Recently, a friend messaged me about a bookstore in a nearby town that she thought would be willing to stock my book(s), so last Tuesday I went to visit New & Olde Pages Book Shoppe in Englewood, OH.
I explained why I was there and the proprietress said, “Let’s see what you’ve got.”
I pulled a copy of The Demon Always Wins from the small box of books I’d brought with me and held it out to her.
“That’s a problem,” she said.
I frowned “What’s a problem?”
“People don’t like to pick up snakes.” She didn’t sound mean, just matter-of-fact. Then she looked at the second book.
“Although you do have a nice concept going there. It could work.”
So here’s the thing. If you’ve been reading Justine’s recent posts ( here and here) on covers, you may know I’m of two minds about mine. Personally, I love them. I don’t know that I would pick up a snake (at least, not without having a herpetologist assure me it was harmless) but I wouldn’t think twice about picking up a book with a picture of a snake on it.
On the other hand, my target demographic isn’t snake-lovers. It’s romance lovers. So I’ve been wondering about redoing the covers to be more romance-y.
When I run Facebook ads, I get a lot more clicks than I do sales, more than can be accounted for by window shopping, I think. That suggests that there’s a disconnect between what brings people to look at my books and what the cover and blurb say the book will provide.
On the other hand, the covers give a pretty good hint about what’s inside–stories of trial and temptation, stories that are a little edgy and unexpected.
Also, I already have far more invested in these books than I’m ever likely to see in sales and new covers would be one more expense that may or may not change my sell-thru.
What do you think? Would the snake on the cover prevent you from buying one of these books?