I love book teasers! I mean, who doesn’t? They are gorgeous, fun, and an easy way to get a feel for a book. But book teasers can be a pain to create, not to mention expensive, and because of this, many authors shy away from them. That being said, it might be easier than you think. Yes, even on a small budget. Yes, even without Adobe Photoshop. Yes, even when you have to make them all on your own. How do I know this? Because I did it.
1. Pick A Stock Photo Website
This is where you are going to spend your budget. In fact, this is the ONLY place I spent money. The rest of my process is free. I currently use Fotolia, though my example is from Deposit Photos. On a fun note though, there is a completely free stock photo website I love using for articles—Pexels—but it’s limited, so I highly suggest subscribing to another website as well. An important step in choosing a stock photo website is comparing prices (some charge by photo, some charge by how many times you use the photo, and some charges change based on the license you buy). Once you choose a company, though, you aren’t done. Understanding how photo licenses work is vital. Figure out if you can alter the image, if you have to credit the photographer, if you can use it to sell items, and if there is a limit to how many times you can use the photo. Once you find images you can use, you are ready to go on! Below, you’ll see a stock photo I transformed into a #TeaserTuesday. (I kept the watermark in the original to ensure the image would not be stolen.)
2. No Photoshop? No Problem. Use Pixlr.
I don’t own Adobe Photoshop. (It’s on my goals of software to own!) But not having Adobe Photoshop can make editing photos really difficult, especially when it comes to sizing photos and editing layers. Solution? Pixlr. In Pixlr, you can create a perfectly sized photo, add layers, edit layers, and transform your piece. (FYI: The dimensions for Instagram photos is 612 x 612 pixels. The dimensions for a FB cover photo is 851 x 315 pixels. Other dimensions can be found online.) Pixlr is where I start, because I can create those perfect dimensions for my pictures and see how my various layers will look. In my example, this is where I edited how I wanted the woman’s face to appear and where I wanted the logos to be. I will confess that I do not add my book covers as layers on here, because the clarity doesn’t transfer once saved. For that, I downloaded Collage Creator Lite, a free app from the Apple Store, and while that means I end up with a lot of white space when I click save, I crop the white space out in the next step and my original dimensions remain the same. I also find the Pixlr fonts rather plain, so I save that for the next step, but you can use Pixlr’s fonts, themes, and more.
3. Finish Up in PicMonkey & Ribbet
I live on PicMonkey. I love the filters, the stamps, the texts, and the themes. I find it easy to use, but more importantly, I find it fun! If you feel like spending money, you can buy a Royal account, which gives you access to more fonts and pictures, but I think the free version is perfectly fine. You can even add your own fonts if you own any on your computer. The clarity stays after saving, though you can only save your work as a jpeg file, so make sure it’s what you want before you exit out, or you will have to start over. The other thing I would mention is to use Google Chrome. I find it works best on there. But overall, I love finishing my photos with their fonts and other fun options. Ribbet is another free website I use, and it’s very similar, so finding which one you like better is up to you.
Try to target different types of readers (as long as it’s appropriate for your book). For instance, I focused on various aspects of my Bad Bloods novels when I set out to create teasers. I knew I wanted sci-fi/dystopian scenes, but I also wanted to show the romance, the mystery, the political heartache, and the threat of death. I went through my manuscript and found lines that focused on those emotions, and then, I went from there. I kept an open mind, searching for both symbolic photos (like a grave for death) and literal photos (like a blonde woman for Serena, my protagonist who is blonde). In the end, I created 13 differently themed teasers for my marketing plan. Though how to create a marketing plan in another story, I created my teasers FAR in advance so that I could share a new #TeaserTuesday for the ten weeks leading up to the release dates, while saving three teasers for after the release. (And of course I can use them again in the future). I revolved my teasers around other marketing plans, such as releasing a full moon teaser on July 19, which happens to be a full moon that night. I definitely believe in planning ahead.
Making teasers doesn’t have to be overwhelming or expensive. Sure, it takes time, and sometimes, you’ll spend an hour on something before you scrap it, but in the end, I think it’s worth it, and I will definitely create more teasers for future novels.
Keep an open mind, test out different themes, make a plan, and have fun!
Did you see the new Bad Bloods teaser? If not, now you do! A new one releases every Tuesday, and a new origin story releases this Friday on the Bad Bloods Prequel, FREE on Wattpad. Also, I’m looking for book bloggers to read and review Bad Bloods, so send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
What are readers already saying?
“The best duology I’ve ever read! Action packed. Fast paced. Heartbreaking. The ending brought me to tears and made my heart melt.” – Crazy Beautiful Reads
Pre-Order Bad Bloods
November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016
November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016