That’s right! Blade of Dragons, the first book of the Ethereal Seals series, will have its cover debut on December 21st; about two weeks from now. Above is the second teaser of Pepper Slyhart, the main protagonist of the story.
I had a great experience working with the cover artist, Cherifox, on Fiverr—and she didn’t disappoint. The budget was rather steep, but I figured I’d roll high. After all, people do judge a book by its cover. In today’s crowded market, I’d need any advantage I could get.
The cover art process also had me rethinking certain conceptual designs of Pepper. It gave me a better idea of what I wanted her to look like—what technology, like her vir’gol, was to resemble.
Delving into the Promotional Campaign
I’m excited to get the promotional campaigns started, though I’m still daunted by it. I’ll be—hopefully—attending a book release on the 9th. This will provide ideas and examples of how to release my own book.
I’ve already a couple ideas for the release ramp-up:
- Cover reveal hype, as you see here
- Social media ads, paid promotions to gather impressions, clicks, and mailing list subscribers
- A live co-author release party on Instagram, Zoom, at a library, or elsewhere
- Free giveaways at the release parties: unreleased poetry, deleted scenes, sketches signed by yours truly
- Q&A sessions for Ethereal Seals fans about the story
Social Media Promotions
I’ve created my first paid promotion on social media for the cover reveal—nothing too pricey, just enough to test the waters. I selected those interested in writing, fantasy works, and similar genres using Instagram’s promo ad engine. I had to upgrade my Instagram account to a professional account first. There are dozens of video tutorials on this process, so I won’t delve into it here.
At only $20 a month, it started on December 1st. I’ve reached more than 2,000 people, with a 90 ad recall lift as of this writing (December 6th). Ad recall is the likelihood of your audience remembering your promotion.
In this case, I had a 90/2000 *100= 4.5% recall rate. Out of 2000 people, the algorithm predicts around 90 were impressed/would remember the ad. That’s one in twenty readers.
Not too great, but it’s nothing surprising considering the low budget on a brand breaking into the market. As my brand gains traction, the ad recall percentage will increase. Plus, the ad has two more weeks to live, so more ad lifts are assured.
The majority of my audience were men in the 18 to 24 range. A good hit, as this was the demographic I wanted to hit the hardest. Curiously, the majority of the hits were on Facebook, with Instagram trailing.
Apparently young men on Facebook like looking at pretty fantasy redheads.
That said, I’ll continue to refine my audience targeting once I review the results in late December. My goal is to reach a bigger slice of the 25 to 34 age bracket, with some women demographics included. Once the cover reveal hits on the 21st, I’ll begin another promo, likely in the $20 to $40 range.
Seeking an Editor
I’ll be seeking a professional editor sometime between January and February while promoting my cover. This will involve a lot more funding and time as
my manuscript is torn to pieces I revise the story. The book should be in good shape come this summer.
Then I enter into the next phase: prepping for my book release, creating author accounts, and so forth. This will involve more aggressive promotions and outreach campaigns.
The Ethereal Seals Fantasy Club
I changed my mailing list classification to a Fantasy Club. Has a better ring to it, and should be savvy for fantasy nerds out there. Most authors I follow, especially indie ones, have their own club. MailChimp has been wonderful so far, and my audience is at around340. I hope to have it near 100 before book release, but it may be a bit short.
Ah well. These things seldom go to plan, aye? Let’s roll the dice and see what happens!
Anyway, thanks for reading! Happy holidays. 🙂
Interested in joining my fantasy book club? Members will receive free poetry, special deals, messages to inspire and empower your life, and short stories. You’ll also get the latest news on projects.
Aspectä rey’lief, fair reader, and thanks for reading!
—Ed R. White