Tag Archives: free

Book Marketing: Easy Images For Non-Designers (Free)

Book Marketing: Easy Images For Non-Designers

I’ve been helping several clients with book marketing over the past couple of months, and because they’re writers, they  think they “can’t do” images. Of course you can… The shining highlight of my artistic career was finger painting in kindergarten, with a notable mention going to wire-jewelry creation in high school (wire-wrapped gemstones, very pretty), so if I can do images, anyone can do them.

Why create images? Because you need them for social media, and advertising. Yes, you can hire a designer to create some wonderful images, and you should, if you can afford it. However, most marketing these days is done on the fly. You’re not going to hire a designer to create graphics for every blog post you write, or for every social media update.

Let’s look at some easy image creation tools for non-designers… they’re all FREE.

1. Easy: create images with presentation software

You’ve got presentation software lurking on your hard drive, admit it. Look for PowerPoint, or Keynote, if you’re a Mac user. I created the above image in about two minutes using Keynote; it’s for the Marketing Your Book in 5 Minutes a Day video series which is part of my new Nonfiction Ebook Superstar: Write and Sell In 24 Hours Or Less program.

If you don’t have an Office suite, download Open Office, it’s free. It includes the Impress app, which allows you to create fancy images and diagrams.

Consider using your presentation app to create: CTA (calls to action) images; advertising images; and images for social media.

2. Elegant: use Canva to create covers and ads

book cover templates

Canva.com comes with a slew of templates. To create a cover for an ebook, just click on the Kindle Cover template, and you’re good to go. Of course you can create images in custom sizes too.

The big benefit of Canva is that it’s HARD to create dud images. Your images may not make a design student or artist weep tears of envy, but they’re eye-catching, and that’s all you need. You want to pique your potential readers’ curiosity, and Canva helps you to do that, elegantly.

Consider using Canva to create: book covers in various sizes, as well as advertising collateral, and info graphics,  if you’re writing nonfiction.

3. Fast: anyone can get creative with PicMonkey

Create fast with PicMonkey

You can create images super-fast with PicMonkey.com. (You can even use your own fonts now.) It’s the easiest, and the fastest way not only to create simple text images, but also to add pizazz to your own photos. Just drag them in, and turn them into artistic wonders.

I use PicMoney whenever I want to create text images, or create a blog image in a minute or two.

Consider using PicMoney when you have NO TIME to market your book. Just drag an image into PicMonkey, jazz it up (or not), and share it at a click. You can see the many possible ways of sharing your image below; Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more.

Share an image

So, there you have it. Three ways to create book marketing images easily, completely for free, even if you’re not a designer.

Increase Your Income: Write and Sell Nonfiction

 Nonfiction Ebook Superstar: Write and Sell In 24 Hours Or Less

Every writer today is in a powerful position. You’ve got the power of Amazon, and the power of the Web. ALL of the tools you need to write and sell are FREE. However, few writers make use of that power. Can you spare just 24 hours to create an ebook that will sell for ten years?

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Want Free Advertising? Here You Go

Vintage ad - Lucky
Ah, the halcyon days of advertising. Smoking’s been outlawed, advertising’s painfully expensive… and often just don’t work.

If you’re tired of spending too much on advertising, there’s an alternative. As I said in this article, 5-Minute Blogger: 300 Seconds to Success | Angela Booth’s Fab Freelance Writing Blog:

Why blog? Two words: free advertising.

As Hubspot points out, the blog post is the new advertising unit.

If you want to get paid to write, you need to advertise. Unfortunately, not only does advertising cost money, it’s also ephemeral. You pay, your message gets out, and when you stop paying, your message is GONE.”

I nag people to blog. My clients, my writing students… nag, nag, nag… BLOG!

These days, advertising just doesn’t work as well as it used to. Your audience is everywhere, and nowhere.

This means that you need to try different things. Will blogging work for your business? I have no idea. However, it couldn’t hurt, could it?

