How to Make a Book Banner for a Book Blog Tour

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Altered Carbon is the first book in my favorite series with the uber psycho futuristic soldier Takeshi Kovacs - so if RKM ever asked me to tour Altered Carbon, I'd make a banner like this for him.  I wonder if he'd like it?
Altered Carbon is the first book in my favorite series with the uber psycho futuristic soldier Takeshi Kovacs – so if RKM ever asked me to tour Altered Carbon, I’d make a banner like this for him. I wonder if he’d like it?

I wrote up a post about how much I love book tour banners over at new Adult Addiction and since I have Range and Magpie Bridge releasing on April 1, I went ahead and made up the banners to go with the tour that will run from April 1-30.

I’ve got a lot of sign-ups for the tour – which is pretty cool because I was thinking if I got ten or twelve blogs to do a two week tour I’d be good.  But I’ve got almost forty blogs signed up now – most of them are doing the cover reveals on March 1, many of them are doing book blasts on April 1, quite a few are doing promo posts in April (about half or maybe a little more) and about fifteen have signed up to do ARC reviews.  Which is a damn good number for a fourth book in a series that is not romance or young adult.

If you’re thinking about setting up your own tour make sure you start two to three months early.  I expect I’ll get some stragglers in April once the books go on sale, but that’s typically a promo sport only.

Anyway – back to the banners.  I love tour banners – it’s part of the reason to have a book blog in my opinion.  When done right, they complement your cover in just the right way.  No one except James (who made both of these covers) has seen the actual artwork yet for Range and Magpie because I’m going to do a cover reveal.  Showing off the covers before the reveal pretty much mutes the point of the whole exercise.

So if you organize your own tour, you’ll need a book banner and how you do that and make it complement your cover, but not be exactly like your cover, is to concentrate on the typography instead of the artwork. (Because who needs to see your cover twice?  Right?  You have a cover, now you need a book banner)

So for Magpie, I used one element of the art – the head of the bird on the cover.  The rest is all typography.  This banner gives bloggers and readers a taste of the cover, but it’s in no way complete.  It leaves the mystery of what the actual cover looks like intact.
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Ditto for Range.  I took the part I liked the most – the reflections on the city street for the background and the belly shot of Junco, and then added in the typography to make the art compliment the information I need to get out.

00_blog_tour_RANGE_Banner_flares_540And BTW – if you’re interested in participating in the cover reveal, release day blast, or the tour, just sign up here.  Plus you can enter to win $25 wroth of books from Amazon of The Book Depository if you enter my current Giveaway Hop Rafflecopter here.  (Or at the bottom of this post)

When making your tour banner it helps to have a nice BIG high res image of your cover art.  James makes his stuff HUGE, so if I want to cut out a teeny tiny little piece of the art and use it for a banner, it always looks good.  So that’s what I did.  The street background I used is a very small part of the actual image.  You want to choose a part of your back ground that will set off your titles – so in my case, Range is a warm orangy color, so I chose a dark portion of the background.

I do my own fonts, but if you hire out for your typography, you might ask your artist to send you the png files so you can use it in making your banner.  Otherwise, just cut out your title from your cover, save it, and then place it on your banner background in Photoshop. Then use the eraser tool to remove the parts you don’t want to show through – like the colors around your title.  I use a very low flow and opacity when I do this, so it doesn’t have to be real precise to make it look good.

If you have time and skill you can cut the titles out, but honestly, that takes too much time.  I just erase the parts I don’t want if I don’t have access to the fonts.  The best way, of course, is to have the actual image of the title isolated.

You can also fool with the opacity of the overall title image as well.  I never use full opacity for the fonts when I make banners, it just looks better when you make it a translucent.

Making book tour banners isn’t that hard, it just takes a nice high resolution image, a good eye for design, and a way to cut out and place all your elements together in a pleasing way.  don’t forget the information too – book tour banners are made for a purpose – not just to look pretty.  Make sure you include the dates of the tour at the very least.

If you want to see some excellent examples of tour banners go check out Giselle over at Xpresso Tours – she makes the prettiest tour banners I’ve ever seen.  🙂

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Wanna participate in my cover reveal and get a chance to win $25 worth of free books at the same time? 

AND BTW – this girl is not on the cover of Range.  This is just a promo graphic.  The actual cover looks NOTHING like this image.

Just fill out this form and if you enter the Rafflecopter below, then you’ll also get a chance to win $25 worth of books from Amazon (US) or The book Depository (INT).

Just fill out the form and you’ll be put on the schedule

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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