Cover Reveals – Should We Bother?

True Colors Melissa PearlIt’s easy to wonder if cover reveals are worth the time and effort. Some authors do them well in advance; some do them the week before release and others don’t bother with them at all. Being a fan of cover reveals, I thought I’d throw in my two cents worth and see what you guys thought.

I read a great post by Jonathan Gunson a couple of years ago. Basically what he said was that the sooner we start promoting a book before release, the better. My publicist (Mark My Words Publicity) recommends a 9-week build up. Most consumers need to see a product multiple times before purchasing. (See Lynne Cantwell’s article on Effective Frequency.) Readers need to be teased and enticed. You want them to be so aware of your book’s release date that they will have the date circled on their calendars and be looking you up on Amazon the moment that day arrives.

To avoid the “shoveling it down the reader’s throat” effect, it’s important that we vary our promotion in the build up to the big release, and I’d like to unpack some of my ideas for those over the next few months.

Today…let’s start with the cover reveal, because I usually put this pretty early on in my pre-release campaign.

I LOVE looking at book covers, so any blog post, Facebook post or tweet that mentions the words COVER REVEAL will always get my intention. I will take two minutes to look at a book cover and if I like it, I’ll take another couple of minutes to read the blurb. So it’s safe to say, the most important part of a good cover reveal is the cover. Make your covers good! I can’t say this enough. I know people say don’t judge a book by its cover, but the reality is, most people do. I’m honest enough to admit, that if the book hasn’t been personally recommended to me, then I will go by cover first, then the blurb. There are so many amazing cover designers out there and they vary in price. Check them out, figure out whose style suits your work and pay for something that will entice your target audience. It is worth every penny.

Then we get to the blurb. Ugh! I cannot stand blurb writing. How do you make your work sound readable, exciting, unforgettable and enticing in like three paragraphs? (Check out our resource page on book blurbs.) It’s near impossible, yet hundreds of writers manage to do it. Get your writing buddies to give you a hand. I usually ask for at least three or four opinions before I’m happy with what I have…and even then, I’m never 100% happy. Blurbs are hard…accept it and do your very best.

Other details that should be included in a cover reveal are: release date, genre, cover designer, pre-order links (if you have them), Goodreads link, release party invite (if you’re doing one), a teaser (even just two or three lines that will really whet the appetite) and I always find a little giveaway helpful (even just an eBook or two that will encourage people to help you spread the word about your upcoming novel).

Okay – so you have your gorgeous cover, your tantalizing blurb, and all of the above. How do you now tell the world? Personally, I think asking blog tour companies for help is a really good way to go. Cover reveals do not cost that much money and it can have your share numbers jump from just you and your buddies to up to 100 bloggers or more. Most bloggers will then share on FB or Twitter that they have a cover reveal going on and the amount of eyeballs checking out your work increases exponentially, especially if you include a SHARE THIS POST to enter the giveaway.

You want your cover in people’s faces. You want readers to look at whatever design you have and think of you and how excited they are by your upcoming story. You want people to know your cover so well that when it does pop up for sale, they’ll see it once and go “Oh yeah, I wanted to read this one!” and they click that little purchase button before giving it another thought.

Have you ever done a cover reveal before? What type of experience have you had with it?

Author: Melissa Pearl

Melissa Pearl is a Contributing Author for Indies Unlimited and author of multiple novels spanning a variety of genres, from YA fantasy and paranormal to romantic suspense, including award-winning novel, BETWIXT. For more on Melissa, visit her blog or her Amazon author page.

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