You can blog in five minutes a day

Blogging may be a wonderful idea, however, it takes time. It’s much easier to run the same advertising you’ve been running for years, even if it no longer works as well as it should.

Read the article I quoted above. You CAN blog in five minutes a day. Others do it, why not you?

If you need help with your blogging, you can contact me. I’m happy to work with you to set up your blogging program — even to blog for you, if you like.

Just blog. Seriously — you’re missing out if you don’t.

Image

Want More Traffic? Give Flipboard a Try, It’s Free

Flipboard

I’ve spoken a lot about Flipboard’s new Magazines, mainly because I’ve been creating a Flipboard guide for marketers.

I was excited when the new feature was announced, Flipboard 2.0 WOW: Create Your Own Magazines:

You can create your own ‘magazines’ on the all-new Flipboard

Flipboard’s coming out with version 2, and judging by the video below, it’s nothing short of amazing. You can compile everything you want to read, or just assemble, into glitzy collections, called Magazines.”

Magazines have certainly lived up to my expectations, as over-heated as they were.

Want to use Flipboard for marketing, and not sure how? Here you go. You’ll find them as exciting as I do. Enjoy. :-)

Automatic Ebooks With The Anthologize WordPress Plugin — Free

Anthologize

You’ve got a blog. This means you have content. You can repurpose that content in many different ways, and one of the easiest ways is to create an ebook from selected posts. However, this is a chore.

Here’s how to get the task off your To Do list, and done, automatically — IF you have a WordPress self-hosted blog. (The plugin doesn’t work on WordPress.com.)

Search for Anthologize from your WordPress Dashboard, and install it.

You can see a screenshot of the plugin here.

Jennifer Herndon’s created an excellent tutorial video too…

Anthologize is the perfect tool for you to turn some of your posts into ebooks. Once you’ve ordered the content the way you want it, you can export your new ebook to several formats, including ePUB and PDF.

Writing and Selling Ebooks

“Free” Can Hurt You: Always Have a Reason to Give Stuff Away

Create Instant Products

Many businesses use “free stuff” as a marketing strategy.

Content marketing is based on free stuff. There’s nothing wrong with it. It works, as long as you’re making money.

Ten times as many online publications are charging for their content this year, as were charging last year. They know that you can’t keep giving stuff away if you want to stay in business.

However, as Chris Garrett points out, too many bloggers get stuck in the free model and never make money. In How to Get Paid for Free he says:

“A lot of bloggers don’t even get that far – we get into the free rut. You do have to break out of it eventually. It’s a comfort zone. Blogging is hard work, and only ever giving stuff away can lead your audience to assume you are not in business at all. When you finally do start to suggest they pay money you can get a lot of push back. “

Know your business strategy BEFORE you use the “free” model

As I said on my Just Write a Book Blog:

Loss-leading products are a favorite way for supermarkets to make sales. Loss leaders work for book sales too.

Chances are you won’t have Amazon helping you out, but you can certainly use this strategy. The key is to have sufficient books in the marketplace. You offer one or two books at a lower price, hoping that readers will give you a try. Not every reader will love your style. However, you will develop a loyal readership — a platform. Those loyal readers are the key to your success.

I’ve seen many authors on Amazon giving their one and only ebook away for free, using KDP Select. I always wonder WHY they would do that. What’s the point? Wait until you’re selling several ebooks before you start giving them away.

Know how you’ll make money before you use the “free” strategy

If you want to start an online business and use the content marketing strategy, know how you’ll make money, and when you’ll start charging. Once it’s time to charge money, start charging.

Farewell to Free Content?

Is the free lunch over for content? Maybe.

Time Inc. has seen advertising revenue drop 6% in the first half of 2012; things are tough all over.

This article reports on Time Inc.’s CEO, Laura Lang, Time Inc. CEO Promises New Ads, Less Free Content:

“On the circulation side, Lang is intent on delivering content ‘whenever and wherever the consumer wants.’ At the same time, she wrote, ‘we will stop giving away so much of our content for free … we will reinvent what it means to be a subscriber.’”

