Leverage Facebook pictures to sell books

A compelling picture always will grab someone’s attention faster than text. Given this, when developing social media pages to promote your book (or any service or product, for that matter), you’ll want to pay close attention to the quality and purpose of the photos you use.

On Facebook, your profile image is a small square that appears on the top of your profile page and that as an avatar that appears with each of your posts. A square, on the profile page it measures 400 x 400 pixels in size but then is shrunk considerably when next to your post. Because of that, this image should be very simple; usually a headshot that is cropped tightly on the face works well. Words or complex pictures should be avoided as they won’t show up in the avatars that appear with each post.

Also appearing on your profile page is a rectangular cover photo. This 828 pixel wide by 315 pixel high photo acts like a banner across the top of your profile page. Your profile file partially covers the lower left corner of the cover photo. Given the cover photo’s dominance, use it to set the tone for your page. For example, if you write science fiction novels, use a picture – perhaps from one of your covers – that carries SF themes, such as a spaceship or an alien. If you write a nonfiction book about kayaking, a pic of kayakers paddling on the water would be perfect. Some authors use a collage of their book covers for a cover photo; that’s fine, but be aware that a couple of link buttons and your name are placed over the picture’s bottom, so lettering may be obscured.

Also be aware of the size and shape of pictures you post on Facebook, as they will be cropped to fit a preset size. These shared images can be up to 1200 pixels wide by 900 pixels high. Given this, generally make your shared images more horizontal than vertical, sticking close to a 4:3 ratio.