I’ve written posts…not complaining exactly, more…wistfully acknowledging the necessity of social media, marketing, and promotion nowadays. It’s a fact of author life. Social media is everywhere, has its squirmy little tentacles in everything, and you either learn to swim with it and truly enjoy tentacles or you get left on the beach. Yes I sound like an elder talking about whippersnappers and lawns. I admit it.

This post isn’t to rehash those points. They’ve been hashed more than corned beef on March 18th. Instead, this post is to show you how I—a truly, genuinely awful computer user—navigate the world of creating my own graphics. Seriously, I don’t even understand how wireless internet works (please don’t try to tell me, I’m blissful in my ignorance, I just call it magic and use it anyway). I am grateful to other authors on the internet who introduced me to Canva where I bumble around making the most of their free services.

*As always, I recommend reading the fine print to find out what you can actually create and use without getting in trouble, researching copyright law, using stock photos you know for sure are creative commons or free source, and proceeding with care. It’s the best advice I can give you.*

Anyway, part of promoting your own books is creating media to put on social sites and drum up a little interest. Even for my eXstasy Books titles I had to do my own marketing, they’re a very small publisher and they depend on their authors to self-promote. So I’ve got at least a little experience in this realm.

The facts: I’ve got my first Indie published book coming out in August, 2021. I know I want to do a cover reveal. I pretty much only swim around on Instagram, so I also know I want to create a bit of *burlesque Instagram post. *Revealing, but not too revealing.

Step 1

Find a random free template by searching the Canva options for Instagram posts. I already know what *gestures vaguely* aesthetic style I’m looking for, which in this case is something on top of/in front of something else. I want to tease the viewer with what they can’t have yet. I’ll get this random template there, I promise.

Step 2

One media/marketing advice article I read recommended using the same fonts for all of your media. That visually clues people in to knowing it’s you, your posts, and makes each one at least a little familiar. I think this is good advice, and I follow it.

So all of my social media posts have the same two fonts from Canva. I changed the font here to my own usual ones and added a (hopefully intriguing?) tagline. I also plainly state what this post is for: an incoming cover reveal.

Step 3

Ta da! My book cover, tantalizingly hanging out in the background of this finished post. The whole process was quick and entirely painless on Canva, even for me. And now I’ve got something to put on Instagram or wherever else I need to tease a new release. As long as you are prepared to spend some time messing around on Canva, editing, and downloading pictures, you will be able to create pretty much anything you need.

The eventual cover reveal will look something like this? Although I may play around with it a bit more:

I am so in love with this cover. I kinda just want to sit and stare at it, maybe in a frame on the wall. This is normal and not at all me going overboard.

Jaycee from Sweet ‘N Spicy designs created it for me and she’s a genius. Definitely much better at graphic design than I will ever be and I can’t recommend working with her enough.