CREATING MEMES: Walking You Through My Process

Hello! Sorry I’ve been absent. Life has been crazy! And I have struggled with what to post. Then I thought perhaps I should turn my posts into more practical how-to’s for a time and give you a step by step process on how I do some of the things I do in the writing/marketing world. So, here is the first one: MEMES.

Now, I am not saying that I’m an expert at creating memes, but I have become quite learned on how to do this. And I am here to share what knowledge I do have of the process.

What is a MEME?

I found a dictionary that defines it as “a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users”. There are other definitions of memes having to do with sociology and cultures, but this is the definition I am talking about. So, the pictures floating around of that same white bearded guy saying “I don’t always (whatever), but when I do, I (whatever, but makes the statement humorous).”

In the writing/marketing world, we construct memes that relate to our books in some way.

Why do we need MEMES?

Memes are a wonderful, creative, and appealing way to promote your work. If your social media posts are just verbiage about your book and a link, that gets boring. Throw in a meme, and it gets more interesting. Research indicates that photos (memes included) get more interaction on social media platforms.

How do I make one?

You can use any image building platform (like canva or picmonkey). I have fallen in love with canva, so that’s what I’m going to use. Canva.com has a free version and even a free trial month. I am not as familiar with PicMonkey’s system.

So, here’s what you want to do…

I recommend that in general, you have several short excerpts selected from your novel(s) and about 8-10 tweet length statements about the book. If you have reviews, you should also have some snippets/quotes from reviews to utilize.

Today, we’ll be creating a meme for my book coming out in June called “A Convenient Risk”. I don’t currently have reviews to use, and I like excerpts better anyways, so I will pick a short excerpt from the book:

“Oh?” Why would she bait him? She did not know. But the utterance was beyond her lips before she could stop it. Amanda tightened her mouth to keep anything else from coming forth.

“Yes. As was I.” His voice was thick.

His confession stirred something high in her chest. Something that spindled and twisted. Something pleasant. It was but a taste, and she wanted more. But how?

Your excerpt should not give away big pieces of information (some is okay), but it should be enticing and intriguing.

Okay. So, let’s go to Canva.com and log in. Then we need to select what size our graphic will be. I usually go with Facebook post. Then we need to find a picture that goes well with this excerpt. I looked through some of the photos of blonde women (like my character) and decided on going with a fleur de leur kind of feel to the background.

So I searched for “design” and scrolled through until I found a design I liked. I set it in the picture, then changed the color of the design to go better with my cover. Then I copied it to add it to the top of the frame as well (just to add dimension). Then I grabbed my cover from the section UPLOADS. You can also upload photos into this section if needed.

I set my cover into the design. Then I decided it needed a frame. There is a section that says “frames”, but I didn’t like the way those worked. So, I searched for “frame” and found one I liked better, set it in place, and changed the color to better suit the design.

Next I went to BACKGROUND and chose a background and…you guessed it, changed the color again, to make it lighter so the excerpt will be more visible when I set it in place.

Now, it’s time to put in the excerpt. Select TEXT, choose one of the three text samples there. Put in your text in place of the text that pops onto your design. Then adjust the font and size as you wish. And the color even.

It’s very important that you add one more set of TEXT. In one corner, you need to include the following:

Author Name, Name of the Book, and Your Website

This way, no matter who shares your meme, it will always connect back to your website.

And voila! We have a meme!

Be sure to name it (I name it after the book and number it – e.g. ACR1 for “A Convenient Risk”, first meme) Then download it. I usually do it as a PNG.

Now, where do I put that?

You can share these memes on your Facebook page, your Facebook author page, your Pinterest pages, Twitter, and in Facebook groups that you are a part of (I recommend that you join Facebook book groups associated with your genre).

So, I’ll take the meme, and I’ll post it. But I’ll also type one of those tweet-length statements and a link to the book’s page on my website. Like so:

A marriage of convenience, a ranch at risk, and one of America’s most famous outlaws… Read more about “A Convenient Risk” at: http://saraturnquist.com/convenient-risk

And there you have it!

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