Whether you are setting up your social media for the first time or trying to plan out posts for a new release, marketing your book can be overwhelming. One way I've found to make the process less daunting is to start by collecting a few helpful tools that I can reuse and adapt for my various marketing needs.
Here are some things you may find helpful to gather before you try to do any marketing:
An author picture or set of author pictures from the same day
Make sure you look easily recognizable from one picture to the other, with the same hair color, facial hair, glasses, etc. To people who don't know you, changing these things can make you look like a different person.
Front cover image of your book
A 3D image of your book (showing the spine or pages, as well as the front cover)
Your cover artist or publisher will be able to provide you with the front cover image.
If you are self-publishing, you probably also have print cover files and a final page count. You can make the 3D image online from those files. I recommend DIY book covers although I've heard Canva has this ability now too.
If you are with a traditional publisher, they may be willing to make a 3D image for you. If not, you can request the print cover or spine image and the final page count so you can make your own. If they can't provide any of those things, the front cover image will suffice. You just have to choose a design that doesn't show the spine.
Title text from your cover or title page (in color)
Author name from your cover or title page (in color)
Using the text as it appears on your cover can help people connect your marketing to your book. I recommend having a png file with a transparent background. That type of file should be easy to add the text to graphics or webpages.
You may want to request these files from your publisher or cover artist. They may not always be able to provide them, but it doesn't hurt to ask.
If you have the photoshop files of your cover, you may be able to create png files of the text yourself. If not, there are other ways to tie your marketing together.
Cover texts font(s)
If your cover font(s) are free for commercial use, using that font on your website or social media images can help visually tie your marketing together. If the fonts require a license, it's probably easier to stick to images of the cover, though you can purchase a license if you like. Your publisher or cover artist should be able to tell you what the fonts are.
A set of fonts that you like
Using consistent fonts across your marketing materials can reduce the number of individuals decisions you have to make and keep your marketing visually consistent.
As your main font, I recommend choosing a sans serif font that is easy to read for full paragraphs of text. Sans serif fonts are usually the easiest for people to read digitally. Additionally, I recommend using a font that has options for italics and bold. That way it will be versatile and you can use it for anything you might need.
To pair with this main font, I recommend choosing a heading font that reads well in larger font sizes and stands out from your body text. A bold-style sans serif often works well.
If you don't have title text images or your title font, you may want to find a font that matches your genre to use for extra flair on especially important titles and headings. Make sure it is still fairly readable on short bursts of text and never use it for full sentences.
A set of good default colors
Using matching colors is an easy way to tie your marketing together. Also, choosing colors every time can be exhausting when you're trying to make a lot of social media graphics.
I recommend having a go to set of hex codes as your default colors. If you aren't familiar with hex codes, you can think of them like the computer's way of naming a specific color. Most image software and website design tools can use hex codes to identify and choose colors. If you go into the color selector tools, a hex code should be listed in the color details. Just copy and paste it the hex code to your notes and you'll be able to tell other programs to use that exact color again.
Here are some good starting colors:
a dark color that is prominent on your cover
a light color that is prominent on your cover
bright color that is prominent on your cover
a shade of black from your cover
a shade of white from your cover
If you can't get the colors from your cover or have multiple books that don't match, any dark, light, bright, white, and black will do as long as you use them consistently.
Tagline of your book (if applicable)
These cover most of the basic information you need to convey about your book. If you have these to paste in or borrow from, you should be able to quickly draft the appropriate text for most social media posts, webpages, etc.
A link to purchase or pre-order your book
Ideally, most of your marketing should lead readers to an obvious way to actually get your book. With the exception of in-person events, a link to an online bookstore will usually be needed for them to find a copy for themselves.
Using These Tools
If you take some time to collect some of these tools before you start your marketing, you should be able to easily create or update most of the common marketing materials, such as websites, social media posts, business cards, and bookmarks. They also come in handy for more complicated marketing tasks such as contacting podcasters and bloggers or applying to present at writing conferences. Having these tools handy can keep your marketing efforts efficient and help you make your branding look professional and consistent.
About my coauthor:
Elestrei Engrei was a huge help at providing the author perspective for this post.