It's no secret that I took some time off this year, but in coming back, I've made a few alarming discoveries. While during my full-time authoring years, I wrote and published ten books. They span many genres (from epic fantasy to paranormal romance to hard science fiction) and a variety of lengths (from under 275 pages for Schism to more than 450 for The Lethal Agent). But they all had one thing in common: I didn't spend any time or money on marketing them this year.
Well, with one exception. Blossom and the Beast was featured on BookBub in Australia, UK, India, and Canada back in February. Otherwise, nothing. So in 2019, my books have really had to stand on their own, with nothing but the merits of their blurb, reviews, and cover design to win over prospective readers.
None of my books sold particularly well, but I saw a steady stream of books selling each week. A few dozen a month. But Blossom and the Beast represented only 8% of sales.
Blossom and the Beast is my largest money maker due to page reads, but it sells far less than Spirits or Schism. In fact, the whole Alder Tales series of four books sold less ebook copies than Spirits or Schism individually.
That begs the natural question: what gives?Blossom and the Beast is the most heavily marketed book in my catalog (and the only book marketed in 2019). It's the first book in my longest series, my most commercial series, and my most reviewed series. The reviews are high (averaging 4.3 out of 5 stars) and I sell more copies of this series than any other at author events. By all accounts, Blossom and the Beast should be outperforming the rest of my catalog, but it's not. So again, what gives?
I took a hard look at Blossom and the Beast, looking at other books in the same genre, and came up with one simple observation: the cover is very different from other books in the same genre. For example, here's Blossom's cover:
Does it immediately register as fairytale or fantasy romance? Does it have a shifter vibe? Does it meet the standard of other books in the same genre? To me, the answers are all 'no'. Which is a bummer! That means finding a cover artist, shelling out for the new covers, and relaunching the series after rebranding. On the other hand, if the series needs a new set of covers, I'll gladly fork over the cash to see it happen. Because I believe in these books and Blossom's story and the world these characters live in.
So, I'm asking you, beloved readers. Would you like to see a different style of cover on these books? Something with a fiery red-head in a fancy Terra gown on the front? Something with pretty filegrees and details? Something that brings out the Beauty and the Beast story?
Leave your thoughts and comments below! And if you have any suggestions or comparison covers, please leave them here as well!