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3 Tips for a Great Cover Reveal

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We wouldn’t need the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” if people weren’t always doing exactly that. The cover of your book is important! It makes a huge difference to how the book is perceived at every stage of the process, regardless of how your book is published or distributed. And making the most of the cover reveal is something any writer can do.

Fresh off my own cover reveal (about which more later), I thought I’d share a few tips that you can use as guidelines while you’re planning and executing on sharing that powerful first look at the cover of your upcoming book.

Here are three things you’ll want to do:

Plan ahead. When the final cover of your book hits your inbox, it’s tempting to just splash it all over social media immediately! But once it’s out there, it’s out there. Take the time to figure out how and when you want to reveal it and who should be involved. If you have a publisher, they might already have a plan; talk to them and to your agent. We’d all love to have our covers revealed on EW.com, with a built-in audience of millions, but those opportunities are few and far between. Your publisher might tell you to go ahead and let the cover loose on social media, or they might snag a slot with a site like Book Riot or Tor.com. Whatever happens, you’ll want to…

Coordinate. Now this is where the road starts to fork. Coordination will look very different if you’re a debut historical novelist with a cover reveal at a third-party outlet, an experienced self-published romance author pointing traffic to your own website, or a traditionally published author whose imprint is particularly good at coordinating social media promotion among its authors in the same genre. When the cover reveal for my upcoming epic fantasy novel Scorpica went live recently at Tor.com, I was thrilled to have the third-party reveal to get my cover in front of tons of readers of my new genre! But to supplement that, I came up with a couple of easy Canva graphics and emailed them to friends asking them (very nicely) to amplify the reveal on their social media. In some cases, asking your author friends to post on social is the entirety of the reveal, in which case you give them the full cover and ask them to post on a certain day. You can also do this with book bloggers or Bookstagrammers; the important thing is to coordinate it ahead of time, make sure everyone understands the timing, and also…

Aim that energy. Whichever option for the reveal you’ve chosen, showing off the cover is just the beginning, right? Any cover reveal can make potential readers say “Ooh, that’s pretty.” But the best ones take that excitement and energy and turn it into action. Can you attach a pre-order link to the reveal? Drop a link to Goodreads so people can easily mark your book as “to-read”? Maybe link the reveal with a giveaway of an early ARC? This can affect your timing, too – if bookstores don’t have your book in their database for pre-orders yet, you may want to hold off on the reveal until they do. Think about your goals and let those shape your decision-making.

Q: Any tips or tricks from your own cover reveal experiences you’d like to share?


About Greer Macallister

Raised in the Midwest, Greer Macallister earned her MFA in creative writing from American University. Her debut novel THE MAGICIAN'S LIE was a USA Today bestseller, an Indie Next pick, and a Target Book Club selection. Her novels GIRL IN DISGUISE (“a rip-roaring, fast-paced treat to read” - Booklist) and WOMAN 99 (“a nail biter that makes you want to stand up and cheer” - Kate Quinn) were inspired by pioneering 19th-century private detective Kate Warne and fearless journalist Nellie Bly, respectively. Her new book, THE ARCTIC FURY, was named an Indie Next and Library Reads pick, an Amazon Best Book of the Month, and a spotlighted new release at PopSugar, Libro.fm, and Goodreads. A regular contributor to Writer Unboxed and the Chicago Review of Books, she lives with her family in Washington, DC. www.greermacallister.com


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