Ten Things Authors Can Do with an Animated Book Cover
Make it your pinned tweet on Twitter.
A pinned tweet is a tweet that stays on your Twitter profile right below your bio. It's where authors often post info about a new or old release, and an image of their book's cover. Because a pinned tweet stays put, anyone who visits your Twitter profile to see what you're all about will immediately see your book. Including an animated cover on a pinned tweet makes a great first impression.
Include a link to purchase in the body of the tweet and a very short blurb or other interesting info about the book. Attach an MP4 file of your animated cover to the tweet.
To pin the tweet, you'll have to tweet it first. After tweeting it out for the first time, go to the tweet on your profile and select "pin tweet" from the choices at the bottom of the tweet.
Use your animated cover in place of a still cover any time you tweet about your book on Twitter.
Tweeting about your book from your own Twitter account is free advertising, and if done with careful planning and knowledge of your audience, can impact your exposure and even your sales as much as some types of paid advertising. To make the most of an animated cover on Twitter, follow best Twitter practices.
Tweet out your animated cover sparingly, so followers don't become immune to its effects.
Change up the content of your message often, so it's not the same tweet each time.
Cultivate an audience (follower list) that is likely to be interested in your tweets about your book, rather than just scooping up random people.
To interest followers in your book or attract new followers, try connecting the themes of your book to current events and other topics.
Make your tweets less about selling your book and more about engaging conversation around these related topics.
Enter into others' conversations about these topics if no one is responding to your tweets.
Let your Twitter profile speak for itself. People are likely to check out your profile when you enter a conversation, and if your profile and pinned tweet clearly show you wrote a book with these themes, it's a pretty effective advertisement.
Ask a reviewer to upload the MP4 of your animated book cover when they review your book on Amazon.
Amazon allows reviewers to post videos and images along with their reviews (or they can add one on later after they review). As an author, you can't upload videos like book trailers or animated covers to your actual Amazon sales page, but getting a reviewer to do it is a creative work-around.
You could try asking on Goodreads or in your author newsletters/emails for a reader to upload the animated cover along with a review. Make sure they know where to find it.
Going this route is the only way potential customers who visit your book's sales page on Amazon (and don't end up navigating to other pages) will get to view your animated book cover. The MP4 of your animated cover will be front and central on the image and video gallery above the reviews on the sales page. Seeing your book cover in action just might persuade browsing customers to make a purchase.
The sales page is the place you'll get the most traffic on Amazon, so making the effort to get your animated cover there is a good idea.
Post your animated cover in your author newsletter or email.
Give your newsletter a boost with an eye-catching, animated version of your cover. Most author-to-reader communication still doesn't contain video elements, so a moving, lit-up book cover is bound to get your subscribers' attention. When it's time to publish another book, this is a great way to get subscribers excited about a new release.
Figuring out what to say in the monthly emails or regular newsletters you send people on your author mailing list can be tricky. One idea is to give subscribers a behind-the-scenes look at how you promote your book. Showing them your various marketing efforts gives you something to talk about and may even ellicit brilliant reader suggestions you hadn't thought of. Share your animated book cover with them and how you plan to use it in advertising, and invite readers to post it in different places.
Post the animated book cover on your author website.
To wow your visitors, choose a prime spot on your author website to showcase your animated cover.
You can also make a web banner that looks similar to your book cover, taking elements from the cover and placing them at the top of the web page. These can be animated as well for extra effect.
Post your animated book cover on #bookstagram.
Post your animated cover on your Amazon author page. This is the place on Amazon where authors can freely post video content related to their work, so add your book trailer and/or animated book cover there.
Many authors don't utilize this portion of their space on Amazon, so you'll be ahead of the game if you fill it with good content. Anyone checking out your author page is likely to be impressed by well-made video content and might be persuaded to press the "follow author" button, or even better, give your books another look. Getting potential customers to return to the sales page is, after all, your ultimate goal on Amazon.
Play the animated version of your book cover at a sales booth.
If you are selling at a book fair or conference, you need to decorate your booth so people have something to look at. You can display your animated book cover on a computer screen at your table. Set it to play in a loop. You're likely to have people stopping to look closer.
Play your animated cover while you do an author reading or signing.
To add pizazz to an author event, try playing your animated cover in a loop in the background. If you're presenting at a bookstore that has a TV, large monitor, or projector you can hook a computer up to, you're in business. You could even break the ice with your audience by talking about the cover and the story elements represented on it before you launch into a talk or reading.
Blog about your animated cover.
If you have a blog or articles on your author website, you could make your animated cover the theme of a post. You could share what you are doing with the animated cover and what you think about seeing your cover come to life.
Add your animated cover to a short video.
A video inside a video. You can feature an animated cover inside a video about your book. This could be a book trailer that introduces the story and characters and reveals the book cover at the begining or end. It could also be a simpler video that just includes purchasing information or reviews set to music.