Since I did absolutely nothing newsworthy this weekend, I'd like to ask for some advice from my readers.
I've asked for advice on this subject in the past, and I hate to beat a dead horse, but I would appreciate your honest opinion.
When I first published, I made the choice to go with illustrated covers. I love my book covers, I really do.
However, recently For Nick was placed on a Goodreads list entitled, "Favorite Children's Books."
Ugh. I had to message Goodreads and have it removed, letting them know that it was a contemporary romance novel.
AND I was recently rejected by Book Bub (an ebook advertising site) for I Have People. (They accepted Lancaster House) I Have People has 18 five-star and four four-star reviews on Amazon. And only one three-star review. I would venture to guess that the reason is the cover. It doesn't look like a contemporary romance novel.
These two experiences have made me wonder if I should rethink my covers. Do people glance at them and think they are children's books?
I don't want to change my covers. I love them. But I do wonder if sales would improve if I changed the covers. (sales are the best they've ever been right now--but they could also be a lot better!) Self-publishing is an uphill battle and in order to succeed, books need to have the right cover!
I'm 48,000 words in to my next novel, entitled, I'm With You. This image--taken from istock and unpurchased as of yet--goes perfectly with the novel, and with my other covers, and I love it. But, I'm hesitant and unsure which way to go. (It's also very similar to For Nick) A woman standing alone, holding balloons, is extremely significant to the novel. But without that knowledge, perhaps it just looks like a children's book.
I'm considering going with something like this:
Do you think I should leave my covers as they are, or go for a more traditional look?
Thank you for your help!
I really like your covers and I don't think you should change them! It makes them stand out. And, I really like the image with the woman holding the balloons.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Prudence! I appreciate you taking the time to give me your opinion! I'm so glad you like my covers as they are--and I'm thrilled that you like the image of the woman and the balloons. Just what I needed to hear!Delete
I love your covers! One things that has always been my favorite about your books, besides the stories, are the covers. They are unique and gorgeous and one of a kind!ReplyDelete
My children own a lot of books and I associate those covers with being more cartoonish than anything, and that is not the adjective I would ever use to describe your covers!
Ultimately, you will decide what is best, and I will love your next book just the same! But I really like the covers you've been producing and I would love the woman holding balloons :)
Thanks, Brandy. I guess I just needed someone to reaffirm that I've made the right choices concerning my covers. Thanks so much for letting me know how you feel about them. Makes me happy! I'm so excited that both you and Prudence like the woman holding balloons--it's perfect for my next book! Great to hear from you!Delete
Whew, for what it's worth:ReplyDelete
Personally, I like the cover illustration on "for nick" a lot (but haven't read it yet so can't say how fitting it actually is). But it is kind of simple and thus very probably not in-style - it actually makes me think of late 50's early 60's books covers.
I positively love the cover-art for "joshua's folly."
But I find that "i have people" is not as easily to categorize by its cover, to me it feels... nondescript, looking a lot like, I think I mentioned that before, a cover for the Beatles album "Yellow Submarine".
For the second picture in question as cover motive, which is a gorgeous illustration, I have to say that it reminds me a lot of Jojo Moyes' covers (who's currently quite popular):
This aside, it does follow a similar concept as "joshua's folly" and definitely says contemporary romance.
