Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Five Minute Teaser Tutorial




Okay, so I know there are tutorials for doing book teasers across the net. Some of them are quite involved, with videos and long posts and lots of graphics, but this is just a very short version. Not even a tutorial really. Just, this is what I’ve learned so far. I’m passing it on because I hope it will be helpful. 

1. They shouldn’t cost anything, but make sure you're not using someone else's image without permission. The Shutterstock package I use is for 12 downloads a year at approx £39, and that works for me. You may find a site with royalty-free images for less than that, but that’s what I use. 


I’ve just discovered Canva for teasers, and they are great. I don’t pay anything. As long as you’re using your own images, you don’t have to. They also have a choice of free images, as well as ones you can buy. (Since writing this, I've signed up to Canva Pro, and they do have a LOT of extra features, which might negate the need for going to sites like Shutterstock.)

2. You can spend HOURS fiddling around trying to get teasers perfect, but you just have to remember two things. Can they be read easily, and do they “pop?” Remember, you have to attract the attention of people scrolling at speed, and they’re not going to stop at a load of text they have to squint to read.
I see things like the one just below all the time. (All these teasers are ones I’ve made on Canva, btw. I’m not into shaming people!) It looks sexy, but can you really read it? Nope. Scroll on….



3. Fancy fonts are all very well but they never last…. Sorry, Madonna, but it’s true. They have their place, but not in the main body of the text. Remember it won’t only be English speakers reading these. People with ESL or have any other difficulties which make English harder to read may be interested in your book, but curly-wurly fonts will put a lot of people off. The picture below is better because it’s simpler.



4. A lot of information also confuses people. I’ve put an example here of something with a LOT of information. It’s practically shouting at you. I make this mistake All. The. Time and I’m continually going back to correct myself. 




Yikes, right? Migraine inducing, and half that information doesn’t need to be there. The Wattpad reference will inevitably lead to confusion over where they can get the book from. Amazon is the important bit, so that needs to be noticable. I think this teaser has gone out in the past, but I know now it wasn’t a great way to advertise the book. WAY too much info! Also, I’m not keen on the colours but they are bright and go with the book cover. But what do you think?

5. You can use your favourite image in lots of ways. A torso, an eye, their lips. On Canva, expanding the image gives nice results. There are filters and adjustments you can do, IG templates (which I use for all teasers) and different colours all ensure each teaser is individual as you are. That’s especially great when a lot of people use the same models for their book covers. I'll do a separate post on this later on in the month.

6. Experiment! Set aside a day to really find out what works for you. Don’t be afraid to layer on images and use colour to convey what your book is about. You have pictures at home that you’ve taken on holidays. You really are only limited by your imagination. The teaser below also went out, before I realised I hadn't said it was on Amazon, or on Kindle Unlimited!




The important thing is that people can SEE what you’re saying, they know where to get the book from and they have some idea of what kind of genre it is, which you can convey with a carefully chosen photograph. A rumpled bed, sexy hands, a city at night all suggest sex and promise. 

This isn’t definitive. This is just my opinion. I know some of you will look at mine and know you could do better. Great! These are just my thoughts as I learn. I hope by next year my teasers will lot a lot more polished and gorgeous. It’s like anything. It takes practice. 




Above is the finished article, again conveying where the action takes place (New York) and using my go-to font for titles, Playfair Display. I love it because it looks classy, is easy to read and has a glossy magazine feel to it. Even so, I'm looking at this again, thinking the top font could be brighter, but it looked great on Instagram so that's what you have to think about.

Oh, and one last thing, I try not to use more than two fonts in my teasers. Any more looks a bit “try hard,” and I’d say the same for overlays as well, like flames and all the other good, tempting stuff you can add to your picture. Less is more, but you’ll soon get a feel for what you like, and what suits the book. 

Most of all, HAVE FUN! I still look at these teasers and think I could do better, but it’s late and I need a cat nap. I hope you’ve found this helpful, and if you can add your own tips for readers, please share them!

Jayne x





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