How to make a Twitter advert for erotic romance authors

Posting an eye-catching image on Twitter to advertise your erotic romance novel or erotica story is a great way to get people interested in your book. But how do you do that?! In October, I took a graphic design course to learn all about the mysteries of making adverts. Here’s a step-by-step checklist to help you create a Twitter ad:

  1. Get some picture editing software. I recommend GIMP because it is free (another option is PhotoShop, but I don’t use that because it’s expensive). One huge advantage of using GIMP (rather than Krita or Corel, for example) is that there are loads of videos on YouTube with tutorials about how to do everything. Just Google, “how to make bubble text in GIMP” and you’ll see what I mean. You can download GIMP for free here.
  2. When you open GIMP, go to “file” then click “new…”
    GIMP how to open a new image
  3. It will show a popup like this. Where I’ve put “500” (twice) put the size of your image (see step 4).
    GIMP new image dialog
  4. Pictures are measured in pixels. Your Twitter ad needs to be 500×500 (1:1 ratio) or 440×220 (2:1 ratio) pixels in size. This guide always has up-to-date measurements for all social media pictures.
  5. Go online and search for a nice background. Whatever you search for, type “CC BY” or “CC 0” after your search, because your pictures need to be a special type of copyright-free licence so you don’t get in trouble for accidentally using someone else’s protected work. When you find a nice picture, it should say on the webpage what you’re allowed to use the picture for. You probably want “commercial and non-commercial use” because even though you’re not selling your advert, it’s going to help you sell books, which is a commercial use.
  6. Copy your picture, then paste it into your GIMP image and hit the “new layer” button to anchor your picture to a layer (so you can use it properly).
    new layer her daddy and her master 99p sale katie douglas how to make book ad
  7. If the background picture is too big, it might look strange, so go to “layer” and “scale layer” and change the layer’s size to the same size as your overall picture size (you don’t have to do this if the background picture looks okay, even if it’s too big, because when you export, only the visible part of the picture will be kept).
    GIMP scale layer her daddy and her master 99p sale katie douglas how to make book ad
    Here’s where to find the “scale layer” option:
    GIMP layer too big scale layer2 her daddy and her master 99p sale katie douglas how to make book ad
    And here’s where to change the size:
    GIMP layer too big scale layer3 her daddy and her master 99p sale katie douglas how to make book ad
    Now you should have a background like this:
    GIMP before after scale layer her daddy and her master 99p sale katie douglas how to make book adGIMP after scale layer her daddy and her master 99p sale katie douglas how to make book ad
  8. Get the book cover file that you should have from your publisher. Stormy Night Publications nearly always sends the final version to me shortly after the books are published, but I’m not sure about what other publishers do. Open that file in either Paint or GIMP and, on your computer keyboard, hold down CTRL and tap “a” at the same time. This will “select all.” Copy the image (edit/copy, or right click, “copy” or CTRL and “c”), and paste it into your GIMP book advert (edit/paste, right click, “paste” or CTRL and “v”). It might look like it’s gone wrong because the cover will be HUGE!
    GIMP cover too big her daddy and her master 99p sale katie douglas how to make book ad
  9. Hit “new layer” so you can work with the picture you just pasted, and it will stop saying “floating layer” in your layer dialog (the tab at the bottom right).
    GIMP cover too big new layer
  10. Repeat step 7 to scale the book cover down so it looks less scary. 200×300 is a good size for the book cover on a Twitter ad.
    GIMP cover too big scale layer1

    GIMP cover too big scale layer2
    The picture of the chain keeps the length and height ratio, so the picture doesn’t go a weird shape when you change its size. Only change the width, and when you click in the box next to height, it should automatically change it for you.
  11. To move your book cover, click “move” (and make sure the bottom option is checked: “Move the active layer”) and slide your book cover into position, until it’s where you want it. You can always do this to move it again, later, so don’t worry too much about whether it’s exactly where it needs to be at this stage.

    GIMP how to move layer cover1
    Once those options are selected you can click and drag the cover to where you want it.
  12. Now click on the “text” tool (big letter A in the toolbox on the left) and click and drag your mouse to draw a box where you want to write something. Put your words in the box.
    GIMP text tool how to make great book advert twitter katie douglas
  13. Highlight your text and select font, size, color etc until it’s how you want it (this works in a similar way to Microsoft Word).
  14. If the text won’t change color or size, it’s because there’s two options and for some strange reason, GIMP sometimes forgets it has two options and refuses to change one of them. Try the other one (see picture) and see if that makes it work.
    GIMP text edit can't change font color text not working
  15. To make your picture usable online, you need to export it (GIMP calls the process of turning all those layers into one picture “exporting” instead of “saving”, and when you hit save, it doesn’t make a picture you can use online). Go to “file” then “export as” and you have lots of options for file type; .png and .jpg are the best options for the Internet. If GIMP comes up with anything complicated while you’re trying to export, just hit “export” and it should go away and turn your work into a saved, exported picture.

  16. Once you have your picture, go to Twitter, write a nice tweet, add some hashtags and upload your image!

    GIMP finished pic use ruler
    Extra tip: The ruler at the top and to the left can help you line up each of your layers so they align properly with the rest of your picture.

Don’t forget to put a link to your book when you write your Tweet, and follow me on Twitter to get regular updates with content like this!

Lots of love,
Katie xxxx

Other articles in this series:
Spanking writing prompts
Erotic romance: Where should the story begin?
The main spanking scenarios for spanking erotic romance writers
Erotica words for spanking and anal sex writers in BDSM erotic romance
Naming the characters in your BDSM erotic romance
How to make your erotica or erotic romance advert shine! (this is part 2 of the tutorial you’re reading now)


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I am the author of several spanking, BDSM and ageplay books, as well as the artist behind Corner Time Now, the Saturday-updating spanking and CP webcomic. I play the ukulele (badly), I like instant noodles way more than anyone should, and I'm currently in grad school studying an obscure science.

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