It's the Cover, Stupid !
Updated: Feb 19, 2019
90 days later…
It doesn’t seem like it’s been three months since I took the plunge and hit publish for the first time. Time has flown in an unending series of ups and downs of emotion that appears to track amazingly well with the undulating sales graph on the KDP “Reports” page. Some days I’ll sell half a dozen books, and have a couple of thousand page reads, on others… well, let’s just say that I don’t think the “Update” button was working. It’s been exciting, and at times painful in a manner that makes it seem like its been a lot longer. ‘How could that be?” you ask.
Because, dear readers, (both of you) much of what I’ve learned has come in the form of sharp and powerful sensory feedback delivered to my own forehead, by my own hand, or depending on the day, by the flat of my desk. I suspect most of you, regardless of your profession can commiserate. The advice was there, the lessons learned from countless authors who were kind enough to document their own experiences. Did I listen? Phffff… They pointed out the landmines and I jumped on them.
I hope to write a series of these blogs detailing the advice I ignored, and the extra effort I now have to go through, to fix my shit. Those offering advice were legion, and it turns out, maybe I should have listened. For example…
The Royal They: “It’s the cover, stupid!”
“Spend as much as you can comfortably afford on the cover.”
“The cover, it’s the door the reader has to walk through, open it.”
Me: But, I have this simple idea for a cover. I think I can design it myself… Besides, My Mom always said, “You don’t judge a book by its cover.” So, I actually paid a designer to implement my, ahem… vision.
Readers: “Hey, absolutely loved your book, but I gotta say I almost didn’t buy it because the cover was so different than everything else in the genre.”
“I didn’t get the cover until I was half way through the book.”
“Took a flyer on a new author, with a crappy cover, glad I did.”
“Cover needs a re-do, especially if you’re going to do a series.”
“Dude! Don’t listen to your Mom.”
Huh….. My forehead may be severely bruised, but I can still see a pattern here. These were all actual messages left by readers, well, except for the ‘mom’ comment. Nobody dissed Mom. So, I’m having a new cover done, actually it's finished. I hope my Mom likes it.