For my newest book (Wait for the Rain, which came out in February), my publisher and I were torn between several cover options, so my editor suggested we narrow it down to two and then put it out to my fans to vote. Needless to say, I was thrilled by this idea, and my fans loved it too! I asked them to weigh in by a certain date via my newsletter, my Facebook page, or Twitter, and the response was better than I ever expected.
Wait for the Rain is the story of three college friends who reunite on a tropical island to celebrate a milestone birthday, with the main character reeling from a recent divorce and afraid to face the future alone. Here were the options we presented to my fans:
I highly suggest you do something similar (might be fun to ask them for help choosing a title as well.) Not only will it generate interest in your book, it will give you a chance to personally engage with your readers.
One of the most common questions I get from first-time authors is “what should I put into a newsletter/Twitter feed/Facebook page/etc.?” This is a wonderful example, and it’s so easy to do! For my cover campaign we offered an incentive to vote: a signed copy, whose winner would be chosen at random. I posted the news on LinkedIn too, which led to a new crop of voters who hadn’t read any of my books – but now maybe they will because they were invested in the process. The same happened with Twitter. People retweeted my tweet about the contest, which led to more votes from potential readers.
I have no way of knowing if any of these people will actually buy a copy of Wait for the Rain, but it sure doesn’t hurt that they know about it. That’s the thing with book marketing: You never know for sure if something’s going to sell books, but it’s worth trying almost anything once.
If any of you reading this post follow my lead, please let me know. I’d love to hear how it goes!
This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2015 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved