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The importance of imagery within your social marketing

Visual Social Media

Social Marketing: Click on the image above to visit the full story over on Adobe Slate.

This week’s blog post covers social marketing for non-visual businesses. Just because you don’t have a product to “tweet”, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be including imagery within your posts. Imagery has become such a strong force within social media, that plain text posts often go ignored no matter how good the content! Learn how to approach your social feed differently to make the most of your business and maybe even attract a new audience to what you have to offer.

There are now so many options for creating images and “memes” for social media that the focus is now on your creativity rather than your ability. Personally I have a thing for Adobe Post – its a great way of creating imagery quickly either based on your photos or public domain imagery for a variety of purposes – from website mockups to blog headers! For those who don’t feel they can see a solution for their feed, we can help! We can supply either full social marketing campaigns or a single image (and all points in-between). You can find a little more on this service here.

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Blending two different cultures: a Branding Case Study

Blending brands

Branding our differences

We published a story on Adobe Slate yesterday about our process for a particularly tricky project – marrying two different businesses and product styles for a new joint venture. Click the image above to read the full article over on Adobe Slate, as well as visiting Plannercraft on Instagram and our Facebook page for more in progress shots.

There were a number of challenges we faced in blending two distinctly different branding styles for the businesses alone (see Relax & Grow and All Sorts of Performing Arts). This was before we even consider the joining of very different dance styles.

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Cover image: the Importance of a Great Cover!

Portfolio-Mockup

This month we have seen a number of cover issues arise. I thought this week’s blog post could be a way of covering these frequently asked questions to help you get your book right first time.

Can I use a cover I’ve already had designed?

Our packages all include cover design, however some authors come to us having one “ready to go”. In some cases, we are approached as “I’ve had this designed for me by [my daughter, my neighbour, a uni student, my dog]”, and while we celebrate creativity in all its forms, great cover design is key to good sales. People unfortunately DO judge books by their covers, and when its shown at 2x4cm on Amazon it needs to make an impact!

I’ve even received covers from other graphic designers that don’t meet the basic standards! Artwork not in the correct ratio, let alone the correct size and resolution for print. A few have even come with licensing issues (and therefore fall foul of our terms and conditions).

Cover guidelines for designers

If you are going to use another professional designer and/or illustrator to design your cover, then we recommend the following…

  • Add on extra design for bleeds as well as any formatting issues that may arise through changes in your book. We would recommend a 9th of your cover design size all the way around – too much is a lot better than too little.
  • Make sure artwork is supplied in a vector-based format PDF, with fonts embedded.
  • Any images and fonts used must be supplied with appropriate proof of licences.
  • Do not provide spine artwork with text unless your title is over 130 pages.
  • If your design has an underlying texture, provide this as a separate file.
  • Ensure your cover is legible when viewed at thumbnail size.
  • Mock book covers are unacceptable.

What we do with unacceptable designs

Where we are provided with unacceptable covers, we either ignore the file provided or use it as a base concept (depending on the issue).

A recent example used a strong concept, but all the images used had licensing issues. Instead, we used the basic concept to create a stronger, impactful cover that works much better on the platform.

Where this is not possible, we will ask you about the file you have provided in order to get a brief for your new cover.

Our usual process for cover design

Where we are left to do the cover design as included with your package, we simultaneously design your cover to fit your book’s specification as well as viewing it at thumbnail size. Our vast experience in cover design has been honed across many platforms, so we can deliver cross platform success.

Our cover development stage occurs towards the end of our process. Once, your book inners have been completed, we can ensure the perfect design including any spine that may need to be included. Before the sign off of your inners, this cannot be guaranteed. So by this time, we thoroughly know your book and its intended/likely audience, sales platforms and production methods.

We develop 3 initial concepts for your book outer as well as how the back of the book would work. It’s easy in these times of online book buying to underestimate the importance of your back cover. You can then choose your preferred concept, mix and match or we can create a new concept based on your feedback.

Once you are happy with your book design, we also develop a mock up book for social media and other marketing strategies. That way, you can market your book before its even out on Amazon. We encourage our authors to build their following throughout the book publishing process. If you want to ask your followers about your book concepts that is fine, and we can even help you by supplying social sized images.

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Why you SHOULD reinvent the wheel! A look at designing for a mobile audience.

Why you SHOULD reinvent the wheel blog post image

Following a seminar event I attended yesterday, I did some blogging on the fly with Adobe Slate .

Why you SHOULD reinvent the wheel blog post image
Why you SHOULD reinvent the wheel blog post image

When technology advances the temptation is to make it imitate that which went before. With advances in mobile technology, an example for our industry is eBooks that “flip” pages and essentially imitate its traditional equivalent. However, by seeking to emulate the traditional equivalents, we are missing opportunities to create new immersive experiences that make the most of the platforms we are viewing the content upon. Those who have read my blog posts will recognise my synergy with this view as well as seeing how our approach to projects differ to those who seek to create digital literature simply by turning it into a PDF (either with or without page flip) rather than making the most of its capabilities.

I found the event stimulating and challenging, and following having attended we will now make our site responsive but not focus as strongly on mobile content and instead focus on creating an app that will blend the best bits of this blog along with some unique content such as covering the events we attend and industry news. To view the original post click on the image to the left to find out why an app really is the way to go for your mobile audience.

