Well that was intense. Shortly before The Lamppost Huggers was published, I sketched out a marketing plan, and Cover Wars seemed like a refreshing change to the reviews and interviews that are the mainstay of our profession. I had no idea.
Every week, five books go up against each other. On Sunday afternoon, the covers were posted. The voting started. I petitioned my friends in the writing world – Flash Mob and #TeamDarkness – to throw a vote my way. I created a persona (The Minister for Hugging Lampposts) to champion my cause. My family and friends seemed to know what to do. But another book shot into the lead.
On day two, we drew level. On day three, for the first time, we nudged ahead. Briefly. My support network started to take the competition surprisingly seriously – with one even commenting ‘This is personal!’
It was quickly a two-horse race. At night, I would go to bed 50-60 votes in the lead. In the morning, I’d wake up a similar number of votes behind. I don’t know how the competition usually pans out, but I was staggered by the amount of votes our two books garnered.
On the final morning, I woke up 100 votes behind. I felt beaten. There was no way I could come back from such a deficit. I told myself it didn’t matter – we’d fought a good fight and the publicity was exactly what I’d hoped for. Then the votes started pouring in.
By the time the competition closed, I was more than 100 votes in front. We’d won. And I say ‘we’ because it felt like a real team effort. Plus, Kealan Patrick Burke’s awesome cover did most of the heavy lifting – I didn’t have to twist any arms!
I recommend Cover Wars to anyone looking to promote their book. I can’t imagine ever taking part again. To say thank you to everyone who supported me during the week, I donated £110 to Shelter – 10p for every vote cast for The Lamppost Huggers.