Category Archives: Marketing And Promotion

Apps To Make Your Photos Pop On Social Media | Web Design Relief

If you want to pack your readings and book signing events and sell more books, you need to grow your audience on social media. At Web Design Relief, our social media experts know this requires cutting through the clutter of everyone else’s posts, tweets, and pins! The most effective way to stand out on every social media platform is to use visual media: creative graphics, eye-catching photos, and dazzling videos. And how do you turn your ordinary images into must-see media? It’s easier than you might think! Here are the best apps for making your photos pop on social media:

5 Apps That Will Make Your Images Stand Out On Social Media

Snapseed (iOS & Android)

The Snapseed app is a photo editing app that gives you a wide variety of controls to edit your images. This app is for the mobile photographer who wants something more than the filters offered by Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. While Snapseed does have easy-to-use filters for quick editing, they also have plenty of fine-tuning options such as: Spot Repair (which lets you remove or smooth out parts of an image); Selective (for editing and focusing on very specific parts of a photo); and Details (which helps increase the sharpness and structure of your image). Snapseed is perfect for writers on the go who want to dive into mobile photo editing.

VSCO (iOS & Android)

VSCO is currently one of the top fifteen most popular photography apps on Apple’s Top Free Photography Apps chart. This app offers a large variety of filters that allow you to edit quickly and emulate classic film stocks. While VSCO does have some extra editing capabilities, they’re not as comprehensive as Snapseed’s offerings.

Over (iOS)

Over is a fantastic app for adding unique text and image overlays to your photos! You simply pick the image you want to overlay text on, type out your message, and have fun playing with colors, fonts, spacing, and alignment. This app makes putting text over an image incredibly easy—just shoot, create, and post. Over gives you a great way to share your poetry or lines from your writing through visual mediums like Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook.

InShot (iOS & Android)

This app has both the versatility of Snapseed and the best features of Over. With InShot, you can crop your image, change your canvas size to fit a variety of social media standards, overlay stickers and text—even edit video! This is a great app for writers who want a one-stop shop for their image and video editing needs. While the photo-editing tools may not be as comprehensive as Snapseed or VSCO, they’ll do the trick for anyone who wants to make a few simple edits before posting online.

Glitche (iOS)

This app is a bit more avant garde and allows you to do some unusual things with your images. As its name implies, Glitche offers a variety of filters that simulate technological malfunctions. You can “glitchify” your image with a static haze, or use the VHS filter to make your videos and images look as if they had been created during the ’80s and ’90s. You can also try the blurring options, mirroring, pixelating, color inverting, and more. The app is great for editing a photo to look like it’s from a decade long gone or to make it seem as if something eerie is about to rise right out of the phone in your hand.


Question: Let us know which apps you’re most eager to try, and which apps you already love!

How To Turn Your Author Website Into A Book-Selling Machine | Web Design Relief

Sure, you have an author website—these days, what smart, proactive author doesn’t? As the marketing experts here at Web Design Relief have often said, an author website is now synonymous with “online business card.” But unlike a flat, unchanging paper business card, your author website shouldn’t be a static “poster” site, existing just to give information. Not only does a static writer website make your Google Analytics sink like a stone, it also defeats an important reason why many authors have a website in the first place: to sell books!

5 Tips For Turning Your Author Website Into A Book-Selling Machine

Offer A Clear Call To Action

Although it’s tempting to stuff your home page with every detail, an overload of information doesn’t offer direction. A smarter strategy is to focus on a single, clear call to action that directs readers toward what you really want them to do.

For example, if you have a new or upcoming release, you’ll want readers to buy the book. Craft your call to action to funnel visitors toward online book sales.

  • Use the imperative mood, such as: Read An Exclusive Excerpt Here, Buy Now, or Preorder Today!
  • Hot-link the call-to-action text.
  • Use larger type, a box or border, and/or a pop of color to bring attention to the call to action.

Write Text That Sizzles

Writing marketing and promotion copy is a unique skill. A novelist who has written dozens of books may struggle to write a short, sizzling book blurb that makes the novel sound irresistible. Traditional publishing houses hire professional copywriters to do just that, because they know that good copy can make the difference between a skip and an online book sale.

Take a good hard look at the text on your website to determine whether it’s effective for selling books.

Invite Readers To Join Your Mailing List

Because the road to a long and healthy writing career starts with gathering a tribe of fans, many author websites focus on building a mailing list rather than making an immediate sale.

  • Use a prominent, front-and-center “Sign Up For My Newsletter” call to action to harvest the emails of fans who are already checking out your work.
  • Some authors run monthly contests on their websites to entice readers to join their mailing lists.
  • Even if selling your latest book is your primary call to action, you can also use a pop-up dialogue box to offer bonus material or other reader magnets in exchange for their email, without messing up the website design.

