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
If you have an upcoming book release, create a promotional cover photo to remind readers of the impending release any time they visit your page.
Show off your newest release
Remind your readers of your newest release by including it in your cover photo.
Showcase a book series
If you have a new book series out or one that you are known for, display it in your cover photo. It will remind current readers of an updated series or show it to new readers at first glance of your page.
Showcase a TV/movie adaptation
If your book has been adapted into a TV show or a movie, you can use your Facebook cover to promote it!
Showcase books from your backlist
Another strategy is to spotlight books on your backlist, so they’re the first thing users see when they go to your page. This can help spark recognition between your name and your most popular backlist books.
Show a scene or artwork from your book
If your book features artwork, your cover photo is the perfect place to display that. It can give readers a feel for your book.
Promote a book discount
If you are currently running a price promotion, your Facebook cover photo is prime real estate to broadcast this discount to current fans and new readers alike.
Promote your international presence
By promoting your presence internationally in your Facebook cover photo, readers can easily see if your book is available in their country. This could help expand your global fan base!
Show off your author brand
Your cover photo doesn’t have to showcase your books — it can be used to showcase your author brand. By choosing a cover photo that resonates with you, readers will get a better idea of who you are.
Use a video header
Facebook recently added the capability for uploading videos as cover photos. We recommend keeping these short with a clean design. Here are some authors who use this feature creatively!
As you can see, the options for what to include in an author’s Facebook cover photo 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.
What are your favorite Facebook designs from an author’s page, profile, or group? Let us know in the comments below!
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Click to tweet: Lots of great Facebook cover photo designs here. Authors, take note! #WritingCommunity http://bit.ly/1Noc07J
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This post was originally published on August 18, 2015 and has been updated with new examples!