My first sale was in 1998, and it was middle grade series. When it came time for me to first see the covers—they came in the mail. Yes, that’s right. Actually, it was DHL.
I remember jumping up and down and showing my husband and my toddler son. It was a thrilling moment to see an artist’s take on my characters.
I didn’t mail around the covers –- since I only had one copy of each cover in the series. I supposed I could have color copied them but I didn’t think of that.
Fast forward to publishing today. And the importance of the cover reveal.
When an author reveals via her cover on blog and or social media, it’s an exciting moment that helps build momentum and excitement about the forthcoming book.
Last year was the first time I ever did a cover reveal. I posted about my middle grade Pumpkin Spice Secrets on my own blog and then advertised the post via social media. It felt a little weird, since I assumed that you needed to be a big name author in order to generate interest. And the truth is that, while it didn’t generate a social media storm, I did get some nice feedback on Facebook and Twitter and lots of comments on my blog! My publisher, Sky Pony, also diligently retweeted.
Nevertheless, it didn’t feel like a proper cover reveal. I guess because I announced it on my own rather peripatetic blog.
However, next month-–drum roll–I will have what feels like my first, actual cover reveal for my chapter book series about the antics of second grader Ellie May on Tara Lazar’s blog.
Most cover reveals focus on the cover. They can also focus on content. “For Star-Crossed, the cover was a very big deal given the subject for a middle grade,” says Author Barbara Dee, “So I asked my editor to add a paragraph on the cover art and the design concept. For my other books, I’ve pretty much focused exclusively on content.” Dee’s book focused on a same-sex crush in middle school and the excitement generated around the cover reveal was palpable in the blogosphere
Since most authors are not also illustrators (also some of us are), it’s challenging to talk too much about the covers, except to gush, unless we interview the illustrator, the art director or the editor.
I’m definitely planning on doing that for my Ellie May books. However, I decided not to do a formal cover reveal for my forthcoming middle grade, Apple Pie Promises (Sky Pony, October 2018), since the book cover is already up on Amazon and independent bookseller sites. Instead, I made a very short video featuring the cover and posted on Twitter. It was fun and I got a wonderful response to the cover on Twitter. With the video, I didn’t call it a cover reveal. Instead, I used it as a moment to announce the book’s targeted birthday.
So you can truly have a cover reveal sort of moment without formally calling it that.
In fact, Author Beth Ain decided to indeed call her Nerdy Book Club post for The Cure for Cold Feet a content reveal. “I tried to turn the cover reveal on its head by calling attention to what’s inside the book and why that matters right now,” she said. “As far as I know a content reveal is not yet a thing, but I’m hoping it shall be!”
Hillary Homzie is the author of the forthcoming Ellie May chapter book series (Charlesbridge Fall 2018), as well as the forthcoming Apple Pie Promises (Sky Pony/Swirl, October 2018), Pumpkin Spice Secrets (Sky Pony/Swirl, October 2017), Queen of Likes (Simon & Schuster MIX 2016), The Hot List (Simon & Schuster MIX 2011) and Things Are Gonna Be Ugly (Simon & Schuster, 2009) as well as the Alien Clones From Outer Space (Simon & Schuster Aladdin 2002) chapter book series. She can be found at hillaryhomzie.com and on her Facebook page.