B Plot

I have several social media accounts. Twitter, I understand. I know how to speak with other authors and chat about writing. There’s a vibrant writing community on Twitter. Goodreads, I also understand because it’s talking about books. Facebook, I’m getting a handle on how to grow my presence and brand. I use a mix of articles related to writing, posts about my writing, and cartoons. Instagram is focused on readers. As a writer, I want to develop stronger relationships with readers, and a few months ago, I opened an Instagram account.

There’s been a sharp learning curve around how to develop appealing graphics. I don’t have a strong sense of aesthetics when it comes to design and graphics. I also don’t share selfies which limits a lot of the content I can post.

I’ve used several different social media post crafting tools in the last few months, and I’ll share some of my experiences in the hopes they will help you.

I started off using Canva(1), which has different tiers of membership. There’s a wide range of free graphics and infographics available. What’s particularly interesting for authors is that it has a wide selection of book covers. There’s enough versatility in the platform to change fonts, colours and add different elements.

Canva has two levels of payment. The first is that you buy each graphic you need as and when you need it. Prices range from a dollar (US) to a few dollars. You can also buy a monthly subscription to gain access to the Pro Level.

The strength of Canva is that it offers a little of everything. For me, as a romance writer, it had some romance-themed posts and some romance-themed book covers.

Visme (2) present themselves as a combination of PowerPoint and Canva. They have a free tier and several other paid tiers depending if you need it for personal or business reasons.

Visme has a range of social media posts. I did find Visme light on the options for romance-related themes for social media or general book covers. It was my understanding they are a new platform and are adding more content as they grow. That said, they have an extensive range of infographics. The design parameters are more extensive than Canva. You can manipulate graphics and infographics very easily, and it’s a powerful tool for business presentations.

In its current form, I think Visme leans heavily towards business and sales presentations. You can make graphs, flyers, scatter plots, and a few other things. (3) There are many interesting features, such as creating moving cartoons. The infographics section is extensive and offers a greater range than Canva. Moreover, it’s easier to manipulate and change the infographics on Visme than on Canva.

If you have to create book-related and business-related projects and presentations, Visme is the best bang for your buck. If you’re only interested in book-related social media posts, there may be other options that are better suited for you.

I tried BookBrush (4). This tool is designed exclusively for authors to help promote their books. It’s incredibly powerful. The basic package allows you to download 15 designs for free. After that, you have to pay for a subscription. This tool allows you to upload your book cover and have it placed on several templates. For example, your book can be displayed on a table with a cup of coffee and a bouquet. If you have a series, you can upload the corresponding images and display them on the collection’s spine.

I found the romance-related themes light. You can select themes from multiple genres, and you can upload your own. In my case, I don’t have Photoshop, and I don’t have a strong sense of design. It’s frustrating for me to make my designs. I need a drag and drop template that’s easy to manipulate to make my posts unique. I’m not there yet with BookBrush. I can use their terrific standard templates, but I don’t have the skill to craft truly original posts.

If you want to make an affordable book cover, I found PosterMyWall (5) to be the best out of the places tried. It’s inexpensive and easy to use. You pay per bookcover you download. Your cover will be used by many other authors, but everyone starts somewhere. If you can’t afford a professional design, PosterMyWall is an excellent place to start. When crafting your book cover, make sure the cover size fits standard book sizes. I had to have someone rejig my cover to ensure it would look right.

For those of you who have been making your social media posts for a while, which platform do you prefer and why? As consumers of social media, which kind of posts do you prefer seeing from authors?

I’m very new to making graphics for books and I’d like to keep this conversation going. What works for you? What appeals to you and why?

Let me know on Twitter @reneegendron