5 Mistakes You're Making With Your Words On Images

Putting interesting quotes, powerful text, and motivating blurbs on gorgeous images is HUGE in social media. As I've detailed in my ebook, posts on any platform WITH an image elicit a much larger response than posts without. Just think about the social media culture of memes and videos. Also think about your own behavior as your scroll quickly through a newsfeed. Images make you stop and take notice, and with the help of free services like Canva, it's easier than ever to put text on images and make it more engaging for your audience.

Unfortunately, however, there are common mistakes floating around that cause your followers to squint and run versus draw them in. So in this post I want to address those mistakes head on and give you ways to FIX IT. Because putting your words on images is too powerful not to get right.

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Ways to Creatively Photograph Your Book (+ lots of inspiration)

Photographing your book, especially for sharing platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, are essential for good promotion. But oftentimes we post the same "look, it's my book!" photos and pretend like it's going to magically draw new readers. You need a photo that's going to command attention and spark interest. You need a photo that's going to stand out from all of the others. So I've put together 10 creative ways you can photograph your book (with inspirational help from some stellar authors and designers)!

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How to Make a Book Mockup

Being able to make a believable, interesting mockup of your book is critical when promoting it. It's easy to make it look fake, or perhaps cheesy—and that breaks a good, effective design. In last week's blog post, I showed you how to design a book cover in both Photoshop and Apple Pages. Today I want to show you how to use that book cover design to quickly and easily make your own professional looking book cover mockup using free Photoshop templates.

First of all, what exactly is a mockup? A mockup is a model of a design used for teaching, demonstration, or testing (thanks, Wikipedia!). I usually create mockups to show clients my designs on final pieces. Why? Because you often can't get a good feel for the final design until you see it being used in a practical way. 

Turning your flat book cover design into a "real" book brings life to it. It makes it more tangible in your readers' minds, and adds credibility. But, you have to be careful, because really fake looking mockups or poor designed mockups can have the adverse effect. So I'm going to walk you through some of the best, free resources as well as how to edit them to make your mockup look REAL.

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How to Design a Book Cover in Photoshop and Apple Pages

The design of a book cover takes a LOT of thought. Why? Because it matters. It's the face of the writing inside of it—so it better be SPOT ON. After you read through the previous blog post I did on book cover design and figure out the direction you need to take for your book, you're probably wondering how to actually design it!

So today I'm going to walk you through TWO simple tutorials in Photoshop and Apple Pages, teaching you how to put together a book cover design yourself. 

I recommend Photoshop and/or InDesign, but Apple Pages is a really great, inexpensive alternative. Both tutorials are included in this blog post, so just scroll until you find the one you need!

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LAUNCH DAY: GENTWENTY

Today is the BIG REVEAL of GenTwenty's newest look! While it isn't their very first launch day (GenTwenty was founded in March of 2013!), it's still a launch day of their beautiful new brand—something to really celebrate! 

Nicole expressed wanting to work with me all the way back in May (can you really believe it's been that long, Nicole?). I worked closely with her as I discovered the hearts and minds of not just Nicole, but all of the many amazing contributors of the GenTwenty blog. These girls KNOW what it's like to live life in your twenties. In their own words: Our tried and true advice about growing up and navigating the real world will help you define your goals, figure out what your next move will be, and have fun along the way. And seriously, you can tell all of the hard work and pointed advice that goes into the content of their blog.

We wanted to give GenTwenty a clean, classy look that embodied sophistication—but also a bit of fun. The yellow and teal pairing were perfect in communicating this, along with the font paring of a more traditional "gen" with a fun, hand-lettered "twenty." 

I loved working with Nicole, and—as a twenty-something myself—can't wait to follow along on her incredible journey as her and the contributors of GenTwenty continue to help us as we make the most of this decade!

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Why Book Cover Design Matters

Often times, SO MUCH goes into the writing of a book, that authors overlook the importance of a well-designed cover that represents their hard work. Your book cover is an extension of who you are as an author—it's a piece of your brand. 

Your book cover is the FACE of your story. It's what your readers see, what gives them an impression, and what instantly tells them whether or not they might be interested in it. Book covers matter, and I want to help you navigate the design of it.

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Social Media Advice for Writers with Helene Kwong

Hi Helene! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business, Hashtagitude. 

Hi, I am Helene Kwong and I'm the CEO and Founder of Hashtagitude. I grew up fascinated with the internet and social communities, and am an early adopter of the major social networks: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+. I have fast thumbs and can out-tweet many other professionals in the industry. I love helping businesses grow their social media presence with my unique and effective strategies.

 

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5 Ways to Find Inspiration to Write

Writing is a lot like designing when it comes to the inspiration that fuels it. We have those ah-ha moments and creative ideas that compel us to sit and WRITE (or design)! It's difficult to create outside of the scope of inspiration, and sometimes we have to actively seek inspiration in order to be able to do what we do.

So today I want to share with you a short list of things that inspire me as well as hear FROM YOU! It's never easy, but these are my starting points that usually get the brain going.

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Tips for Making Your Brand STRONGER

I’m drafting up a little handout for my networking event this week. I tried asking myself- if I could give one bit of a useful information to the epic women business owners in my networking group, for free, what would it be?

Obviously, I specialize in brand design and development. I love helping writers, bloggers, and business owners with their brands—regardless of what stage their company or blog might be at. I know we hear it all of the time—branding is SO important! But branding goes beyond just your looks, a logo, and some colors. So that’s where I’m meeting these women.

First, I want to emphasize that your brand is YOU. You don't need a designer to give you a brand. You are your brand, which means you're developing it right now. So I put together a short, practical list of tips for making your brand stronger—RIGHT NOW.

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