It’s hard to get tangible feedback in this business, but recently, I ran an ad for Runaway. I got a decent click through rate—except once folks hit Amazon, very few purchased. I’ve got great reviews (thanks you fab readers!), some darn good quotes called out, readers asking for more stories featuring Charlie and Mitch (which I am planning, but it’ll take a while!), a reasonable price point, and I think the cover copy sounds pretty enticing…What’s left? The cover.
My gut had already been telling me that between the young model I chose and the implication of youth the word ‘runaway’ implies that the cover was coming off as a Young Adult book. And therefore perhaps not jiving with the ads, the copy, or what all those excellent reviews say about the book. As you all probably know, I’m a graphic designer specializing in the book biz. So yeah—I kinda messed up. It’s awfully hard to be objective about your own book, I was seriously pressed for time, and let’s face it: stock art is limited. A model with a serious expression? She’s a needle in the haystack of happy smiles and sexy come hither lips, let me tell you. And unfortunately in this case, the side effect of serious was: too young. (See the old version in the side bar at right).
Beyond simply improving Runaway’s appeal, I think it’s smarter in the long run (and less confusing for new JB readers) to have a bigger delineation between my two series (Retrieval, Inc. versus the Unlikely Series).
The good news though: I am a designer. I’m also indie published—meaning I am not at the mercy of a publisher’s decision or their timetable. I can change things up as often as I need to until I find what works….wish me luck! And write and tell me what you think! I’d love to hear! ~JB