Great food for thought! Thanks! I took a look at the Jojo Moyes cover and I really like it, actually. Thank you for pointing that out. I'm one of those readers that doesn't like to see pictures of real people on my covers--it sets an image in my head, when I'd rather create that image in my imagination on my own. I really like a cover that says 'contemporary romance' at a glance--and that makes me lean towards the image with the couple on the cover. Thank you so much for your input. You've given me a lot to think about and I appreciate it!Delete
I love your book covers a ton and would hate to have them look like everyone else's. I feel they brand you and I've wished I could brand myself as well as you have. I love the picture of the girl with the balloons, but it does remind me a lot of For Nick. For that reason, I'd go with the other one. Maybe you could change up the background or something with the girl and balloons so it has a different color scheme than For Nick.ReplyDelete
Yes, the similarity to For Nick is what I've been very concerned about. It also doesn't scream romance novel, which I think is the problem with the I Have People cover. I'm thrilled that you love my covers though--and I'm glad you feel I've branded myself well. That was the goal in picking covers that were all animated. They are all done by the same artist, except one. (Sierra) Thanks so much for your thoughts. I love hearing other people's opinions because I can't make a DECISION! I like to hear what everyone else thinks and then decide. Everyone points out things that I haven't thought of and it's very helpful. Thank you, Charissa!Delete
As I've mentioned before, I love your covers. They are your signature and I would recognize them instantly. The first choice for I'm With You is lovely, but if you are worried about it being too similar to For Nick, Charissa's idea of maybe changing color would work well. By the way, I'm loving the title for your next book. You always have the best titles:)ReplyDelete
Okay, thanks Laura. I will give recoloring it a try--and when I say that, I mean I'll have my amazing daughter recolor it for me--and see how it turns out. I'm still undecided, but I'm leaning towards the second picture, or something similar to it.Delete
I'm glad you like my covers and feel they are my signature--that's what I wanted, and it is so nice to hear someone say it! One things is for sure, with the wonderful response I've received today, I'm not going to change my covers. Too many people say they like them--and I do too! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with me!
First of all, how did "For Nick" get on a "Favorite Children's Books" list? Wouldn't people have needed to vote for it? And anyone that's read it would know it wasn't a children's book. This is making me wonder about their lists.ReplyDelete
I like your book covers and agree that it's nice not to have an actual photo of someone so I can picture the characters however I want. The first cover does seem too much like the cover of "For Nick" so I would go for the second one. It does make you think contemporary romance and has the silhouettes rather than actual faces. Tough decision.
My thoughts exactly, Melanie! Whoever added For Nick to the Goodreads list obviously didn't read it first. Very telling. It made me sad because For Nick is my favorite cover!Delete
The new cover is a very tough decision. Especially since I've been rethinking my other covers. I want the new cover to have a similar vibe, yet obviously be a romance novel at a glance. Currently, I think the only cover that screams romance novel is JF. At any rate, I greatly appreciate your thoughts. I agonize over book cover decisions. Hearing what other people think helps me to see things clearly. Thank you so much!
I started to answer this yesterday and never finished, because I am mixed. I love your covers and when I see one, I know it is yours without even seeing your name. They are unique and individual to you. I think the background color of the cover would be better if it was different from For Nick. I have always liked the lower case letters too. The second cover is beautiful too and it definitely says romance. For better sales, maybe. I would hate to see the change, but I know printing books is not cheap and you deserve the return on your work. So, yes and no. I do love the second choice and I think you would probably get more attention from the people that are sold on the cover first. They might not look further if they confuse it with a children's book. I love your books and would hate for someone to miss out, just because they didn't investigate further. That being said, I really hate that we are even having this discussion. The money says - number 2. (sad face) Was I wishy washy enough? Okay, this time I will publish.ReplyDelete
Your feelings reflect my own, Sherry! I go back and forth, feeling as though I chose covers that are too different and not traditional enough. (sad face) This weekend, I Have People will be advertised on Book Gorilla for 99 cents. I'm really interested to see the response. If downloads are low, I think it tells me that people just don't see it as a romance novel!Delete
As far as the cover for my next book, I do lean towards the second image. I feel that it is not a huge departure for me since it is still illustrated, but it's not in keeping with the norm, which makes me sad. There are a series of images using the girl from the For Nick cover that I love and wanted to use for several of my new books--but I'm not so sure now.
It's a tough decision. I appreciate your thoughts. Thanks for loving my covers and sharing in my vision. It's not a wash as of yet! I may still be able to pull it off. If not, well new covers are not the end of the world, as long as they are equally amazing!