How to Make a Readers’ Advisory Graphic

DIYRAG

A few commenters have asked how I make the RA graphics featured on this blog,  so I’m going to break it down in this post. It’s really not that hard, though it can be time-consuming. I have faith that y’all can do it!

Step 1: Pick a theme – The possibilities are limitless. You can make a genre graphic, readalike graphic, book suggestions based on other media people enjoy, etc… There are plenty of great examples out there. I think that Molly over at Wrapped Up in Books makes some wonderful graphics. Pinterest is also an excellent place to find examples. If you draw inspiration from someone else’s creation (especially if you are reworking something they’ve already done), credit them.

Step 2: Find your titles – Once you’ve picked your theme, you need to decide what titles you will feature on your graphic. You can pull from your own knowledge or use outside sources. NoveList is a great resource for finding readalikes and most libraries have a subscription to it. I will sometimes use lists from sources like Buzzfeed or Flavorwire. If you do that, make sure to credit them in your post.

Step 3: Put it all together – This is the really time-consuming part. I use Publisher because it’s easy to import and arrange images and I have access to all of my own fonts. All of the jacket images I use come from our catalog. I sometimes incorporate Microsoft’s free stock photos and Creative Commons images from Flickr. Again, make sure to credit appropriately if you use a CC image from Flickr. For fonts, I use Fontspace or dafont to find relevant fonts for my graphics. Many of their fonts are free for personal use and some are free for commercial use. Check the license before using any font. Once I have everything set up how I want it look, I group it together and then save it as an image. Occasionally I will upload it to a free, online photo editor to add extra flourishes. My favorites are: PicMonkey, iPiccy, fotor, & befunky. After adding finishing touches, I share the graphic with the world on various social media sites and this blog.

So there you have it – three steps to making an RA graphic! Go forth and create!

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