Book Promotions: Cover Reveal and Pre-Orders

This post is the forty-seventh in a series about writing a novel. You can check out the list of past topics at the end of this post.

As you are preparing to publish your novel, here are two book promotions that you might want to consider. Both of these are done BEFORE you publish your novel to help build excitement for your book release.

Cover Reveal

A cover reveal is exactly what the name implies. It is simply letting readers see the cover of your new book BEFORE the book is published. It is a great way to promote interest in the book and remind your readers (or potential readers for you newbies) that something new is coming.

Great covers spark interest in your work. That is why there are so many posts about creating a professional, eye-catching book cover. The cover is the first thing readers see and often where they decide if your book is worth their time to even read the book description.

With a cover reveal, you are hoping to build anticipation. You want to make the reader curious about the story. And hopefully make them eager to buy it when it comes out or is available for pre-order.

There are many websites that will help you set up a cover reveal by scheduling other bloggers to post your new cover, blurb and bio on their sites. Most promos range from about $40-$60.

Of course, you can do the work yourself by contacting bloggers you know or posting on message boards looking for bloggers to host you. Only you can decide if the price of paying someone else to do it – someone with possibly good connections – is worth it.

Remember, readers have to see your book many times before they buy it. A cover reveal gives you an early start of getting in front of potential readers and creating hype. Even if you don’t have a publication date, you can do a reveal.

Pre-Orders

Amazon, Draft2Digital and Smashwords offer the option of pre-orders.

This means up to three months before your book release, you can already start selling books. Now for established authors, this might be a big advantage. The success for small-scale authors is typically not as good, but this promotion costs you nothing so you might as well give it a try.

Smashwords & Draft2Digital

These companies offers you the pre-order option which means your pre-order will be on their affiliates – Kobo Store, iTunes and Barnes & Noble.

There are several benefits to this. Because you determine the pre-order time period and launch date in advance, you are certain your book will be available on the release date rather than waiting for your book to go up at the respective retailers whenever it filters through their approval process.

This will help you in marketing as you will already have your purchase links available for blogs featuring your new release or to post on your own website.

But one of the biggest benefits is that all pre-orders get credited all at once on your launch date. This can pop your novel into the bestseller list for those respective stores. This of course adds to your exposure to potential readers.

Amazon

Now, Amazon counts any pre-order sales immediately. This will affect your books ranking during the pre-order period and not have as big of an impact on launch day. For this reason, some authors feel it dilutes their sales during launch week and adversely affects chart position during what some consider a crucial period.

Another plus for doing pre-orders is that reviewers can start leaving reviews (although not as verified purchases) before your book is released.

Now remember that if you are doing a pre-order, your book (or a version of your book) must be ready to upload to the respective sites, but you can always upload a different version before launch day. Amazon does not let readers read a preview of the book so if you continue to edit or make changes, no one will know.

Previous topics

#1 – Deciding to write a novel – Writing Myths

#2 – Three areas to develop before starting to write a novel

#3 – Finding a Story Idea and How to Know if it “good enough”

#4 – Developing Characters for your Novel

#5 – Major characters? Minor Characters? Where does everyone fit in?

