Editor note: Be our guest! Crystal Burton, a fellow editor and one of my admins in the Authors’ Tale community, worked on a book cover reveal event with an author, and they did a great job! After seeing how she taught that author so much about a book reveal, I realized how helpful that information could be. Crystal is opening up our book event series, which will continue for a while, but all posts can be found in the “Book Events and Sales” category here! You might see some more guests in the future, too. Anyway, Crystal will take it from here!
Throughout this book marketing series, I will have a few guest posts from authors and editors who have shown true promise in the topics they write about. My hope is that by bringing in guests with experience and knowledge, you’ll get an in-depth walkthrough of what to do and why, and the details will allow you to be effective in your journey as you market and sell your book.
One of the biggest tips I hear in the indie author community is that you should promote your book and drum up interest before your book’s release. This is very important when it comes to reaching and staying on the bestseller lists and keeping afloat among the throngs of other authors. Many indie authors utilize the overwhelming popularity of Facebook to reach most of their potential readers, and it’s common to see authors hosting virtual book launch events to celebrate their release dates.
However, you should be gathering your following before your release, not during it, so what better way than a fun preview of your book with an enticing option to preorder?
Why a book cover release?
The point of the event is to get people interested in your book by doing a surprise showing of your cover, so if you’ve already posted your book’s cover around social media, a cover reveal event would be pointless for you. But this is definitely something to consider for your next release!
This event typically takes place at least a month before your planned release and sets up your book for success. You can start this event as early as you like, but I suggest you already have enough of your book together to have preorders available during the reveal, and of course make sure you have a cover ready since that’s the whole point. Start advertising for your cover reveal at least a week or two beforehand so you have time to spread the word.
Need help with a cover? See what Authors’ Tale’s library has, or contact one of the featured designers for a custom-cover consultation!
Starting the Event
The cover reveal event itself will go through Facebook. Since it’s a virtual event, anyone in the world can attend as long as they have a Facebook account and access to the internet. Let’s walk through the steps of creating the event.
- If you have a Facebook author fan page, you’ll want to use that to host your event to help draw new readers to follow you. On the web version of Facebook, right below the “new post” text box, you’ll see a button that says “Create an event.” Click that to get started. In the Page Manager app on mobile, it’ll be right at the top.
- If you don’t have an author fan page, that’s fine too. On the web version of Facebook, click the “Events” button on the left-side bar of your Facebook Home menu, then select “Create event.” On the Facebook mobile app, select the menu button on the far right (the three horizontal lines) and click “Events.” Be sure to set it to Public so anyone and everyone can attend.
- You want the event photo to be mysterious and intriguing; most importantly, you want your book’s cover hidden. Check out the style of the cover reveal ads featured on the Authors’ Tale website for an idea of what you’ll want.
- Make sure the event name is short and simple. If the name is too long, it will get cut off on mobile devices. I’d suggest: [Book Name] Cover Reveal
- You don’t have to set the location, but if you’d like, you can set it to something like “the internet” or “Facebook” or “from the comforts of your home.” Anything that lets people know they don’t have to be physically present.
- Frequency should just be “occurs once.” (This option only shows when you create the event from your fan page.)
- A cover reveal only needs to be 2-3 hours long. It’s just for you and your book, without involving any other guest hosts or anything, so you want it short enough to keep their attention. Keep in mind that most people have jobs during the week, so be sure to set the reveal for a day and time that you think people will be able to attend.
- Your category is Literature (it is a book, after all).
- The description doesn’t have to be too fancy (or long). Let people know they can join you as you reveal the shiny new cover for your upcoming release, and that they’ll have a lot of fun. Be sure to mention the genre, age range, and whether preorders will be available. If you’d like, you can also put the back-of-the-book blurb here.
- Use any keywords you think apply. The most common here is Book.
- You have two checkbox options: Free Admission and Kid Friendly. Select Kid Friendly if your book is PG-13 or below so parents know they can safely let their children participate in the reveal. Especially if you’re revealing a children’s book. As for the admission, you can check the box for free admission and leave the Ticket URL box blank. Doing it this way ensures that potential guests can easily see your event is free to attend.
- It might occur to you to use your preorder URL in the Ticket URL box. The reason I suggest against this is because that will put your preorder link on the preview for the event for everyone to see, and if anyone clicks it, they will see your cover on Amazon. We don’t want them to see the cover yet, which is why we don’t put the preorder link there. Wait until you have your actual book launch, then you can put the preorder link in the Ticket URL box. But not for the cover reveal. Because of this, you might want to consider whether you want to input that preorders are availab
- The remaining three options are up to you: who can edit your event, who can post in your event, and whether or not the guest list is visible. For a cover reveal, I usually leave these at their defaults.
Spreading the Word
Congratulations! You’ve just set up a cover reveal event. The next step is to invite everyone you know (and everyone you don’t). If you go to your event, right at the top below the cover photo, there is a share button. It gives you three options.
Select Invite Friends then hit the Invite button for each person you’d like to send an invitation to, and they will get a notification that you have invited them to your event. Select Share in Messenger to send an invitation via direct message to a friend using Facebook chat. Select Share in News Feed to share the event across your feed for all your friends to see.
Add to your author page
If you have a Facebook author fan page, you can select the three dots next to that share button and click Add to Page. This will let you add the event directly to your page’s event list for all your followers to see.
Post a link to your event into any Facebook groups that allow it. Be sure you are aware of your groups’ posting rules and limits for self-promotion. Some groups have specific days of the week that they allow self-promo posts and some don’t allow it at all. It’s natural to be excited about your reveal, but we should still be respectful of group rules.
Share your event link to your other social media accounts, such as Twitter, Instagram, your blog, etc. Make sure you ask your support system to share it, too. That means friends, family, and fans.
Tell everyone you invited
When you invite people, ask them to invite people, too! Some authors like to offer incentives like free e-books, merchandise, a gift card, etc. You don’t have to do this, but incentives never hurt. Either way, tell people to invite their friends or family.
Take a break
If you planned this ahead of time, take a day off to relax and recognize what’s happening. You’re about to reveal your book cover! Things are coming together, but next week, we’ll talk about preparing for the event before it begins, and what to do when that day finally comes.
To read more about the day of event and setting up before it starts, read my second post!