The cover reveal is a favorite piece of the marketing campaign for many authors, but there are many moving parts involved to make it a success. You’ll work closely with your marketing team on the reveal, so be sure to maintain regular communication with them to figure out what’s possible. Every author’s social media following is different, and your team will be a great resource in determining what assets and avenues make the most sense for your reveal.
If you’re a regular social media user, you probably know that timing is everything! Check in with your marketing team about the optimal time frame for sharing your cover with the world. They’ll know best about when to start getting the word out so your book has the best possible ramp to its on-sale date.
Make sure to think about what days and times during the week your audience is most engaged. Do you see more engagement on weekdays or weekends? Does your content get a wider reach when you post in the morning, during lunchtime, or in the late afternoon? Social media algorithms make it hard to predict who will see your content and when, but if you’ve noticed reliable days and times for your posts to gain visibility, this can only help.
Finally, given the fast-paced nature of social media and the news cycle, it never hurts to be ready to pivot if a big story or event is occupying people’s minds and feeds. Keep a finger on the pulse of what’s going on in your community and think through whether it makes sense to hold off for a day or two—your audience will be just as excited if your reveal goes live a little later than expected.
Do an audit of your socials and see what kind of content your followers respond to best. Do they like static graphics? Photos of you? Reels or other video content? Figuring this out can help determine what you post to announce your book.
Your marketing team will be a great resource in helping you visualize your reveal. They can help you create graphics that feature the cover and on-sale date. In some cases, they may be able to send you a book dummy (a mocked-up version of your book, with the cover papered over another book with a similar trim size). You can then take photos of yourself with the dummy, if you prefer to be in the shot yourself, or film a video for Reels or TikTok in which you reveal the book.
If you do enlist your marketer’s help with graphics, be sure to communicate with them about the social platform(s) you anticipate using for promotion—each one has different sizing guidelines for graphics, and marketing can either help design those for you or give you the dimensions to design them yourself. If you prefer to create graphics on your own, Canva is a popular, user-friendly tool that’s free to use and also has a Pro version with upgraded features.
Remember that the reveal is not just about the visuals—what you write in your caption is equally important. This is the first time your audience will be seeing the cover and hearing you talk about it, so it’s a perfect time to share your excitement about the book and cover. You might tag the cover designer, your editor, or other members of your publishing team, if they’re on social media, so they can get recognition for their beautiful work. Your caption can even tease upcoming content that will give folks a glimpse into the book.
When it comes to captions, it always helps to make them as accessible as possible for all readers. Consider adding alt text to your post or including a visual description of the photo you post. For more on accommodating accessibility on your social channels, check out this recent piece from our newsletter.
Before posting the reveal, you’ll want to be ready with a link in your bio where folks can preorder and learn more. If you have a website, you might link to that and create a book page with all the retailer sites in one place. You can also link directly to your book on PenguinRandomHouse.com.
One of our favorite methods of setting up a link in your bio is with Linktree, a free service that houses multiple links via one. This way, your Linktree can include URLs for preordering, as well as links to your website, socials, and any other web pages where you want to point readers.
Sharing and Engaging
Your community will be just as excited as you and want to help spread the word about your reveal. Make sure when you set the date and time for the reveal that you’ll be available to watch for people’s reactions and engage with them.
If people share your post in their Instagram stories and tag you, reshare in your own stories with kind words and/or message them to thank them for the support. Utilize retweeting, resharing, and commenting to engage with folks and give them a shoutout for helping to spread the word.
Cover reveals are the start of your book promotion on socials, but they shouldn’t be the end! Talk to your marketing team about what other assets make sense for you to post in the months leading up to your on-sale date.
You might think about creating designed quote cards with shareable inspirational quotes from the book. If you’ve gotten others to blurb your book, you may consider featuring those blurbs on designed cards as well. Post photos of your book posed in different locations, take videos of yourself reading passages, set up Q&As that ask readers what they’re most excited about. The possibilities are endless!
Neda Dallal is Marketing Manager at Avery Books and TarcherPerigee.