Monday, 20 January 2014

Blog Tours and Cover Reveals - Are They Still Effective?

I'm planning to release my next Game On book towards the end of February/early March, and already, I'm thinking about promotion. When I released the first book in the series, blog tours were a big deal, and they worked. I had exceptional (well, what I would call exceptional lol) book sales for a year after the book was released, and I can't help thinking that most of it came off the back of a blog tour and a high level of networking.

And I used to love being part of other people's cover reveals and blog tours. And reading about them! I'm not against it now, I'm happy to host anyone when I can but when I see cover reveals on a blog post now, my eyes start to glaze over.

I think it's the sheer amount of them. If it's a blogger I know, I will absolutely take a look, but when it's someone I've never heard of, I tend to skim. Which got me thinking, if someone is showing off my book cover to people who have never heard of me, are they skimming, too?

I realise I slightly risk sounding like a bitch with this confession, because, let's face it, if authors aren't going to support each other, who else will? I'll never stop supporting my fellow authors, but is the cover reveal trend still as good an idea as it once was? If everyone is doing it, how can you make yours stand out amongst the others? Especially when so many people confess to scrolling by these kind of posts?

So... what do you think? Are blog tours and cover reveals still a good idea, or should we be thinking outside the box when it comes to promotion?

30 comments:

  1. It's interesting you write about this today, because I was wondering exactly the same thing. Working at CQ I've seen a decline in blog tours and cover reveals too. As you said, people just don't seem as interested when it's not someone they know, at that's due to overuse at over saturation.

    Review tours still seem popular, as do Facebook release parties. And having custom made swag for those goes a long way.

    Another aspect that's not as popular as it once was is giving away ebooks for free. People have hundreds of free books sitting on their Kindles unread.

    The publishing industry is always evoling, and I think it's time to start searching for the next big marketing angle. :)

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    1. Agreed. I still see a lot of cover reveals, so maybe they do work to a certain degree, but for me, it feels like there are too many,

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  2. I'm actually really glad you've posted this, because I do the same thing too. There's nothing to engage me with the promotion or grab my attention in a lot of them. It's a cover, big deal, aren't we all told not to judge books by them so how will that help me decided if I like it? And many blog tours I've seen aren't very personal anymore - half the page is promotional material like facebook and goodread links.

    I'm not saying no to promotion, but I do think it has to be reworked a bit more. Personally, I find reviews are more likely to get me to buy a book than anything else (unless I know the author). I want to engage with a work to see if I like it. Movie trailers give me an idea about plot and special effect. Similarly, I want to know about the book more than I do the author. I could hate your personal views, but still love your work (case in point, see all the hullabaloo about Ender's Game).

    Not sure if book trailers are the answer, but I will say I've enjoyed blog hops/tours around a theme central to the book, and not it's publish date. Things like "Katie Holmes is a good Christian girl, but when the devil himself shows up in her bedroom asking for help she has to decided to lend a helping hand or avoiding all contact with evil incarnate - both of which her religion says to do. On January 20th, blog about when you had to make a tough moral choice too." That way, I'm engaging with the plot and characters before I've even met them ^_^

    That said, if I knew a programmer friend who could whip a free smartphone game app based of my book, that'd be awesome advertising too.

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    1. I love a bloghop.cover reveal that has to do with a book plot. That's one of the things I always try to do with mine! :D

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  3. I'm doing one more then that's it. Thinking outside the box is necessary and I'm also looking for other ways to promote a release. Fortunately I live in an area where I can do this. Example: lots of Indie bookstores that draw large crowds for book events I can take advantage of.

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    1. You're so lucky! Indie bookstores are incredibly rare where I live. :(

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  4. I do the same thing where cover reveals are concerned. It does feel over saturated at this point, and thinking outside the box will definitely be a must.

    Love Gwen's idea of a free smartphone game app.

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    1. Yes, a smartphone game app is on my list of things to think about!

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  5. I've started to feel the same about cover reveals. There's only a certain number of times you can say 'Great cover' about the same cover without it feeling fake. And it might truly be a really great cover! The problem is, whenever anyone has a new idea that works, everyone copies.

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    1. Yes, it is difficult. I guess the key is to be the first one with a brilliant idea lol!

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  6. I think blog tours are still effective if they are unique, but cover reveals aren't. (I recently asked that question and maybe a third of the people said they liked cover reveals and it did peak their interest in a book.) But just the sheer number of them has diluted the effect.

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    1. I agree, for sure. I think blog tours will always be a good idea, but cover reveals are becoming too much.

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  7. I think cover reveals are still a great idea. Authors like Rachel Morgan mixed it up by giving different groups of promoters different promo pics and quotes to grab reader's attention (I searched for all of them). I admit I've glazed too so it's not just you. Best of luck with your upcoming book Kyra.

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    1. Rachel's idea is brilliant! It's definitely a good idea to mix things up!

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  8. I think they're still good if, as Alex said, they're unique. And it's tough to think of something vastly different than what's out there already. Yet to promote yourself, these things are still needed. Good luck, and I'll be happy to host you whenever you get to planning your tour. :)

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  9. I admit I skim cover reveals, though it doesn't take long to remember a cover, and I DO remember them if it's a book in a genre I'd read.

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    1. That's a good point! I remember covers quite well, too.

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  10. I say yes. As a reader, I love it when new books I'd love to read by both authors already known to me and new ones are revealed by tours/cover reveals. They might be over used but from the 50 or so emails I saw today from various blogs, a quarter were cover reals of which I added more than half to my wishlists and most were books I'f never heard of before today.

    Since I follow so many blogs of a similar nature, I do see many featuring the same book, often on the same day, but it doesn't bother me.

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    1. Cool! It's good to know these things do still work for some people! :D

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  11. I think social media is the way to go. Maybe writers should just do cover reveals over social media.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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  12. Even though I recently had a cover reveal, I do think they are on the way out. The one I did this week is the last one I'm going to do for my books, but I'm still happy revealing covers for others. I think making cover reveals short can be effective. And I do love seeing covers. After all, if I like the cover, then I'll read the description. If I like the description, I'll add it on Goodreads. Goodreads reminds me of the book, so then I'll often download a sample from Amazon. If I like the sample, then I'll buy the book. So it can work. :)

    I think blog tours can work too as long as they mix things up. I've found out about lots of books by blog tours. The good thing about cover reveals and blog tours is exposure. You never know who might pick up your book or keep it in mind by coming across it on a blog they read.

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    1. I definitely think blog tours still have a place - because as you said - they are excellent exposure. :D

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  13. I love this post. I released my novella this week and did post on my own blog, but I'm not doing a huge tour. I think many of us blogging authors travel the same circles and the over-saturation of doing a tour day in and out for a few consecutive weeks is what makes some of us skim. My plan is to visit a smaller group of friend's blogs over the next month or so, now that it's pubbed and ready to go. I'm hoping this keeps it out there generating some interest, yet doesn't have people going cross eyed.

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  14. I'm with you, Kyra. I agree we all need to support each other, but perhaps a little originality might be called for now? If only I could think of something! :)

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  15. I'm all for supporting my fellow authors, but it does become overwhelming seeing multiple cover reveals a day. How to keep up with all these books? I do enjoy seeing covers, especially when the post lists the cover designer, but I do admit to being a skimmer.

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  16. A very interesting conversation and it's about a topic I've been pondering over the last few weeks. I'm wondering what the next big thing will be and I agree, in order for a blog tour to work, they have to offer something original. But that isn't always easy.

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  17. Funny you talk about this now. I just stared writing a blog post about something similar. Maybe I'll post that soon too.

    It was interesting to see everyone's comments. Good post.

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