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AoP Cover - What Now?

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by BWFoster78, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

    I’m placing this in the marketing forum instead of the cover design forum because, although “cover” is in the thread title, the question is more a marketing one.

    As far as I can tell at the moment, there are four factors that an author can, to an extent, control regarding your book’s Amazon page. If you’re getting eyeballs on your book and it’s not selling, one or more of those factors is the problem, and you simply must take a look at making a change. I’m listing them in order of importance:

    1. Cover. This is the first, and in a lot of cases only, exposure a reader has to your book. It absolutely has to:

    - Look like a professional created it
    - Draw the eye at thumbnail size
    - Convey genre

    Ideally, it will also create interest on its own.

    Of the “musts” however, 2 out of 3 simply ain’t good enough.

    2. Pitch. It has to dynamically convey enough of the story to sell the reader on your book. I’m not sure if a good pitch will absolutely create sells, but a bad one absolutely will turn potential customers away.

    3a. Sample. I’m not sure how many people actually open samples. For those that do, it’s absolutely crucial that you a) don’t have any obvious mistakes and b) compel interest.

    3b. Reviews. I’m growing more and more convinced that poor star ratings and bad reviews do little to hurt your book. On the other hand, I think that having no reviews can absolutely turn away readers. Get enough ARCs out there to ensure at least 5-6 reviews soon after publishing.


    My novella, Abuse of Power, is severely underperforming what I think it should be doing. Though there’s always room for improvement, I think the pitch is okay. Likewise, I think the sample is fairly engaging and has been thoroughly proofed. The book has 7 reviews at a decent star rating.

    This is, however, a monumental problem with the cover. Don’t get me wrong; I love the cover. I think it’s pretty. In fact, it’s gotten me a lot of compliments. My artist did a fantastic job doing exactly what I told her to do.

    What I told her to do, however, was completely idiotic. The cover says “legal thriller,” not epic fantasy or fantasy romance. Since a cover must convey genre, it makes sense to me that the cover is killing my sales.

    So what now?

    On one hand — if it’s not working, change it!
    On the other hand — do I throw good money after bad?

    I’ve spent $339.03 on AoP versus $48.48 in total sales thus far. Do I really want to put another $50 to $100 into a novella?

    Before you answer, the final piece to the puzzle are my future plans for AoP:

    - Major free promo scheduled for the book in conjunction with the Repulsive release. A new cover would definitely help there.
    - Take out of KDP in the months leading up to the Gryphon release. Do a FB ad offering book free for newsletter sign up. Note that the ad will not necessarily feature the cover at all.
    - Back in KDP after FB ad completes. No more promos planned, though.

    Right now, it seems like most of my sales for AoP come from people who read RotM and search it out.

    I’m leaning toward leaving the cover as it is, but I’d love to hear if anyone else has a perspective that might make me change my mind.


  2. PaulineMRoss

    PaulineMRoss Inkling

    Novellas are notoriously difficult to sell. A lot of people price them at $0.99 or permafree, or else just give them away as a reader magnet. I wouldn't spend any more money on it, just leave it out there as a bonus for your novel readers to find.
    BWFoster78 likes this.
  3. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

    That's kind of what I'm leaning toward. I just don't see a lot of point in fixing the issue.


  4. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    Get a new cover. Give it a once over with editing. Set a free promotion, then permanently drop the price and bill it as a new edition.

    You won't make any kind of a profit, but you might be able to cover the cost of your new investments.
    BWFoster78 likes this.

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