1. Make Use of a Test Audience
So many covers are just laughably bad. At least once a day, I click on a cover reveal and snort. This really should not happen so often. I know making covers is hard, but there are a lot of mistakes that seem really easy to avoid. By showing your cover to an unbiased test audience, you can avoid the obvious errors, removing bad font or inadvertently dirty poses. If your cover is bad, it WILL affect sales. Do not doubt that.
Even large publishers could benefit from this, especially with redesigns. Releasing a cover and then having to redesign before publication because of the poor reception looks unprofessional. Also, based on the outcry against all of the publisher redesigns mid-series, you should get feedback before doing so; make sure the new cover really IS better than the old one.
A lot of the really terrible covers out there would be caught by asking pretty much anyone for feedback. The key is to find someone who will be honest with you, and not lie to spare your feelings. I would recommend not asking a friend, family member, or someone who works with you on designs.
|You do not want this to be the reaction to your cover reveal.|
Authors put a lot of work into a book, and I feel really bad for them when their publishing houses do a terrible job marketing their books, either by giving them an ugly cover or by making unfair comparisons in the book's blurb. In most cases, authors have no say whatsoever into their covers, even though those probably have a huge impact on whether someone buys their book or not. In fact, some covers are so ugly that readers will decide not to purchase the book even if they love it. Publishers, I implore you, please give the author at least a bit of veto power if the cover is truly awful or is a misrepresentation of the content. If the author sees the cover and breaks into tears, please give them another option.
|I presume this is how the author copes.|
The point of a cover is to be seen. A lot of work goes into them and a lot of detail, so why release your cover in a tiny size? What is that accomplishing? Let us revel in the glory of your cover, not hurt our eyes and develop premature wrinkles squinting at our monitors trying to figure out what's happening in the cover.
I get why people use Entertainment Weekly for high profile cover reveals. I really do. However, you might want to think about that.A lot of the larger sites like EW work really hard to keep the cover reveal exclusive, which I get but does not really go along with the spirit of the blogosphere. They often make it so that the image cannot be downloaded or linked to in full size, which is really annoying and will slow promotion of the book.
|USA Today makes it so you can only dl or copy a partial image.|
Also, EW sometimes does things like this:
|Oh look, apparently EW owns this book.|
Just make sure you know the terms of getting your cover revealed on these sites. Never ever let them put their watermark on YOUR cover.
I cannot stress this enough: the point of making a big deal about the cover is to get people interested in your book. Most people do not have photographic memories, so, when they see a cover and blurb they like, they want to add the book to Goodreads or go ahead and preorder. If they can't do that, odds are they will forget about your book, and you DO NOT WANT THEM TO. Before revealing the cover, get your book onto Goodreads and at least one of the book retailers. Also, make sure you have those links easily available in the cover reveal post.
|If you think we'll remember your book.|