Monday, July 28, 2014

PRE-RELEASE MARKETING FOR AUTHORS: THE COVER REVEAL





One of the best opportunities to market a book before it is released is the COVER REVEAL. I 'll begin on a personal note. As an author with a dozen books published or pending publication, the fact that I actually have a book scheduled for release is most evident when I open the email with the  book’s cover for the first time. BANG! It hits home that I’m a published author. It’s SO exciting. Fortunately, I’ve only been disappointed once, and I’m not naming names. I’ll just say that an author friend who is a best-selling M/M author swears that the heroine on the cover is a male model – and named him, no less. To be honest, after a very careful look, she could be right. Unfortunately, she waited until well after the release to mention it. Oh, well. Suck it up and move on.
 
Getting back to covers. One of the first items of business after the book contract is signed is to complete the marketing and cover sheets which, depending on the publisher, may be separate forms or together. Whether writing, working on edits, or basking in the glow of a signed contract, put everything aside to focus on completing the marketing/cover sheets. Readers make their buy/pass decisions based on the cover, logline, and blurb.
 
Before Pinterest, my descriptions for my covers were as graphic as I could make them. I often included direct excerpts from the story describing the characters and important elements – even included links to pics. Since Pinterest, I’ve created boards based on inspirations for my stories that the artist can check out. For example, Conquering Cupid, the first novella in the humorous, Greek mythology-based, erotic series “Cupid’s Back in Business” has its own Pinterest board. The pics for the characters (gorgeous Greek models - such hard work but someone had to do it) and major setting for Conquering Cupid  are included in the Pinterest board HERE. Another book, The Caretaker’s Lady, has its own board HERE, featuring a sexy older hero and the dowd-turned-butterfly older heroine that the artist hit dead-on with the cover which I revealed yesterday on my blog.  
 
After providing the info, I wait with bated breath for the e-mail with the cover attached. The contract determines the author’s level of input into the cover. The artist works with the info the author provides, but also includes the publisher’s standards (colors, font, logo, element placement, photo vs graphic images), and her artistic creativity to make the cover the best that it can be. Most publishers give the author some initial input into cover; others allow authors some feedback into the completed cover; one of my publishers gives the author right of refusal. 
 
After the contract announcement, the cover reveal is the next important opportunity for marketing. The cover reveal on the webpage and at other venues gives the author an a chance to remind the reader that their book is on its way. The cover reveal can include an intro to the book, the cover pic, and the blurb. (I also include the artist’s name and contact info – if I have it, giving credit where it’s due.)
 
Below is a sample cover reveal for Shared Whispers, an anthology by Champagne Book Group authors that was released last year. Shared Whispers is available from Champagne HERE.

http://champagnebooks.com/store/index.php?id_product=27&controller=productCheck out the cover of Shared Whispers, an anthology of fifteen short stories about romance, mystery, adventure, and the paranormal contributed by authors of the Champagne Book Group. The anthology includes contemporary romances by M. W. Davis, Linda Rettstatt, Victoria Roder, Ute Carbone, Jane Toombs and Angelica Hart and Zi; historical romances and westerns by Chris Fenge, Julie Eberhart Painter, and Linda LaRoque; and fantasy/science fiction by Ronald Hore, Jude Johnson Dani Collins, Elizabeth Fountain, and January Bain. Michael Davis was the project coordinator.
 
On my webpage, I would also personalize it with my story. Something like “In my contribution to the anthology, “Nimue’s Daughter,” the past and the future collide when Merlin of King Arthur’s court awakens to seek his true love in a world on the precipice. The Arthurian tale was fun to write and probably my personal favorite of my own stories.”

 

Next month, Character Interviews and a Guest. 












4 comments:

Liz Fountain said...

Always helpful, thank you, Rita!

Rita Bay said...

Thank you, Liz. I'm running out of topics, though.

olgagodim said...

Fascinating! I'm going to follow your example on Pinterest.

Rita Bay said...

Thank you, Olga. I've just gotten into Pinterest, but I'm working on it. Rita