How to Use Visual Marketing to Sell Books

By Peg Fitzpatrick

How to Use Visual Marketing to Sell Books

Visual marketing may seem foreign to an author, after all we specialize in words, right? Changes in social media have shifted slightly to a more visual world with Pinterest, Instagram, and the wild popularity of YouTube.

Not to worry, using your creativity and some handy free web tools, you can create a solid visual marketing campaign for your book.

Start with your book cover and build out

Creating a visual style starts with your cover since this is your calling card. I’m going to create a faux book and use it to create some visual assets so you can see the process and visualize it for your own book. Keep in mind that I’m not a professional designer.

I’m going to grab one image from Big Stock Images and use it for all my designs. I chose this photo.  I got a jump on my cover design with a Canva Kindle cover. All the designs I’m using are design layouts in Canva that are already sized perfectly for the social media platform that you choose.

My color palette is:

#5b698a slate gray

ff9c7f light salmon

#fffff white

The font I chose is Libre Baskerville.

You can create your own color palette using the Eye Dropper Chrome extension and your photo. I’ll use these colors in all my designs to tie them together and create my book’s brand.


Using Twitter Effectively

Next, I’ll create some tweets to help announce that my book is live on Amazon. You can create a spreadsheet of fifteen to twenty tweets to use throughout your social media marketing for your book.

I created a general announcement and a quote from the book for variety. Once you have your photo, font, and color palette, creating a batch of tweets can take less than thirty minutes.

Tweets with images receive more favorites and retweets as they grab more attention in the busy Twitter stream. From the Twitter blog:

The most effective Tweet features are:

    • Photos average a 35% boost in Retweets
    • Videos get a 28% boost
    • Quotes get a 19% boost in Retweets
    • Including a number receives a 17% bump in Retweets
    • Hashtags receive a 16% boost

Plan your tweets accordingly and reap the benefits of extra engagement! These images were created 1024 pixels by 512 pixels and are sized perfectly to add on Twitter.

You can add them straight into the Twitter platform but you can’t schedule them from here. If you want to schedule tweets with images, I recommend using Sprout Social or Buffer.


Cover Art

Updating your Facebook cover, LinkedIn header, Twitter header, and Google+ profile cover also helps sell books. I’ll create a Facebook cover for my example.


When you add a new cover photo to Facebook, make sure you edit the description after you add the image to include your marketing text for the book and a link to purchase it.

The cover photo update will appear in your followers’ newsfeed and you can promote this if you use less than 20% text per Facebook’s guidelines for boosted posts.

While you are updating your cover photos, don’t forget to update your bios to let people know that your book is available.

Promote your book with a Facebook ad

Facebook ads are an effective way to boost sales for your book and you can spend as little as $2 per day to promote your book. You can only use 90 characters of text and less than 20% of the image can include text:

Size: 1200 x 627 pixels

From Facebook’s ad guidelines:

To see if your ad image meets the 20% text limit:

  1. Go to the grid tool.
  2. Click Browse to upload an image you want to use in your ad.
  3. Click Show grid to display the image within the 5×5 grid.
  4. Click on the boxes that contain text. If text is present in 6 or more boxes, then the image more than likely has more than 20% text and may not eligible to be used in an ad in News Feed.
  5. If your image has more than 20% text, you can edit your ad.


You need be smart with your scant 90 words of text and be sure to include a call to action to inspire people to click and buy your book.

I hope these examples give you a few ideas to create some compelling visual for your next social media marketing campaign. Once you get started, I bet you won’t be able to stop! I’d love to hear what’s worked for you with your book marketing in the comments!

Peg Fitzpatrick
Peg Fitzpatrick is co-author of The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users, a speaker, and social media marketing pro. Covering all the major social media platforms, she frequently hears “you’re everywhere!” She’s passionate about life, social media, and inspiring others to be their best.
Peg Fitzpatrick
Peg Fitzpatrick