The use of a professional book cover design is recommended by any publisher, agent and serious author these days, but the advertising of your book goes further than the cover. As anyone who uses social media understands, engagement (along with your digital foot print) needs to be consistent with your cover too.
If you take a moment or two to do a little research you will see that the big hitters within the publishing world have worked hard (either themselves or their publishing houses) at establishing a professional and consistent public face/brand. You’ll also find that the social media feeds they use are specific to them as authors and not as individuals, this is a distinction that’s worth making before you start actively using your feeds to promote.
Having a personal Facebook and Twitter page to promote your book (and series of books) can get a little awkward when you start to build a following of readers, this can be especially difficult for some genres, for example, if you are a horror or crime writer and your Facebook page shows you playing lovingly with your pet dog, it may not fit in with the overall image you’re trying to portray.
So keep the feeds separate and build your own followers, this way you’ll be able to keep your theme consistent and save the personal/stupid stuff for your own friends and family.
When it comes to the numerous media streams to use you should only take on board what you’re comfortable in actually using, what I mean by this is that although at first you’ll want to start using every single service that the internet has to offer, the novelty will soon wear off. If you can consistently upload content and engage with followers on three or maybe four services on a daily and weekly basis then stick with that (there’s nothing worse than going to a page only to see that the author hasn’t updated it in months).
Once you have decided upon several sites and services to use you should consider your branding upon these pages, your profile page upon your own personal feed maybe a selfie whist on the beach or out with friends but something more professional is needed for your author’s page. The best approach is to remember why you’re using social media in the first place….. to sell books! So that being the case you should consider your profile shot carefully, does it match with your genre? If you’re a children’s author then maybe even using a cartoon version of yourself could be a better idea, the options are endless but the more tailored to the genre the better.
Your banners are the more prominent feature to your home page, getting these to match across your many platforms is a must, it shows consistency and professionalism (if you take it seriously then your readers will too). The main elements that should be on display will be your book, title and author’s name, the other elements within the banner should reflect the concept of the book itself (but beware, adding too much to the image will overpower the banner and confuse, so keep it relatively simple).