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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Should You Change Your Self-Pub Book Cover?

Hello Fellow Writers!

the new cover!
I've been very blessed to have worked with publishers that have incredible cover designers, but when I set out to self-publish some books, I had to hire my own cover designer.

I love his work, and I think part of the reason Overheated is an Amazon Erotica Bestseller is because the cover is smokin' hot. (I hope the other reason is because readers like the story, lol). I also loved my cover for Snowed in With the Tycoon, but... it's not selling nearly as well as Overheated.

So I lowered the price from $2.99 down to $1.99 for a month to see if that helped, and it did not. Then it went back up to $2.99. Then I dropped it all the way down to 99 cents for a month. Sales tripled... but for the gamble to pay off my sales would need to be six times higher at the lower price point, not three. So back up to $2.99 the book went (which is a good price anyway since it's a full length book, more than twice as long as my Ellora's Cave novellas that sell for over $4). Interestingly, Amazon chose to lower it again to 99 cents on my behalf, on sale from $2.99. So I don't think the price is what's keeping the sales down.

Could it be the book? I don't think it is, because readers really seem to connect with the story, based on the 4 and 5 star reviews it's been getting, and the emails I get (thank you!!).

the "old" cover
Which makes me wonder... could the lower sales be due to the cover? The cover I love and that I paid for? *sob*

Only one way to find out. I had the cover redesigned by the same artist, and this time the hot guy is replaced by a hot *couple*.

I figure the experiment couldn't hurt - and hey, isn't it so awesome that we get to play with our self-published books like this to see what readers want the most? Because ultimately, what I care about is giving the reader what she (or he) wants - even if I thought my previous cover was hot stuff, people vote with their wallets - and I'm listening.


  1. As a reader, I do look at the cover, usually the guy before buying the book. sometimes, I don't read the blurb is the guy is hot! I honestly like your cover with the guy only. He's hawt! Keep us posted. I'm curious of the outcome.

  2. I'm curious to know what happens with the new cover! Keep me updated. And I love both covers.

  3. Thanks guys! I love both covers too...I wonder if the new cover will make a difference? If it doesn't, the next step is changing the product page copy, and then a new cover that looks completely different.

  4. The new cover seems to be a bit... "romantic"... Maybe you could have shown a bit of who-dominates-who as a precursor to the story, ya know?

  5. Yes - Snowed in With The Tycoon is an erotic romance novel - it's not BDSM erotica like some of my other books, so no one person is dominant in the relationship. ;)

  6. Covers don't sell the books. Sometimes for whatever reason people don't buy. They may buy more when the price is low but who knows what the reason is. The title of the second one really grabs people and that may be the reason. Don't worry, these books will sell for a long time. Mine do.

  7. I'd love to know the final outcome!

    So far all my U.S. covers have had a single woman on the cover. I long for the day I can have a hot couple gracing the cover of one of my books!

  8. Hi Shoshanna! I'm really curious if you've followed up on this and if the cover switch made any difference? There are many books (self- and traditionally published) I have overlooked due to really really (really) terrible cover designs. I try to tell myself not to judge a book by its cover, but the cover of a book that chooses something beyond a very simple design reflects a certain amount of effort and regard held by the entity publishing it. (Sloppy cover says sloppy product, to me.) For a self-pub, both of those covers are very well done and pretty alluring.

    If there's anything - the title made me pause. However!!! I'm just weird about titles. I'd have been more drawn in by "Snowed In" than the full title you have. (I do not think that would have any impact on your book sales, though. Lots of my friends, in contrast to my preferences, actually like fuller, specific style titles.)

  9. My sales have been steady, but haven't increased too much. I changed the product page copy (the synopsis) and I put the book in print as well, which has helped sell a bit more.

    New York Magazine took note of the book on 4/16/12 and featured the cover as an example of "Tycoon erotica" for "romance readers who like their hunks in the 1% income bracket". This didn't do much to bump sales either. On the other hand, one of my readers tells her friends it's the best book she's ever read! I don't know about that, all I know is that sales and marketing remain a mystery.


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