It’s all very well for companies large and small to turn themselves into “publishers” and give content away in the content marketing frenzy. Companies for which content is their raison d’être can’t be anywhere near as cavalier.

Content costs money. “Free” content isn’t free, and if advertising won’t support it, consumers are the next in line.

Media companies can make money from content. Google of course, makes the most money. :-)

It does my writer’s heart good to read this; I’m all aglow.

Consumers have always been willing to pay for the content they want. As an example, consider JK Rowling’s new book.

As this article, J K Rowling’s New eBook Looks Like $18 of Crap on the Nook and Kindle, points out:

Publishers like to justify their ridiculous ebook prices by claiming to offer great value for the price. I’m sure that’s what Hachette was thinking when they set the ebook price for Casual Vacancy, J K Rowling’s new book, at $18.

There you go — $18 for a Kindle ebook. No dead trees. But $18? I’m not against it. If I wanted to read the book badly enough, I’d cough it up. I paid that amount for Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up The Bodies when it was first released. (And then I was disappointed; Wolf Hall was better.)

So consumers will pay for the content they want. The trick of course is developing the content for which they’ll pay. We live in interesting times.

Is Google Ending the Free Ride?

Want to rank in the Web search results? You’ll need to use a combination of “free” content marketing, and paid, these days.

It could get worse.

If you’re doing a lot of content marketing, read this article, Once Deemed Evil, Google Now Embraces “Paid Inclusion”. The days of the free ride may well be coming to an end:

“For publishers, the key issue is whether they’re going to be charged in the future for traffic from Google that currently is considered ‘free.’

With paid inclusion, it’s possible that Google could turn the tables. You want to be included? You pay. No pay? No play.”

Where are your customers? How can you reach them?

It’s time to take a close look at all your marketing, and work out a cost-effective way to reach your customers.

Do I Look Like an Idiot? Real Help is NOT Free

How much of yourself do you give away? Chances are that you give away a lot of information for free. I’m not talking about website content, social media and blogging here — I’m talking about your one-on-one chats and consultations.

If you’re an independent consultant or own your own business, I’m sure you do a lot of it. If you’re working for someone else, you probably do it it too, but off the clock. When you need to account for your time on a timesheet, you won’t get away with handing out too many free consultations.

I love this article in Forbes: No, You Can’t Pick My Brain. It Costs Too Much – Forbes:

“And no, a turkey sandwich is not payment for something that helped you overcome an obstacle and either created value or additional revenue for your company. I charge my paying clients very good money for my expertise and results. How would they feel to know that I’m giving out free advice? Not too swell I would imagine. In fact I hope they don’t call me demanding refunds!”

The Internet encourages “free”, because it’s a marketing tool.

However, you shouldn’t give away the farm. I learned that 30 years ago when I was managing a business. There were only so many hours in the day, and if I gave an hour to someone who wanted advice, that was an hour I couldn’t spend on what I was being paid to do.

There are still only 24 hours in a day.

If you don’t value your time, no one else will, either

Suspect you’re being taken advantage of? 

Here’s how to fix that.

1. Work out how much your time is worth.

Let’s say that your time is worth $300 an hour to your employer. (That employer may be you.)

Keep that figure in mind — write it on a sticky note and stick it onto your computer monitor. Stick another note onto your car’s dashboard, and onto the mirror in your bathroom. Let the figure sink in. 

2. Count the minutes.

When the phone rings, hit a timer. When someone enters your office, hit a timer. 

Hit a timer every time you chat with someone, or answer an email message by giving out free assistance.

At the end of the day, count up the minutes, and work out how much money you gave away. 

You’ll be shocked.

Now, think about how and when you’ll charge for your time.

Make a list of your fees for all the stuff you’ve been giving away — and start charging.