Social media is an important element of any author’s online platform. According to a survey of 6,000 readers by Marie Force, 69% of readers use Facebook to find information about their favorite author, and 88% of readers follow their favorite author on Facebook. Whether you have a page, public profile, or group, you can brand your Facebook presence with a unique cover photo design.
Your online platform should always look polished and professional, and make it easy for readers to connect you with your books. Also, whenever someone likes your page, follows your profile, friends you, or joins your group, your cover photo will appear on her News Feed for her friends to see (a percentage of which is determined by Facebook’s algorithm, but regardless, some people will see it). Your cover photo will also appear on fans’ News Feeds whenever you update it.
If you don’t have a professional designer at your disposal, here are some quick tips for spinning up a great Facebook cover photo:
- The full dimensions of the cover photo are 851px wide by 315px tall.
- To ensure your design isn’t cut off on mobile, on people’s news feeds, or upon their first visit to your page, try to fit your most important design elements within the bottom 150px and middle 563px. Still confused? This guide to Facebook’s dimensions should help.
- You don’t need Photoshop to create a great design. Free apps like Canva can help.
Here are some ideas for what to include in your cover photo and examples to give you inspiration. The designs below are from a mix of traditionally and independently published authors. Whether you’re a designer at a publishing house or a self-published author, these can be a source of inspiration for any of your book marketing campaigns, even if you decide against having a Facebook presence.
Show a sneak peek of an upcoming book release
Dean Koontz is a rare example of an author who has intelligently designed his cover photo to work with the default view of a Facebook page:
When you scroll up, the full cover photo is revealed. Most Facebook page managers (not just authors) forget to optimize for this, and the top of their cover photo is cut off upon a user’s first impression or when it appears in someone’s News Feed.
Show off your newest release
Showcase a book series
Showcase books from your backlist
And look at that perfectly optimized cover photo!
Colleen has her cover photo optimized perfectly, too.
Show a scene or artwork from your book
Promote a book discount
Promote your international presence
Show off your unique personality
As you can see, the options for what to include in your Facebook designs are limitless. You can promote any one of your books, show off your extensive backlist, or push a particular marketing campaign. No matter the focus of your creative, the best designs are unique, polished, and professional.
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