Six Reasons Authors Need an Animated Book Cover
1. An animated book cover can help you stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Your cover is a work of art that's designed to pull people in. Hopefully, it's good enough at its job that it stands out on a physical (or virtual) book shelf. On social media, however, your cover has a more daunting task: catch the attention of rapidly scrolling platform users who aren't necessarily there to pick up a new good read.
Advertisements and social media posts with video have been proven to be more effective than those with static images. If you scroll through social media posts, the ones your eye will gravitate to are the ones with moving graphics. That's why incorporating some type of video element in your promotions is a must in today's crowded marketplace.
Social media is crawling with authors promoting their work. But potential readers can still notice you if you learn how to use social media effectively and give viewers content that grabs their attention.
The key to social media success is finding creative ways to direct people to your book and piquing their interest when they arrive. Promotional tools like animated book covers can help.
2. Animated book covers are becoming more mainstream.
Animated book covers have risen in popularity over the past five years. Many authors already use them on their author websites and on social media. Anyone involved in the #WritingCommunity on Twitter, for example, has certainly seen a few popping up on the profiles of savvy authors.
Animated book covers are still relatively new, however. Authors are still learning about their potential and adding them to their repertoire of advertising techniques. Readers are impressed by the wow factor of these animations partly because they are still new. It's pretty much guaranteed your animated book cover will get noticed.
It's possible that sometime in the future, marketing with animated covers will be the norm; at that point, you'd be animating your cover to keep up with the crowd. But for now, animating your book cover gets you ahead of the crowd.
3. You already have your book cover. You might as well use it to its full potential.
A great book cover is worth its weight in gold. It's the single most important advertising tool authors have. It's the first thing potential readers see and what prompts them to check out your book further. It's the one image you'll use every time you get a chance to share your book with someone.
Whether you make your cover yourself or hire a professional, arriving at a great book cover takes a considerable investment of time, effort, and money.
If you've gone through this process, you've already put a lot into your book cover.
You can get more out of your investment by using the completed cover in multiple ways to advertise your book. An animated version of your book cover continues the work you started and serves as a powerful advertising tool at a minor additional cost.
4. Animated covers are inexpensive ways to advertise your books.
Though prices vary, animated book covers generally cost way less than the initial cost of hiring someone to design your cover. For a relatively small additional fee, you can make your book cover come to life.
If you made your own cover to save on the costs of publishing, it's nice to know that adding on animation won't break the bank. Animating your cover means you'll have another cool way to show off your book and additional advertising possibilities.
Animated book covers are also generally less expensive than book trailers. If you've thought about having a book trailer made, or making a simple video trailer yourself, you might consider whether an animated book cover would fit your needs better. Book trailers and animated covers can each add something to your advertising repertoire, but if your budget is limited, an animated cover may be the way to go. In just about every role a book trailer would fill, an animated book cover would work as well or better at less cost.
5. An animated book cover is the most useful and effective *video* advertising tool for most authors.
Animated book covers are videos like book trailers, only they are much shorter. That actually makes them much more useful to an author promoting a book.
Shorter content is better for a number of reasons. Given attention spans today, people may not wait to watch an entire book trailer, even if it's only 30 seconds. Visitors to your website, or social media users who stumble upon one of your posts on Twitter or Facebook, can get the jist of your message ("I have a book. Here's the title, genre, and general theme of the book.") in a few seconds with an animated cover. You're much less likely to lose them this way.
In most promotional situations you'll find yourself in, you just need to show your cover to get your message across. Free and paid advertising spots on Twitter and Facebook will give you space to post a link or write a short bit of info about your book next to your animated cover, and that's really all that's necessary for effective promotion. There's simply not as much need for a longer book trailer, as cool as they are.
It's a lot harder to mess up an animated cover, too. Book trailers can be great, but they are sometimes long-winded and rambling, because the author didn't know what to do with the extra time and space the trailer offered. They end up going on too long or going off on tangents, and they require lots of additional images to fill the extra time and space. A boring video defeats the whole purpose of the video. All you really need is an image of the book cover and a little animation to get a viewer's attention.
If you do end up making a book trailer, you can always insert the MP4 or GIF of your animated cover in the trailer for a little extra pizazz.
6. Animated book covers are fun for the author.
For many authors, the cover of their book holds a special place in their heart. It's the artistic representation of their beloved story. It has the all-important job of "selling" the story. Countless hours, and possibly a considerable amount of money, have been spent to get it done right. The cover is near and dear to every published author.
It's incredibly rewarding to see a book cover you've poured your heart into come to life with animation. There's nothing like seeing the background sparkle or glitter, the hero's sword light up, the blood actually trickle down the vampire's mouth, or the rocket thrusters fire on a spaceship as an alien planet shimmers behind it. Any author who loves their book cover delights in showing it off. (And if you don't love, or at least like, your book cover, consider remaking it until you do.)
Advertising and promotion work is tough. Animated book covers are an easy and enjoyable way to do this work and celebrate your cover at the same time.