#6 – Developing the Setting for your Novel

#7 – The importance of developing conflict in your novel plot

#8 – To Outline or not to outline 

#9 – The importance of a story arc

#10 – The importance of tension and pace

#11 – Prologue and opening scenes

#12 – Beginning and ending scenes in a novel

#13 – The importance of dialogue…and a few tips on how to write it

#14 – Using Internal Dialogue in your novel

#15 – More dialogue tips and help with dialogue tags

#16 – Knowing and incorporating back story into your novel

#17 – Hinting at what is to come with foreshadowing

#18 – Tips for writing different scenes in your novel

#19 – Dealing with Writer’s Block

#20 – Killing a Character in your Novel

#21 – Keeping things realistic in your novel

#22 – Establishing Writing Goals and Developing Good Writing Habits

#23 – Using the five senses and passive voice in your novel

#24 – The benefit of research in fiction writing

#25 – Novella or Novel, Trilogy or Series – decisions for writers

#26 – Avoiding Plot and Character Clichés

#27 – Novel Writing – Endings and Epilogues

#28 – Fantasy Novel Writing – World Building, Dragons, Magic and More

#29 – Finishing your First Draft

#30 – Your Second Draft and Beyond

#31 – Picking Stronger Words and Watching out for Homonyms

#32 – Omitting unnecessary words in your novel

#33 – Beta Reader, Proofreaders and Copy Editors

#34 – Knowing your grammar or at least using a grammar checking program

#35 – Using a Revision Outline during your Novel Editing

#36 – Editing Techniques: Taking a Break and Reading Aloud

#37 – Publishing Options for your book

#38 – Self-publishing an ebook decisions

#39 – Picking Your Book Title and Your Pen Name

#40 – Investing in an eye-catching book cover

#41 – Writing an awesome book blurb

#42 – Deciding on Front Matter for your novel

#43 – Deciding on Back Matter for your novel

#44 – Formatting your eBook for publication

#45 – Pricing your e-book

#46 – Selecting Categories and Keywords to improve your Novel’s visibility

6 book promoting tips

A lot of times as authors promote their book through trial and error they find things not to do. Maybe a blog tour doesn’t work out the way they planned or a holiday sale doesn’t bring in the sales they hoped for.

Learning from our mistakes lets us know what we shouldn’t do but doesn’t necessarily say what we SHOULD do. And the problem is what works for one author, may not work for another.

Sometimes it is the small things that you do as an author that have the biggest impact. Here are six book-promoting tips that should help all authors.

1.) Invest in a good cover – Yes, yes. We have all heard this before. But it bears repeating again. A good cover is one that is uncluttered and stands out when at thumbnail size. You have mere seconds to grab a reader’s attention.

Readers will not see this cover first.

HeirAlexandria_ebookcover

What they will see is this cover as a small thumbnail first.

thumbnail

2.) Include your other books and upcoming releases in the back matter – If readers have finished your book, most likely they enjoyed it. So now is the time to tell them about your other books. List series in order and let them know about upcoming releases. But don’t just tell them – provide them with links! And don’t forget to ask your readers to write a review.

3.) If writing a series, consider pricing your first book for 99 cents or free – I have tried many series because the first book was discounted. And you can bet that if I liked that one, I will be willing to purchase the other books in the series at a slightly higher price. And once they start reading your books they may buy other books not in the series.

4.) Include you Buy Link high on your page – When running a promotion, request that the buy link be at the top of the page near the book cover and not at the bottom of the page. You want it easy for readers to buy your books. I have to admit that the way I lay out my Friday Featured Author page, the buy link is always at the very bottom. But people shouldn’t have to scroll through the whole page to find it. So I guess from now on I will put it in BOTH locations so readers never have to hunt to find it.

5.) Promotion of a new release can never start too early – Some authors wait to release date or right before release day to give out details on their books. They may hold off so they don’t spoil anything, or perhaps they want to have something to announce on that day. But your promotion of your book should happen months before. You want to tease readers. You want the clamoring for the book to come out. You can do announcements on title choices or cover reveals. And of course, run excerpts of your book on your blog in advance of its release.

6.) Work to market directly to your readers or potential readers – Instead of hoping someone stumbles onto your blog, consider doing a newsletter to keep readers up to date on your work. And if you do a new release contest, be sure to email the losers too. Not only can you tell them you appreciate them entering but the email can be a gentle reminder that your book is out and available for them to purchase. Anytime you can be proactive and reach out directly to your readers (rather than waiting for them to find you) is a good thing.

Promoting yourself as an author really is just a matter of trying to find out what works for you. I hope these tips will help. If you have any tips that have worked for you, please share them in the comment section. They just may help another author.