For my On Writing posts for the rest of the year (possibly beyond!), I've decided to do an "All About" series. All about...what? I'm glad you asked! :) As I've become more involved in the writing world, I've noticed that authors have a lot of catchwords and phrases they use frequently without explanation. It's not a problem when they're addressing fellow authors or readers who have become super-fans, but for most readers and even newer writers they're not familiar concepts. So these posts are for anyone who's seen authors issue invitations to participate in a cover reveal, Facebook party, or street team, but didn't quite know what they meant. Anyone who would possibly be interested in signing up for a newsletter or ARC if they had a better sense of what was involved. I hope these posts can bring clarity to these amorphous ideas, both from an interest / information standpoint but also to encourage you to get more involved with your favorite authors - since you'll finally know what on earth they're talking about :)
First up: Cover Reveals! Cover reveals have become very popular, especially among authors who self-publish or work with smaller publishers, because they're a great way to generate interest in an upcoming book. A cover gives potential readers something to latch onto and can disclose so much more about the genre, story, and / or characters than a simple title. To maximize the excitement around a cover reveal, an author usually schedules it for a certain day and tries to build anticipation in the days or weeks leading up to the event. Many authors also want to get others involved in spreading the word.
...Which leads to my reason for posting on cover reveals. While the concept is easy to understand, I'd wager a lot of people still scroll past links to cover reveal sign up forms because they don't understand what's involved or whether they could really be of any help. So I'll speak a bit about my own experience with cover reveals, though every author or publisher will likely approach it a little differently.
Sign up forms for cover reveals are pretty straightforward. Mostly they just need your name and e-mail address; some will also ask you to check boxes for which social media platforms you plan to share the cover on (don't worry, I've never been scolded for failing to share on a certain social media site if I forgot which ones I checked!) and possibly request that you agree not to share the cover before the official reveal. Once you're signed up, a day or two before the reveal date you'll receive an e-mail with the cover, back-cover blurb, and likely some additional information about the author and book (this collection of info is sometimes referred to as a media kit). Then on the day of the official cover reveal, you share the cover and any other information that makes sense based on the social media platform you're working with. So, for example, if you have a blog, you could share everything they included in the media kit, but on Twitter you'd only have space for a quick line about the book or the cover.
And that's it! It's really that simple :)
So who should sign up for cover reveals? Only people with a successful blog and thousands of Facebook friends? While such credentials certainly don't hurt, they're definitely not necessary. Blogs are great, but a cover is easy to share anywhere no matter how much space you have to post. If you have friends / followers that don't overlap with the author's and some of them may be readers of that genre, then you could be helping that author reach a new audience, even if it's not a giant one. And even if you didn't sign up for the cover reveal but you see others posting the cover on the reveal date, feel free to pass it along! Cover reveals are definitely a the-more-the-merrier kind of event :)
Of course there's no pressure if this is something completely out of your comfort zone, but it does mean a lot to authors (especially smaller-scale authors) to have friends and fans share their excitement about a fabulous new cover and an upcoming book. Plus you get to see the cover ahead of time and feel like you're part of the author's in-crowd :)
Have you ever participated in a cover reveal? How do / would you like to get involved with your favorite authors? What topics would you like to see me cover in future All About posts?
Thanks for reading!
P.S. In case you missed it, our own Jill had her cover reveal for her upcoming new release, Spark, back in March. Isn't it gorgeous??