I love teasers. Not only are they are great way to promote my own books, but I often choose a book to read after seeing a cool teaser from the author. But not all teasers work for me. I’m not an author marketing guru, but I do know what works for me as a reader. And since I buy at least one e-book a day, I’m going to assume my opinion matters to writers looking for readers. (Big assumption. I know.) I’ve recently jumped on the Instagram bandwagon (and am loving it, by the way) and have noticed some ‘typical’ problems that will cause me to scroll right past a teaser.
Legibility of text. The biggest problem I run into is too much text. I’ve seen more than one teaser in which the picture is completely covered by text. You couldn’t see the photo, let alone what the photo was supposed to portray. Although I love this teaser from Molly’s Misadventures, I now realize that there’s too much text and the text color makes it difficult to read.
If you’re having a hard time trimming the text, ask for a second opinion from friends or beta readers. My husband is great at picking out the kern of the text. I always print out a couple pages of possible teasers for him to look at. He often surprises me with what he chooses and how he thinks I should shorten the text, but he hasn’t lead me astray – yet.
Pictures. I’m not saying that you need to use the same cover model for each teaser, but the models should at least bear a resemblance to each other. Having the same ethnicity and hair color are a minimum. And if your book features a plus-sized heroine, please (PLEASE!) do not use a skinny model. Seriously, I’m begging you.
Book title and author name. I like your teaser. It looks awesome. But what book are we talking about? Who is the author? If I have to spend time looking for these aspects on the teaser itself, I’m going to keep on scrolling. I like to use a different font and color for the title and my name – anything to get name recognition, right?
Reflect the book. I can’t stand misrepresentation. A synopsis that doesn’t indicate a book has a cliffhanger will cause me to go into a rage. (Okay, I have anger issues, but you still get my point.) A teaser should also reflect the content of a book. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve purchased a book based on witty dialogue in a teaser and discovered that was the ONLY witty conversation in the entire book. Grrrr….
Here are the teasers for my latest novel Fat Girl Begone!. What do you think? Did I follow my advice or do you see reason to give me a hard time? Go for it. Comments are open.