My own novel, Upgrade has gotten really great reviews, but sales have been dismal. My wife became inspired upon reading the article on the importance of cover design, and wanted to do a new cover for the book. We went through three iterations of possible covers. Though the book is definitely not what one would call erotica, it does contain a fair amount of steam. This, coupled with a tidbit of information from another author, whose sales tripled after he put a “cute chick” on his book cover, guided the initial cover designs.
I floated these cover proposals in one of my book groups and asked the opinion of the people who had read the book. I wanted to know if they thought the cover to be an accurate “advertisement” for the contents. Without exception, they all said these covers were not right for Upgrade.
In my writing I have a personal proclivity toward staying away from too much physical description of characters, as I feel that robs readers of the opportunity to envision the characters as they wish, to “cast the movie themselves,” as it were. Because of this, I also prefer that the cover should not taint the readers’ imagination with an even more distinct visual image of the characters in the book.
I wanted a cover that hinted at some element of steamy romance (which the book does contain), a science fiction or science-based element (which, though not the central theme, is the lynchpin of the whole premise of the book), and a tag-line that closed the loop, hinting at the darker nature of the story.
Time will tell, I suppose, but I really feel we came up with a winner. The new cover incorporates all the right elements and I think it is very visually arresting as well. It also got raves from everyone in all my FB groups.
Making the cover changes for Smashwords and Kindle was a snap. This is one of the many blessings of the digital age. Making the changes for the print version turned out to be something else. Adding to the complexity was that I also needed to update content with edits I had made to the digital version that I had not yet made with the print version. I had decided to do it all at once, which resulted in a back-and-forth with the POD I would not really care to go through again. It also costs a few bucks to make changes to a print edition.
We finalized things with the POD company yesterday. I’m pleased to say, they have already made the change on their website. It will take an additional 30-45 days for the new cover to appear on the websites of their partners in the distribution channel, but it is finally done. And now we wait to see if this does make a difference. I am cautiously optimistic.