Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Use Memes to Promote Books

What exactly is a meme? Merriam-Webster Dictionary says: an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture. The term is often applied to those Facebook posters that get shared so much, and many are political. Recently, this one rolled across my Facebook page, and I thought it was a terrific idea to help authors promote their books.


Why not pull a meaningful quotation out of your own writings, and spread it around Facebook? I think this meme would be more useful if the author had added her website URL.

My Facebook BBT Cafe group began discussing this and turned it into a little project. We wondered what programs to use and suggestions included Paint and other graphics programs as well as PicMonkey, a free photo-editing service that makes graphics creation astoundingly easy, not to mention fun! 

BBT Cafe members started experimenting and here are some of the results:

I think adding a website URL is important. Did I say that already? I searched to find Cara Lopez Lee here, but with a more common name, finding the correct author might have been a challenge.

Here's one more:


Hooray for Marian Allen who got the website included! This message is a little hard to read, but the sentiment is something anyone can embrace. That's important when you're pulling a quotation out of your book. What if the person doesn't want to read your book? Is the message still relevant to life in some way?

Here's one from Tony Acree:


Again, the author's website or blog link somewhere in the corner, small, would invite a search for more information. The image and colors on this meme are good!


Now here's a quotation that lots of folks can probably really relate to, and I like the way Randy Attwood staged this. Very intriguing. Again, the author website URL would make the meme more useful if it's repeatedly shared. Excuse me while I go Google this author. I'd suggest something as small as the type you see lower right which is the meme creation site. Here's another idea: create a shortened link to your book buy page. It might even result in a sale!

Lastly, Lucia Ashta has been doing this to promote her books for quite a while and offered this example. It's a simple design, but the quotation is powerful, and exactly the type of message that can go viral. But I'd still have to search for the author by name, wouldn't I?



Run over to PicMonkey and give meme creation a design try - it's free and user-friendly and they don't require you to give up copyright to your image. You can even design blog headers and book covers this way!


What do you think? Would you promote your book on Facebook and Pinterest with a custom-designed meme using your own words of wisdom? You do have a list of brilliant quotations from your books, don't you? Give us a one-line example in the comments!

Dani Greer is founding member of the Blood-Red Pencil, runs the BBT Cafe at Facebook, and lately spends more time painting murals with her husband than writing and editing books.


24 comments :

  1. Great post, Dani. I made a meme as described,‘It’s only when faced with the extraordinary that I become erudite, honest, brilliant and insightful.’ and posted it on various sites. Thanks for this.

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  2. Thanks, Dani.

    This opens up new vistas I'd never considered before.

    One point worth mentioning is that the message should be clear even at reduced size. I had to click on some of the memes here to view them full size before I could read them.

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    1. So right, Kathy - I'd thought to point that out but didn't want to pick on anyone too hard. The website URL really should be a bit larger in one of the corners too. Large enough to read (since it's not clickable), but not so large it detracts from the quotation. If you can design it so it's pretty clear in thumbnail size, that should do the trick.

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  3. I'm definitely going to try this. I had already started doing writing advice memes that I plan to put out into cyberspace soon. I love this idea, too.

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  4. So glad you clarified what a meme is. I was afraid it was some complicated computer thing, and you know how much I love complicated computer thingies. However, I do love the word thingy. :-)

    Seriously, I do think this is a good idea. I will play with PicMonkey a bit and see what I can come up with.

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    1. It's easy peasy, Maryann. I got it in about five minutes!

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  5. Good idea ... I could post a meme on Fazebook and a good 3 or 4 people would see it! Seriously, thanks for the Picmonkey tip ... that looks like fun.

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    1. I'd never heard of PicMonkey until Pamela Price from Red White & Grew mentioned it.

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  6. Informative blog post, Dani. Thanks! I decided not to add website info to mine because it was just an experimental effort to see if I could even do it. I instantly realized that I need to find a different image that will show up in a standard shape and size and be easy to read without having to click further. I like this idea and I'm going to give it another shot with a new image this weekend.

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  7. I've done this before, but didn't even THINK of putting in my web address. D'oh!

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  8. Marvelous idea, eyecatching!

    Morgan Mandel

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  9. Ah, yet something else to deal with. Thanks for the info; with a new book coming out next week, I should be doing more of this kind of stuff.

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    1. Terry, don't we need to know about your new book? Are you posting here about it?

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  10. Dani I love this idea! And so timely for me—I was just wondering yesterday how people add words to photos to create memes. I'm definitely going to do this!

    One I'll use: "If words could express it all, we wouldn't need movement." —The Art of Falling by Kathryn Craft
    http://www.kathryncraft.com :)

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    1. Ooh, that one could go viral, Kathryn! Are you a member of the BBT Cafe? That group with help you promote your book.

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  11. I really like this idea. Thanks for telling us about picmonkey, too. The photo editor on my pc is junk.

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    1. I was even too dumb to figure out Paint and even though I bought Adobe Elements a while back, I just haven't started climbing the learning curve. PicMonkey was almost instant success. So dead simple!

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  12. Dani, I love this idea! I had never heard of PicMonkey, but I shall find out now. Now to find some sort of quote...and perhaps a picture of a sheep.

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    1. Sheep! Yes indeed. You just gave me an idea. We could create memes to illustrate our blog posts, couldn't we? Huh!

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    2. We could. I may try this for my post in November.

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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