Friday, November 7, 2014

Do you need a cover reveal?

The big cover reveal was on Monday and, as you know, I was pretty on the fence about the whole thing. So I thought I'd do a quick run down on how it went and my thoughts on having a cover reveal.

Here's what happened right after the release:

1. I got several more adds on Goodreads, which is nice, but not necessarily a big deal.
2. Blog traffic has been up since announcing the book, but Monday had a nice spike that hasn't dipped back down yet. Yeah for more site visitors.
3. I got a handful of pre-orders which is a handful more than what I was expecting. So that's nice, but I'm not swimming in a pool of money gangsta-style yet.

I also had a few take-aways for things I would do differently if I were going to have another cover reveal:

1. I would have put a trackable link in the blog posts so I could see how many people clicked over to read the first chapter from a cover reveal
2. I would have done the reveal earlier so I could get it out before loading to various sites (this is a timing thing).

So would I do it again...maybe.

In the end, I can assume that a lot of eyeballs saw my cover. This alone isn't really enough to pull in sales. The exception here is if you are a big name with a large established fan base that's waiting for your next book. You know, so next time I release a book. ;)

But remember how I said the biggest challenge facing new authors is discoverability? Well, this is part of it. By itself, a cover reveal is pretty pointless. But, when my blog tour starts next month, hopefully some of those same people who were exposed to the cover will see a review, or guest post, or interview. And because the book isn't new to them, they'll be slightly more open to reading it.

Maybe.

Here's the deal. It would be easy to get caught up in trying to figure out what works and what is going to drive more sales. And this is important to think about when you are considering a tactic that will be either expensive or time consuming. But the cover reveal was neither. I simply added it in to my request to review bloggers as an FYI in case they'd like to participate. I asked for participants here and in my newsletter. Again, simple. For the actual reveal, I was going to create a post on the blog no matter what so I could share the first chapter. It was easy enough to send that post out to all the bloggers who agreed to be part of the reveal.

In terms of cost and time, this was a simple action that maybe added another hour of work to my schedule. It didn't create a massive surge of sales, but I didn't think it would. Hopefully, it planted a seed of interest in potential readers that will pay off as I continue my marketing efforts.

 Here's my advice. If you want to do a cover reveal, go for it. Do it early enough that you don't have to worry about holding back other marketing efforts in order to keep the cover a secret until the reveal. And only do it if it's something you think you can do with minimal effort. If the thought of contacting bloggers for a reveal and then contacting them again for a review sounds like too much work, then skip it. There is nothing wrong with doing a reveal on your own website and asking your friends to help you spread the word. You might also reach out to just one friend who has a large platform to host the reveal for you. 

Cover reveals are fun and if you have a quality, professional cover, they can be a nice confidence booster (nothing beats hearing gorgeous cover all day). But they aren't going to be a huge boost to your marketing efforts. Keep that in mind when deciding how you are going to share your cover with the world.

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