What is a Cover Reveal? How Many Times Do Readers Need to See Your Book Before They Buy?

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More and more writers are self-publishing their novels and learning how important marketing is to the success of their book sales. Unfortunately, even some of the most gifted prose-addicts aren’t selling enough books.

How does an author stand out in the crowd?

When I taught a writing class for fifth-graders a few weeks ago I asked them this question:

. If Morgan stood on the desk over there, on that side of the classroom, and shouted, who would you pay attention to–me or her?

They all laughed and said Morgan would get all their attention. Understandably.

That’s how it needs to be for authors. We need to stand on a desk and shout for readers to notice us. But how? How do we let them know our books exist or how wonderful the stories are? Especially since mom and dad taught us to be humble?

Authors can’t think of marketing their brands as being boastful, but I understand how difficult it is to see the difference.  (If you struggle with self-promo read my post about overcoming the “selfie” mindset HERE.)

One way for readers to learn about your book is to blast a COVER REVEAL. This is done in the “PRE-LAUNCH” stage of publication, sometimes months before the book is released.

What should a cover reveal do for an author?

  1. Give readers a visual of your book and your author name
  2. Create visibility
  3. Create curiosity about the story
  4. It’s proven that readers need to see your book many times before they buy it. Below is a quote from Wikipedia‘s Thomas Smith about EFFECTIVE FREQUENCY:

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith wrote a guide called Successful Advertising in 1885. The saying he used is still being used today.

The first time people look at any given ad, they don’t even see it.
The second time, they don’t notice it.
The third time, they are aware that it is there.
The fourth time, they have a fleeting sense that they’ve seen it somewhere before.
The fifth time, they actually read the ad.
The sixth time they thumb their nose at it.
The seventh time, they start to get a little irritated with it.
The eighth time, they start to think, “Here’s that confounded ad again.”
The ninth time, they start to wonder if they’re missing out on something.
The tenth time, they ask their friends and neighbors if they’ve tried it.
The eleventh time, they wonder how the company is paying for all these ads.
The twelfth time, they start to think that it must be a good product.
The thirteenth time, they start to feel the product has value.
The fourteenth time, they start to remember wanting a product exactly like this for a long time.
The fifteenth time, they start to yearn for it because they can’t afford to buy it.
The sixteenth time, they accept the fact that they will buy it sometime in the future.
The seventeenth time, they make a note to buy the product.
The eighteenth time, they curse their poverty for not allowing them to buy this terrific product.
The nineteenth time, they count their money very carefully.
The twentieth time prospects see the ad, they buy what is offering.

So, as you can see, it takes readers a long time to decide to buy your book. The more times they see your cover the better, so COVER REVEALS allow you to start early.  (Make sure your cover is professional and is branded to you. To read how to design and brand your cover click HERE.)

The cover reveal gives you an opportunity to share your book with the public, to give them the first glimpse and help create hype for your book.

Below is Annamaria Bazzi’s cover reveal for her novel, Incantation Paradox. The blurb gives us the premise and hopefully makes us want more, entices us to buy the book when it’s released.

Even though Annamaria doesn’t announce when the publication date is, we still know that it’s coming soon, and we’ve seen her cover and her name (brand) one more time. Hopefully it won’t take readers 19 more times to see it before they buy it.

Book: Incantation Paradox

Author: annamaria bazzi

Cover Designer: Natasha Brown

Release Date: Undetermined



A car accident cuts Dolores Reynard’s life short, leaving her with a long list of unfulfilled dreams. When she awakens in a strange bed, inside a much younger body, and living with a new family—she can’t worry she might be going insane. How can she be a teenager again?

Jason Richmond understands the danger awaiting his new houseguest. Wanting to ease her concerns, he works to earn Dolores’ trust. But attraction flares in the most unexpected way, and he finds himself caught between setting the situation right and following his heart.

An enduring evil threatens not only the blossoming love but their lives as well. As Dolores and Jason struggle to unravel the truth behind her resurrection, they find themselves tangled in a web of murder, intrigue and magic. Only together can they hope to overcome the incantation paradox holding them captive.


IncantationParadox-FacebookHello, my name is Dolores and I’m a forty-something mother of two high school girls, Ella and Chloe. On my way to their recital, I was in a car accident that changed my life forever. We all desire to be young again, but never in someone else’s body.

If you think magic doesn’t exist, think again. There truly are people in the world who can wield magic, and I’m not talking the illusion kind we see on stage, I’m talking real magic, the magic you read in books with wizards and sorceresses. You don’t have to take my word, read my story and find out for yourself the ordeal I had to go through to find my way back home.

Author Bio:

Although born in the United States, annamaria bazzi spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca. Italian was the language spoken at home. Therefore, she had no problems when she found herself growing up in a strange country. Upon returning to the states, she promised herself she would speak without an accent. She attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor in Spanish.

Annamaria spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years, she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing.

You can visit annamaria at:

BlogwebsiteFacebook pagetwitterAmazonemail

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  1. michelle, thank you so much for helping me spread the work about my up coming novel. the article you’ve written it’s home. it is very difficult and most time consuming, marketing a book.

  2. Great post. I think marketing is the hardest thing about writing a book! Enjoyed reading about Annamaria.

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