♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Does anyone do cover reveals as part of your publicity
for a new book? Do they work anymore?
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Cover reveals are a great way to build excitement among your readers. As a reader as well as an author, I know that the anticipation seeing the cover or poster for a new book or film builds is imperative to my attention being kept on the moment. This is why you see the larger companies down to the independent artist using this to promote their work, no matter the art form. Why not make use of it?
The important things to remember when using this tool is that there is more effect in a larger community, and the higher the quality of the art that to dress your work. If you think a hokey, self-made cover will suffice as you grow as an author, you are likely wrong. There are exceptions to every rule. Are you wiling to risk it?
If you’ve poled your readers and part of your platform is the hokey cover, go ahead. You’ve got something going for you there. Don’t stop now! On the other hand, if your growth is slow and interest small, then you might want to look at what more you can do to build community and trust with readers. A great cover can do a lot in this department!
I’ve written extensively about why I think your cover matters in previous hops and posts on the blog. Therefore, I won’t rehash that here. Let’s get back to why a cover reveal can be a great help instead. After all, if you’re going to make the investment, you will need to know how to use it to your advantage beyond dressing your book elegantly.
To start, building excitement around your new work will take a community. An author’s first duty is to build a readership. Otherwise, to whom are you going to send these updates? This will be the most difficult part in the entire journey. And, it is ongoing.
Once you have built a readership and simultaneously to your building it, you’ll try to make it fun for folks to interact with you online. Be yourself, post interesting stuff. Don’t inundate the crowd with ads/buy my book posts. Make it worth their time to be along for the ride. Certainly, you can talk about what you’re working on. Presenting videos and other kinds of posts about your topic is super helpful.
All of the above helps build excitement. A great reward for a reader’s attention is to give them something to sink their teeth into. Art around your work is one way to do this. If you’re not an illustrator this can be intimidating or impossible to manage. That said, your cover is art you can use.
Let’s assume that you’re not an illustrator/designer. Therefore, you use tools or hire a person who is capable of rendering you a great cover. Right? Because, you know this isn’t the place to skimp on your book. You learned that a cover is a major part of your marketing plan. The cover features in ads and on your website, all over social media and in physical mailings that you partake in. If you print postcards, bookmarks, or any other promotional material, your cover is there. If it’s a, pardon my bluntness, piece of crap, what do you think readers assume about the writing inside?
Okay. Now, you have a great cover. There’s a couple ways you can do the reveal for your readers. 1. You can hold the full monty for a specific date. 2. You can bring them along through the process. The latter deeply involves the community. Perhaps, you can even give them choices to make along the way to help complete the final work. Whichever you decide, be up front with your designer on your plans, because they’re going to need to know your deadlines.
Either of the above choices is an exciting way to interact with readers. If you have a sizable readership, I’d suggest the first. The second option is great for those still building readerships and getting them involved. Incentives are always effective. The fact of the matter is, you need to give a lot to get small returns (ROI – return on investment). ROIs usually rate at about 10% returns when averaged. That means that when you put out a $1000, you can expect $100 back. And, it goes like that for a long time, until you’ve made your platform profitable, which means you’ve found the right amount of interest to give a positive percentage in the ROI column.
Hence, large publishing houses take the above into account (in case you thought this doesn’t apply to you because you plan on going through a publishing house). Their top performers help them to withstand the building of ROI on their newer or lower performing artists. That said, they will release an author if their margin doesn’t improve in a reasonable (for them) amount of time. This could be one book or a couple, depending on the contract. And, they have been known to terminate contracts early due to low profits. Therefore, it is entirely up to you to build a profitable readership on their behalf. (Why are you publishing this way again?)
When you’re independent, your contract can’t be dropped, but you can flounder. That’s an indication that you need to try something different. Listen to the ROI. You’re completely in control of how that will play out and over what kind of timeline. The limit is your budget (just as it is above, because an advance on sales is not common as it is a risk to the publisher).
All things considered, the path of an author is not an easy one. Hopefully, my advice and experiences can ease the confusion and lower the learning curve for you. Keep in mind, however, that what works for one artist may not be effective in your case. Basically, art is risk.
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