busy! You can also follow her on Facebook or Instagram.