How to Use Your Book Cover to Build Your Pre-Release Campaign

Do you feel stressed out the moment you hear the words “book pre-release campaign?” Are you wondering when to start and what to prepare? Well, you are not alone.

Today we'll show you how to build a strong book pre-release campaign.

The best part?

Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to create a killer campaign using just your book cover. We’ll teach you how to turn it into a powerful book marketing tool and significantly improve your sales.

In this article, you will learn:

  • Everything you need to know about the book pre-release campaign
  • How to use your book cover to generate all the buzz needed
  • How to conduct a successful book reveal
  • How to surprise your readers with a book teaser
  • How to build an online presence with your book cover as the central visual aid
  • How to run the pre-order links campaign
  • What to include in your book pre-release newsletter

So let’s get started.

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Everything You Need to Know About the Pre-Release Campaign

There are hundreds and thousands of marketing tactics and ideas out there. However, we’d all agree the words “pre-release campaign” ring a bell. Every successful company runs one of these campaigns when they launch a new product. So why should your book be any different?

Take J.K. Rowling, for instance. How far in advance did we get to know when a new “Harry Potter” book was coming out?

They created a huge pre-release hype. As a result, on the day the stores began selling the book, there was an enormously long queue. Potential customers raved about the product. Do you know why that is? The answer is simple: fear of missing out (FOMO). It’s an impressive psychological force. It makes people think if they do not get this product, they might miss out on the opportunity.

Around 69% of millennials experience the phenomenon, and 60% make reactive purchases because of FOMO.

There are a few ways to generate FOMO. The wonderful idea is to introduce limitations. For example, a limited amount of books available for this price or a clear deadline. You can also highlight some exclusive features about your book and keep spreading the word around.

A pre-release campaign has many benefits:

  • You start gathering some feedback and might gather ideas on what needs to be improved
  • You test how interested your target audience is in your book
  • You prepare a solid foundation for the actual release

You might be getting more and more excited by now. So the big question is: when should you start your pre-release campaign? A good option would be to begin 6 months before the book launch.

Also, what materials should you prepare? Spoiler alert: use your book cover!

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Use Your Book Cover for Teasers

A great way to approach your book pre-release is to create book cover teasers.

If you browse through social media, you’ll come across some of them. There are two solid ways to create killer book cover teasers:

book cover teaser

The first method is to share some graphic elements from the book cover. Just raw images, a part of the image, a protagonist silhouette, whatever evokes something about your story. Your main goal is to grab the readers’ attention. Toss in some text, initiate a discussion and, voilà.

Here's another example to inspire you:

book cover teaser example

The second way to approach book cover teasers is to, if the cover is not ready yet, share the color palette that you've selected for the design. It can serve as a background for a quote from your book. Build tension around it. The readers should feel that something truly incredible is coming their way.

You can see this idea in action below:

color palette reveal

And here's an even simpler example:

pre cover reveal

Needless to say, you should have a few different book cover teaser layouts. Reveal something new every week.

Here are some other ideas regarding the book cover teasers as part of your pre-release campaign:

  • Mention your author brand
  • Invite people to like and share your posts. There’s a popular trend going on recently. “If I get 100 likes, I’ll reveal the rest.” That’s exactly what you are looking for!
  • Make sure you don’t reveal too much or too little
  • The written content should match the visual materials well
  • Keep the readers engaged, initiate discussions, ask them to share their opinions and expectations; ask provocative questions
  • Use your imagination and have fun!
  • Incorporate a custom ISBN bar code into your back cover.

Use Your Book Cover for a Cover Reveal

After you’re done warming-up your readers with book cover teasers, consider doing a book cover reveal.

Now, depending on where you stand as a self-published author, you can adjust how you do the book cover reveal. Host an online event, combine the reveal with a Q&A session, or make it through a series of scheduled posts.

The main aim is to spread the word around. Don’t forget, no matter what they say, we all judge a book by its cover. Better yet, we judge the cover by the graphic design and images. So you definitely want to give your potential readers a glimpse of what they will be dealing with. A picture is better than a thousand words, remember?

full book cover reveal

You can also connect with an influencer or a blogger to help you gather even more attention around your book cover reveal.

There’s another excellent marketing tool you can use for book cover reveals these days: a book trailer. That’s correct. A trailer isn't just for movies. Having a book trailer falls into the category of unique creative features. Thus you can reach a broader target audience.

Now that we've talked about what to do, let's talk about where to do it.

Use the Book Cover on Social Media

There’s no point to keep going on and on about the importance of social media for indie authors.

But what you certainly should understand is that every social media platform is different. And you need to think ahead about the type of content you share when it comes to a book's pre-launch. Most social media users appreciate instant visual content.

For example, on Instagram, photos in the newsfeed get 36% more engagement than videos.

The same rule applies to Facebook. Posts with pictures see more engagement than plain text.

Twitter, on the other hand, likes short catchy lines. So brainstorm a bit to master your book pre-release campaign with the best choice of words possible.

Pinterest is all about images, GIFs, and videos, neatly organized in a pinboard.

No matter what social media channels you use, you need to mention your pre-release campaign everywhere you have fans. And by everywhere we mean your banners, profile pictures, stories, pinned posts, series of posts, etc.

Last but not least, just out of curiosity, you can check out the #bookstagram hashtag on Instagram. It’s a new trend to share beautiful book covers and put new emphasis on their aesthetics. It’s showtime; take great artistic pictures with your book cover using different props. Make it “instagrammable” and you will nail your book pre-release campaign.

Where else can we share our book cover? How about the newsletter?

Use the Book Cover in the Newsletter

Newsletters are a great way to reach your readers because they offer direct communication and fewer restrictions than social media. Plan a few newsletter reminders about your book launch (don’t overdo it) and include the book cover as a leading visual aid. You can do it in the pre-release stage, as well as during the book launch campaign. There are many templates for designing a fabulous newsletter, so why don’t you use your book cover as part of its design?

Another thing to keep in mind is the writing style in the newsletter.

  • You should seem professional and include only interesting and relevant information.
  • Don’t make the newsletters too self-promotional. You are entering the private inbox of your potential reader, so be sure to respect that.
  • The same rule applies to frequency. Don’t overwhelm your subscribers.
author newsletter

Finally, let’s talk about the financial side and get into pre-order links.

Use the Book Cover to Sell the Book

Book covers aren't just good for pre-release campaigns. Once you're book is actually available, continue to use images of your book cover in your marketing material. Doing so is a great way to grab people's attention, hook their interest, and clearly communicate what you're offering.

launching book

Wrapping up

I hope we've managed to inspire you to start working on your book pre-release campaign and strategies! Don’t be shy, create a huge buzz around your book in the pre-release stage, and hook even more readers.

About the Author

Anastasiya is a Content Writer at MiblArt — a book cover design company for self-published authors. There are so many stories in this world worth telling. Let us make sure yours gets the attention it deserves.

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2 thoughts on “How to Use Your Book Cover to Build Your Pre-Release Campaign

  1. Cat Michaels

    Love your tip about using cover teasers before revealing the entire cover at once. Timely strategy —-I am 5 months from launching a children’s book for tweens.

    1. Dave Chesson


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