As regular readers my know, my first book continues to win prizes but it’s not not selling like I’d hoped.
Feedback from experts suggested that my original cover wasn’t working for me.
A local bookseller had an issue with the snake. “People are afraid of snakes,” she said. “They won’t pick up something with a snake on it.”
A couple of author friends who sell a lot of books had a more basic criticism. “Your cover doesn’t say romance.”
And I never did like the fact that it was so hard to read the title.
When I had that first cover made, a marketing friend who had read an early draft suggested going with an “object cover”—that is, a cover with an object rather than a person—with the intention of trying for cross-genre sales.
But after working with a romance editor, the final version of the book was absolutely and unquestionably romance. In fact, I recently got a four-star review from a guy who liked the book—he said: The characters are the star of this book, the plot of which could almost be lifted from a twelfth century passion play. They are all well defined characters who do the things they do for reasons which are or become apparent over the course of the book. Nobody steps out of the character they really are in order to advance the plot.
But he also said, In my opinion, it would be a better story if the author used the sexual chemistry less and other mechanisms for achieving the same end more, but it’s a worthwhile and enjoyable story as it sits.
And that’s the problem with trying to go cross-genre when your book sits very solidly inside a single genre. Readers pick it up with expectations that may not be met.
With what is now close to a year’s experience of selling books, I have a much better idea of what sells romance novels. For Historical, it’s women in pretty dresses. For Contemporary, it’s cute little towns (or ranches), happy-looking couples and dogs. And for dark paranormal, it’s hot guys.
So, I went looking for a guy who was a one-click (for me, anyway). Once I had a cover model, I asked Sarah Andre, whose covers rock as much as her books do, for a cover artist recommendation. She suggested Paper and Sage. They made this:
The ebook went up on Amazon over the weekend. The paperback will be available on the Zon and B&N shortly.
What do you think?