For the past month or so I’ve been neck deep in covers. I’m looking at old ones, tried improving upon them without changing the overall look too much. And then I did a few weird and totally far-out experiments with totally different graphics. If you’ve been keeping an eye on my Amazon book listings (why on earth would you?), you may have noticed that some titles have started looking totally different, and then looked sort of normal again after a while. Here’s what happened:
I have decided (for better or for worse), that I want all my books to have very consistent branding, at least as far as my name goes. If you look at an Amazon page and one of mine pops up, it should be obvious (to those who know me) that it’s one of mine. How I’ve done it is by putting my name in exactly the same place on all covers, with a cute swirly symbol and a darker bar behind it. This is the case now for all my erotic titles (At First Sight hasn’t got it, because I thought perhaps it’s different enough that it should stand out). Examples below
2. Abstract or not?
Perhaps I’m overthinking things, but when I read a blog post such as Joanna Penn’s on different approaches to covers and how they affect sales (hopefully), I tend to get a bit excitable. So I went ahead and looked high and low for suitable stock images I could use for some of my covers so that they’d have people on them. Because apparently people sell.
Result: Apparently those people don’t sell. I’ve changed the Just Another Day at the Office cover back, despite being particularly proud of my efforts there and promptly sold some copies the very moment the cover reverted back to the old one. Talk about market feedback. The cover for Just for One Night is still like this on Amazon currently despite not having a wonderful effect on sales either. Why? Because I fucking adore it.
3. I think I’m getting better at this shit
Excuse me while I go overboard patting myself on the back, but I think my cover design skills have developed just a little lately. I’ve been staring at top 100 listings in my genre, trying to find something – anything- that would work for me. And although all the shirtless male torsos with rippling muscles seem to perform well, if you’ve read any of my work you’ll know that wouldn’t just be cheesy, it would be dishonest and horrible if I went down that route. (Also, stock photo sites don’t seem to offer the kind of shirtless male torso I’d want to see, without the addition of a grumpy face, a weighing scale or a tape measure, and that’s just not sexy).
*drum rolls* I give you…. the before & after shot!
I fixed it, am I right? 😀 (Feel free to tell me otherwise, but the bar with the pretty swirly thing is staying! ’tis my brand now!)
Again, I think the second one is better (though not as good as the third one, because that gloomy pub picture in my mind is almost horror-like and the story is really rather sweet & sexy).
Let me know what you think?