I hope you find this blog post as interesting as I found the event, while challenging your preconceptions about tablet and smartphone use.

Coincidentally, the blog post was written on the move using my mobile device. I could have logged in to WordPress to do this, but I found using the Adobe Slate app more convenient and easier to use with the intermittent signal you get while out and about travelling. This proving many of the points we discussed at the event, and I can’t wait to discuss the available options with both existing and new clients soon!

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Are you encountering a creative problem?

Kissed Off Seminar Poster

We’ve taken the initiative and put the solutions of many creative problems faced by our authors into one big webinar.

Problem 1: Time

We’ll be covering this issue from several different angles – from lifestyle choices to give us more energy, to learning to free up time for creativity. The focus will be on doing more while working less.

Problem 2: Creative Block

The dreaded blank page syndrome – we’ve all been there no matter what our creative background. However, we have way and means of helping you to get something down on that blank page that will help you to focus on your goal.

Problem 3: Confidence

Our speakers have been selected to give you the best start for your writing journey. Topics will include finding your writing voice through to how to build a happier and healthier approach to life.

Problem 4: Money

This is the big elephant in the corner no-one really wants to mention. Yet we have ways and means to get around the issue, and self-publishing doesn’t have to cost the earth.

Problem 5: Accessibility

A number of our authors suffer from or care for those suffering from all types of disabilities and life altering illnesses. We want to show you how accessible not only is your writing to you, but also how accessible we can help you make it for others.

Problem 6: Marketing

There are two main types of this problem for authors – those who think they have enough of a following already so don’t need to do any additional marketing, and those who think they don’t have enough of a following to get published. We want to show you how both camps are wrong, and how you can use social media and other cost effective platforms to boost not only your sales but also your profile.

Book your space TODAY to take the first steps to solving the problem.

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Tweet Your Way to Success by Samantha Kelly

Tweet Your Way to Success (book)

As part of our continued improvement for our Authors, you can now purchase their books directly on Amazon.

The first book to be listed this way is Tweet Your Way to Success by Samantha Kelly. This is an essential guide to Twitter for any new and small business owner covering how to get the most out of Twitter.

Buy it now or read more on Amazon

 

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Celebrate our Birthday with Us & SAVE!

Birthday
In all the excitement of Tweet Your Way to Success, we forgot our own birthday!

It was our second birthday last week so, rather than not celebrate it this year, we decided to have a late celebration with our clients and hopefully some new faces!

We’ve launched a range of discounts on our publishing packages, so publishing has never been more affordable.

These discounts are only available for a short time only, so grab them quick before they go!

See our publishing packages page for details on our packages and click through to your chosen package to see how much you will save! We will also be offering birthday discounts on our bespoke packages. You can save up to 25% on some of our packages but you have to be quick as discounted packages selling out fast!

So it’s a case of better late than never, but don’t be too late to save!

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PRESS RELEASE: Tweet Your Way to Success (Social Media)

Tweet Your Way to Success by Samantha Kelly

From 0 to 13.9k followers from her kitchen table and now Samantha Kelly (aka Tweeting Goddess) releases her first book.

Tweet Your Way to Success (book)
Tweet Your Way to Success by Samantha Kelly

In the début title ‘Tweet Your Way To Success’ Samantha tells us how she started a business with no money, going from lone parent on social welfare to a highly influential leader in her field. There are sections on starting your own business, how to turn your business around, tips on using social media and how to network and build on relationships. Samantha is a former Dragons Den applicant, most recently making her mark in social media through the creation of #Irishbizparty a place where Irish businesses can connect and network freely using both Twitter and Facebook.

Tweet Your Way to Success by Samantha Kelly is available to purchase now in Paperback or eBook.

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Book Launch: Tweet Your Way to Success by Samantha Kelly

Tweet Your Way to Success by Samantha Kelly

Tweet Your Way to Success by Samantha Kelly

Ever wondered what it is like to start a business? Have you asked yourself what do I need to do? What characteristics are needed?  How can I start a business when I have no money or experience? Does Twitter work as part of a marketing strategy for your business? How is it going to help me get my business out there? 

Well in this book, Samantha shows you how she started a business with no money and went from lone parent on social welfare to a top influencer and leader in her field. She will give her tips for Twitter and how to use it effectively using simple language and with a clear message that when you assist others it will come back to you. How to build relationships and nurture them.
And most importantly how to be yourself and use your personality to succeed!

You will be taken through starting out in business, networking and advice before moving onto creating your Twitter account and beyond!

Samantha used our Blog to Book package to bring her book to print! This great package uses your existing blog to create an amazing paperback book!

The first books will be dispatched on approximately 12th June 2014 (provisional date, actual despatch will be notified). Those with pre-orders will be dispatched first. The book will be available on Amazon, however Amazon RRP will be more expensive.

Samantha Kelly is an Ireland-based business woman who has appeared on Dragon’s Den as well as a host of media programs. Following the sale of her first successful business, she has now launched Tweeting Goddess to help those wanting to use Twitter to grow their business.

Buy this book through us here for only £7.99 +P&P or in digital format for £4.00

Tweet Your Way to Success
Tweet Your Way to Success by Samantha Kelly