Add Social Media Buttons

Not everyone who lands on your home page is going to immediately buy your book or sign up for your newsletter. Beyond the primary call to action, an equally important purpose of your website is to parlay reader interest into more connections. Adding a flight of social media icons somewhere on your website makes connecting easier and will increase online book sales down the line.

Develop Clear And Easy Navigation

Many readers may arrive at your website with a very specific goal in mind, whether it’s figuring out the order of your series, determining which of your books they may not yet have read, or learning the time and place of your next personal appearance. Website design that offers clear menu navigation will put the necessary information at your visitors’ fingertips quickly.

Author websites should offer at least:

  • Home page
  • List of your books
  • Contact information for the author
  • Author bio

But may also include:

  • Latest news
  • Upcoming events
  • Blog and/or newsletter

A professionally designed author website can be a powerful marketing and promotion machine to grow your online sales. If you’re considering starting or refreshing your writer website, make sure to choose a website designer who fully understands the unique challenges and needs of the book business—like Web Design Relief. Schedule your free consultation call today!


Question: What’s the primary call to action on your author website home page?

Online Marketing Tips For Writers Who Have More Than One Pen Name | Web Design Relief

There are several reasons why an author would use multiple pen names. Perhaps you write in three different genres and don’t want to confuse your separate audiences. Or you are published with a traditional publisher but also self-publish under a different name. Maybe you just want to start fresh. But the experts at Web Design Relief know that having two or more author pseudonyms can complicate your marketing and social media efforts—how do you handle promotion and branding when you have more than one author name?

Marketing Questions To Ask Yourself When You Use Multiple Pen Names

Connect Multiple Pen Names Or Keep Them Separate?

The first question to answer is whether you want people to know that you’re publishing under multiple pen names.

Perhaps you write for young children as well as for more mature audiences. These are two audiences that don’t overlap. Or you might have professional reasons for separating your identities. For years, the romance writer Eloisa James (aka Mary Bly) kept her pseudonym secret from her colleagues at Fordham University, where she taught English literature, fearing the revelation would affect her bid for tenure. These are good reasons to separate your pen names.

But if you believe that some of the readers who adore your YA dystopian fiction will also enjoy your intergalactic hard sci-fi—or if you just want to simplify your marketing and promotion efforts—you can publicly link your author pseudonyms.

A Single Combined Website Or Multiple Author Websites?

If you’ve decided to keep your pen names distinct, you’ll also have to keep your websites separate. That means maintaining an author website for each of your pseudonyms. For this option, there’s additional cost involved in designing and hosting fees, as well as the time it will take to keep multiple websites regularly updated.

However, if you don’t mind linking your pseudonyms, there are many creative ways you can build a single website that accommodates all your pen names:

  • Make your website landing page a portal that gives readers a choice as to which of your names they’re interested in learning more about.
  • Direct the URL for each pen name to one website that links all of your pseudonyms. Check out the website for Jennifer Ashley and Allyson James.
  • If the branding for your pseudonyms is similar, you can simply use separate tabs on the home page to direct readers to each of your pen names.

One Social Media Profile Or Many?

Whether you’re keeping your pseudonyms separate or linking them, you may have to set up separate social media identities for each name to make sure you’re not missing a segment of your audience:

  • Facebook allows you to make as many “author” business pages as you want, as long as you have a Facebook profile.
  • Twitter lets you make as many personas as you have email addresses.
  • Goodreads requires you to create a separate profile for each of your pen names.
  • Instagram also requires you to create a separate profile for each of your pseudonyms.

If you’re wondering if this will double (or triple!) the amount of time you have to spend on social media, you’d be right—if it weren’t for the wonders of social media automation features! Here are some ways you can write your posts on one social media platform and have them automatically posted on other platforms:

Using more than one pen name definitely means a lot more marketing and promotion work for the writer. Fortunately, that drawback is often offset by the creative benefits of writing for multiple pen names or in multiple genres, which keeps your work fresh, vibrant, and exciting.


QUESTION: If you use more than one pen name, how many do you use and why?

10 Places To Advertise Your Book—And Should You? | Web Design Relief

Writers who self-publish—and even those who contract with traditional publishing houses—often dream of a big ROI (return on investment) for paid book advertising. So first, Web Design Relief presents the options available for advertising your book in hopes of reaching more readers and increasing book sales. And then we’ll let you in on one of… Continue Reading

What Is A Call To Action? And How Does It Work For Writers? | Web Design Relief

When you research ways to market yourself as a writer, you’ll run across experts who talk about creating a strong call to action. But what is a call to action? And what does it mean for creative writers who want to build their reputations and sell books? Let’s take a look. Web Design Relief Explains… Continue Reading

How To Create A Drip Email Campaign To Promote Your Writing | Web Design Relief

Social media is a vital marketing tool for authors, but it has one big drawback: Somebody else owns the platform! That means there’s no guarantee that your hard-won social media fans will always receive the messages you’re posting or that access will always be available. At Web Design Relief, we know the only surefire way… Continue Reading

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