Yesterday, Tess St. John and Savannah Rose had some interesting thought on covers in the comments. Like half-naked guys, yea or nay?
So I'm going to ask the rest of my audience the same thing I asked them:
1) Do different styles of cover in a series drive you crazy as a reader?
2) How do you feel when a book you previously bought is issued with a new title and/or cover?
This very discussion has been an ongoing topic between me, DH, my marketing guru and my cover artist. Particularly over the cover of Seasons of Magick: Summer (aka Die for Me).
Seasons of Magick: Spring is my best-selling title, though Zombie Love is catching up for other marketing reasons. When I released Summer on October 11, 2011, the sales were so-so. After much deliberation, we experimented with a new cover and a new title, which was released November 11, 2011. Sales started sliding south. Over the last three weeks, Die for Me was my only fiction title NOT SELLING AT ALL.
I took a hard, hard look. There was nothing to connect Spring with Die for Me. From the way readers are gobbling up the Bloodlines series, I know they love related books. So I decided to go back to the original title and cover. A few sales was better than no sales, right? The reversion to the old title and cover was implemented Sunday while I watched the Texans-Ravens game (gotta love multi-tasking).
I decided to leave the Seasons of Magick series alone. Write Autumn and Winter, and stick with the original cover concepts. I love the grimoire/tarot look. But I do understand that this is a business, and I have to take readers reactions into consideration. In the end though, I wonder how much a cover really means?
[Edit to add: Apparently this subject hasn't just been on my mind. Joel Friedlander has a pretty good write-up over at The Book Designer on the dangers of symbolism when you're the author.]
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