Spring Re-Freshening - Are Your Books Do for a Makeover?

Hey, gang! Hope all of you have had a great weekend and enjoy an even better week ahead. AND...



I've been busy overhauling the aesthetics of my Moonsongs series recently, and it has brought to mind a dilemma that indie authors (specifically) face:

When should we slap a new coat of paint on our catalogues? How often? Or better still, should we at all?

Here's my reasoning for making a change, and you can tell me if it makes sense to you:

- My stories are all in the same series and universe, yet I'm not sure my current covers would give much indication of that other than the words on the front.

- I'm thrilled when even one person reads my stories, but I'd always love more people to read them. I'm not breaking any sales records, so maybe a change of cover and labeling will help. (I've heard others say it can make a big difference.)

- My first story (Blood Fugue) has been out for well over a year, and I'll be releasing the 6th story soon-ish. This is a logical time to rebrand things and build momentum for the home stretch. (The series will end with #12--to hopefully be published by the end of this year or early next.)

- My current covers are very polarizing. Some people really like them, other people seem to literally hate them. I'm gambling that a more stylistically neutral cover will encourage those sitting on the fence to give them a shot.

- I've never been satisfied with calling these stories "books" because they're technically novelettes. (Moonsongs "books" just fit the series mechanics, and no one knows what a novelette is. LOL) I've seen other authors using television terms like 'episodes' and 'seasons' to label their serialized stories, and I think it's incredibly simple and easy to understand.

- One major tool indie authors have at their disposal is the ability to re-brand and market their work differently whenever they choose. It's a great way to keep your product fresh and visible. (Something businesses do in every industry.) I'm exercising my right. :)

My plan is to refresh the covers, update the electronic files (making sure my author bio matches my current public one, correct a couple of typos that snuck into final versions, make sure I've got my entire catalogue linked in each story, etc.), and evaluating/tweaking my product descriptions.

Here's a sneak peek at my cover overhaul (click the image to compare to the old covers):




I've still got a few tweaks to make, but I'm hoping the consistency (and toning down) in style will yield positive outcomes.

What about you? Have you thought about changing things up? Assuming you're not already a bestseller, do you think these types of changes can bring you more readers?
AND SPEAKING OF CHANGES...

Most of you know that I'm a contributor over at the New Adult Alley, and I wanted to share news on that front. Beginning in April, the Alley will be doing more than ever to bring all of the important information, fun, and insight on all things in New Adult literature right to your fingertips. 

We have a new forum, newsletter, and more. For more details, click HERE.

~EJW~

20 comments:

  1. They are all uniform now!
    I think changing covers is a good idea. Shake it up a bit.

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  2. I like the new covers. They look, hmm, more sophisticated and professional. Well done!

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  3. Your new covers are excellent. (I guess I can admit now that I never liked the originals....)

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    1. You can definitely admit it, Norma! :D As I mentioned, you weren't alone. I'm learning as I go when it comes to cover creation and hope I'm getting a little better at it each time.

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  4. As a Marketing Professional I'm all for rebranding now and then. Excellent choice!

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  5. I like the old ones (speaking of second round), but I can see how these might be more appealing to some-, especially males. They are neat and more masculine and uniform in appearance. (And I do like them; don't get me wrong! :)

    Of course, with re-branding, you lose, well, branding. It's something to consider, anyway.
    You also risk turning off customers or losing them simply because they don't recognize your books.

    With this, consider the source. I'm a visually oriented person who's often frustrated by visual changes to things. ;)

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  6. I was a fan of your other covers, but I do think the numbers and uniform style of these new ones tie the series all together neatly. And, yeah, publishers often slap a new cover on for each new edition just to see if they can target a different audience.

    And cool about the forums. May swing by for a look later. :)

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  7. I'm not here yet, but I love how you are asking questions and looking at this idea. Thanks for sharing your process with those of us a little slower on the path to publication.

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  8. I'm thinking of giving my first book the title I wanted in the first place along with a new cover. I spoke to some high school kids last week and asked them if they found my original title more interesting than the one it ended up with. 100% said, "Yes." Great post.

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  9. I have no problems with rebranding. I plan on doing that with Secondhand Shoes once I finish book 2.

    Like your cover tweaking.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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  10. Uniformity, FTW! Love the changes. :D

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  11. I like the new changes! And I think the whole season / episode thing when it comes to novelettes makes so much sense. Have fun with the rest of the tweaking! :)

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  12. You know I love the old covers, but I have to say I love these too! I hope the new changes catch the attention of those who missed you the first time around because Jenny and Marshal plain rock!

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  13. I slapped new covers on my books last year. It helps with branding to have a series have a similar look. I use the same artist for all my books, so I let her figure all that out. I do update my blurbs now and then. Freshening things up can be fun. Several of my books have had... I lose count of how many covers.

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  14. You made so many great points! I think the new covers will work in your favor based on the things you listed! I think the old covers were great, but these new ones might draw in new readers. Definitely worth a shot! Best of luck. :)
    Jess

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  15. The new covers look great! I love how vivid the colors are. Hope they help bring in new readers for you! :)

    As important as re-branding is, though, I must admit that I'm sometimes annoyed by this as a reader, when it happens midway through a series. Not only does the cover art change dramatically, but often the trim size, too, so the books end up looking...off...when collected together on a bookshelf. Haha. But this isn't an issue for ebooks, obviously, so I think re-branding is more forgiving in that format!

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  16. The new covers look great! It's easy to tell it's a series, and the colors grab the eye right away.

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  17. I think you're doing good things with adding the entire catalog in each book, the hyperlinks in the ebooks will probably drive more sales. :)

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“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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