Guest Blogger: Sherri Lupton-Hollister

When I first read about the Chairperson of Eastern North Carolina’s oldest writers group, she described herself as shy and using the medium of stories to gain courage. Yet in meetings she has a way of making members feel at ease and a confidence in her place as leader. It reminds me we’re all dealing with our internal struggles. Her bibliography is impressive and I feel lucky to have her guidance on a subject I have no experience in: cover reveals.

Promos/Cover Reveals

By: Sherri Lupton-Hollister

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One of the ways an author might gain interest in an upcoming book is to host a cover reveal party. There are several groups that will help you do this. I use Bed and Books. You can do this on your own with the help of writer and reader friends. Here’s a couple of tips.

First: plan the cover reveal just before launching your book or right before opening up pre-orders. You can use Canva or Bookbrush to help hide the cover eliciting excitement. 

Second: If you’re not using a promo group like Bed and Books, then ask your friends, beta readers, advanced ARC readers, etc. to help you promote the book. Give them a job to do but keep it easy. 

Example: for your ARC, advanced readers have them post their reviews on social media along with graphics you prepare ahead of time. Give them a date or set of dates in which to post. Remember to use hashtags especially on Instagram and Twitter.

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Third: Design graphics with your cover at different degrees of hidden like a stripper teasing the audience. Add blurbs, synopsis, and one-line quotes from your book. You could even do a character reveal. Some authors choose favorite actors to portray their characters and add this to their promo. Use something specific to your story to hide your cover, like books for a librarian heroine or baked goods for one who worked in a bakery. You could use a gift box or even just a bow. How about flames for a firefighter or a simple paper covering?

Fourth: if you have read a book that resonates with your own novel, say “If you loved J D Robb’s In Death series, you’ll enjoy The Leeward Files series.” 

Fifth: Reveal the cover and give the audience a command. Pre-orders are now available, don’t miss your chance to know what happens next in the town of Leeward. Or if your book is out, Go to your favorite eBook retailer and get Red Steel, the final book in The Leeward Files series. 

I hope these ideas helped. Canva and Bookbrush both have a free trial issue. I have been using both for several years. I love Bookbrush for my print book covers and Canva for easy to do ads.

more information about Sherri can be found on her website: https://sherrilhollister.com

The Cover Game

(This post has been delayed due to Covid-19. I’m thrilled to finally be able to share it.)

 

 

I spent a lovely afternoon with my husband at a book store.

 

When we finally found the books there the game began.

 

The Cover Game

What can you tell from a book cover? If you know the book, what makes sense about the cover? If you don’t know the book, what do you guess the story is about?

What clues to genre does the cover give off? Is the book meant to inform or entertain more?

Do only established authors get to put their names on top of the title? Do certain fonts express credibility?

Most interesting to me was the branding of an author. How can you tell it’s from a particular person? Do an author’s books all have something in common? I want to compliment V. E. Schwab on the use of the first letter of her first name in her book covers. It struck me and I’ve since become a reader and fan.

If you’re ever again able to browse in a bookstore, here in Indiana or elsewhere, it is a fun exercise and will give you much to think about.

 

What will my covers have in common?

From now on, I will always make sure my covers convey the visual arrows I want potential readers to have. As far as cohesiveness, they will all be painted by my true love.

Virtue Chasm by Ashley Crookham cover art painting

Have you ever played the cover game? What did you learn?