Thursday, August 13, 2015

Creating Your Own Blog Tour - Step Two - Creating Promotional Materials and HTML

Happy Thursday, good people of the blogosphere! Woohoo! Tomorrow is Friday! My excitement cannot be contained. If you were with me on Tuesday, you got the first taste of this little series on blog tours. Today is all about the graphics and the HTML, baby! I'll give you a list of posts with links, and we'll move on to the awesome stuff. Grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going!

In this series:
How to Sign up Bloggers
Creating Promotional Materials and HTML
Finding Reviewers
Creating a Thunderclap Campaign
Throwing a Facebook Launch Party

I'll update the links on all the posts each day so you can find your way around. Time for the gravy!

First of all, if you don't have a way to create teaser images, you'll need to get one. Many, many people just use a book cover, and that's fine and dandy. But, if you want to look a little snazzier, here are a couple of tools you can use:

Gimp (there's a learning curve. Tutorials can be found here -- I also suggest downloading directly)
PicMonkey (the ever awesome Sarra Cannon has a tutorial on how to use it here)
Tagxedo - Word Cloud Maker

Adobe Photoshop (there's a learning curve here, too)

Gimp is close a close sister to Photoshop, so I'll give you a little walkthrough here in a minute. Right now, you need to go grab a photo to use. Please don't use photographs illegally! There are a couple of great sites with FREE public use images, and a couple that aren't too expensive to purchase digital rights to. Please, don't get you or your bloggers sued. Here's a list:

Free Use Photos on Flickr
Free for Commercial Use

Dollar Photo Club

Remember, when buying or downloading an image for a teaser, you usually want the smaller version so it's not a webspace/loadtime hog.

Now you may want to get a new font that fits the look and feel of your book, yeah? Here are some free font sites (please look at the licensing on EACH font you plan to use):

Fontsquirrel (these are 100% free for commercial use)

Of course, free fonts come with their own issues (like not being very clean), but I'm trying to do this on a budget here. If you think you may want to purchase a font, do a search for buy fonts. You'll be overwhelmed quickly.

Now, let's get into creation! I'm gonna use a teaser I already created, but my screen will look a little different because I'm in Photoshop.

Be sure you've installed any fonts you downloaded before you begin, and your images are somewhere you can locate them quickly.

Open Gimp and choose file--open.

Find your image and open it.

Look for a good place to put the text. I darkened the bottom a little with the burn tool.

Select the type tool and choose your font, then set the color.

Click anywhere on the image (you can drag the type once you add it), and type in your text.

Position the text and add some little colored bits to make some of the words stand out (play with it--don't be skeered)!

Add the book title somewhere!

Save that puppy in a folder titled "blogtour_titleofbook_documents" and name it "titleofbook_tourpackage_teaserimage"

You're ready to rock and roll!

Now, some people will want plain text while others want HTML. This is easy to do! Follow these steps:
  • Type out your entire text in a new blog post (leave out links for now).
  • Hit Ctrl+a, then Ctrl+c.
  • Open a notepad or Word document.
  • Hit Ctrl+v.
  • Type in your links where they go.
  • Save the text document in your tour folder as "titleofbook_tourpackage_plaintext" and close it.
  • Add your images (book cover and teaser you just created) and your hyperlinks to your blog post.
  • If you're using Blogger, click the HTML button on the top, left-hand side.
  • Hit Ctrl+a, then Ctrl+c.
  • Open a NEW Word or notepad document.
  • Hit Ctrl+v.
  • Save it in your tour folder as "titleofbook_tourpackage_HTML" and close it.
You're all done! Now you can send your package to the bloggers, and they can create magic.

How easy was that?

Don't worry, I know it seems like a lot right now, but soon you'll be an old hand at this. Tomorrow I'll go into how to find reviewers for your book.

Was this helpful? What didn't you already know?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


1 comment:

  1. Google Unsplash has some good images and Corel Paintshop Pro is fairly reasonable and doesn't have a real big learning curve. Wikipedia images can sometimes be used under certain circumstances. I found an image once and very nicely asked if I could use it on a book cover. The gentleman kindly allowed use if I gave him credit. He's right on the front page.


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