Tag Archive | book cover

Advice Needed: Do I Change My Book Covers… or Don’t I?

The Book Cover is the first thing a prospective buyer sees when deciding if they want to pick up your novel. And sometimes, it’s the one thing a writer will not invest the time and money on. I’m in a dilemma with one of my series and maybe you can help.

I have written 7 novels. Five of them are “selling right now.” Some more than others, but I’m seeing at least one sale of each of these five during the month.

And then there’s my Dark Fantasy series, THE WORLD OF KAROV and THE RUBY AMULET. I haven’t had a sale of these books in months. The question is… why? Am I not promoting them enough? Are they too dark? Or, are the covers not compelling enough? I’ve got a healthy 27 reviews for Book #1 with a 4.4 rating. It has to be something else… Here they are now:

Original Book Covers

Original Book Covers

You see, when I first started indie-publishing, THE WORLD OF KAROV was the first book I did on my own. I was a “newb” in every single sense of the word, from working social media, to uploading on KDP and Createspace, to creating a website, to… well, everything. So when we were creating the cover I was so excited and had a thousand untested ideas and I wanted the ENTIRE KITCHEN SINK included, which I’ve since learned is a newbie mistake. I didn’t need the entire book represented in the book cover. The twins, the animals, the mountains, the ruby amulet, the powers, the blood – you see what I mean. I have a great book artist but, it was my first time working with her and she really gave me everything I asked for and I LOVED IT. But, then I started publishing other books are realized that “editing” the entire kitchen sink is important. So, Book #2, THE RUBY AMULET is much more sedate and we simply kept the green/red theme. The problem is, they don’t look like a series, nor possibly something compelling enough that you’d want to pick up.

Here’s the blurb for THE WORLD OF KAROV:

Adam and Alec look like identical twins, but their personalities are as different as possible. Adam is gentle and kind, whereas Alec is the essence of nightmares. Always jealous of his twin, Alec does everything he can to destroy his brother’s happiness, including kidnapping Adam’s fiancée on their wedding day and disappearing with her deep into the Canadian mountains. Adam searches for them for months, but he never finds them. Just when Adam is at his most grief-stricken point, a stranger appears and offers him a chance for a new life in a land filled with magic, gems, and powers unimaginable; a world mysteriously led by a special tribe of children who have hidden themselves away from a great evil that is seeking to destroy them. Adam takes the chance and goes with the stranger, but his past is never far from his mind. Eventually, reality comes back to haunt Adam, resulting in a final showdown with his brother…. and this time, only one will win.

And the Blurb for THE RUBY AMULET

In this suspenseful sequel to The World of Karov, a ruby discovered in a mountain stream transports Joshua, and his best friend Sean, to the war-torn world of Karov. They are immediately caught up in a violent struggle between the people and their treacherous king, who is determined to find the legendary four-pound ruby hidden deep in the emerald caverns. But time is running out. The king is closing in on Joshua and the gem, and the boys must help the Karovites find it before the king does. For if the king gets to it first, he will become the most powerful being in the universe and the Karovites will be enslaved… forever.

So, what do you think of these covers? Don’t worry about being unkind, I’m a writer, I’ve learned how to take criticism… do you think I should invest in new covers and start all over?

Should You Ever Change Your Book’s Cover?

This is a very difficult question for authors, and for me specifically. I have no design eye. It’s why every wall in my house is painted “cream” or “off white” and our style of decoration is a touch above IKEA. To put some color in the house, I simply chose to add artwork, knick knacks and area rugs from the “fall hue family.” Meaning, if it’s an autumn gold, a deep green, a navy, a rustic red, or a mustard I’ve used it and hoped it all sort of meshed together.

So, when I am posed with creating a cover for my books, I’m clueless. My first published novel, FLYING TO THE LIGHT, was published by Cool Well Press. This was the cover they made for my novel about a young deaf boy who knows about the afterlife and now people are after him for the answer. It was dark, really just a few muted colors, but we loved the image of the little boy looking towards the light and the wonderful birds in the background. flyingwebresize

When that publishing company closed, I was given the book back. It was agented, but he couldn’t sell it. He suggested I change the cover and self publish it to get it back out to market. I sought out LLPix Photography and here’s what we came up with. We wanted something brighter… and to scream thriller, to show the relationship in the book between the two brothers and not just have it be about the little boy. And, to show that this book is still dark. I think the mood she created was really nice and spoke to that.
Flying to the light FINAL

I had polled a lot of readers on Facebook as to which cover they liked better. It was a very mixed review. Some folks who have already read book #1 liked that first cover, though they did feel it may have been too “religious looking.” Many new readers felt Cover #2 had a much better vibe.

My problem is that I always want too much in a cover – the entire kitchen sink, so it’s important, for me, to seek out a professional who can scale me back. But, the going consensus in the industry is that your cover is EXTREMELY important. It is the first thing a potential reader sees and if you can’t grab them immediately, you’ve already lost them. If the book isn’t selling, and you are certain it’s a good book, it doesn’t hurt to try a new cover.

So, which cover do you like? Would you pick up the blue cover or the dark cover if you saw both sitting on the shelf?

And for those interested in purchasing the novel, here is the link: http://amzn.to/1h3u6ZB
Book #2 in the series is going to be called FLYING TO THE FIRE and it’s with beta readers right now. Then back to an editor, a proofer and it will be in your hands. If you would like to get on my mailing list for announcements about new releases, please do so here (fyi – I will never give out my list to anyone or sell your name to anyone). http://www.elysesalpeter.com/contact.html

Of course, before I do anything for book #2, I first have to make the cover! Don’t get me started on what I want in THIS one!