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Which has actually been the most successful of your covers?

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Offline Daphne Reading Wanted by Tim Arnot
25 Oct 2015, 08:21 AM | Post: #1

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Which has actually been the most successful of your covers?

Self-published authors have come a long way in terms of how professionally they produce their eBook covers, and I suspect that more than a few of us have some early attempts dating back to 2010 or 2011 that we would be embarrassed to use now. But chatting with an author friend drew my attention to the fact that is was often the early, homemade efforts that actually sold books.

I know a lot of authors, myself included, have gone through a number of cover updates over the years, but I would love to know which one of yours you found most successful in terms of actually selling books.

Mine would be the cover below  - and, no, I would not think of using it now (the story is unpublished as it is now included in a collection). The font is weak and drab, the photo unfocused (I have a new camera now!) and I cannot even explain why I felt the need to turn the original painting pink! But it did sell many thousands of the short stories, so it did its job.

I would love to see examples of your cover which your bestselling book sported at the peak of its sales.

[Image: Claresby%20CoverFinal_zps1ugszgai.jpg]
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Offline cecilia_writer Reading Murder by the Glass by Lynda Wilcox
25 Oct 2015, 10:08 AM | Post: #2

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RE: Which has actually been the most successful of your covers?

That's an interesting question, Daphne (and one that has caused me to look more closely at my spreadsheets and coincidentally to get rid of a few errors!). One aspect of this topic is that I am definitely not selling as many copies this year overall as I did last year, despite having more books out. So that means my earlier books shifted a lot more copies than the more recent ones, regardless of cover designs. Despite having read lots of people's opinions about this I am still not entirely convinced that cover design influences readers a huge amount - I feel it is more of a case of having an appropriate design for the genre.
I've recently re-designed the covers for the whole Pitkirtly series to try and make them a bit more coherent, but I am not sure if this has really been beneficial - if anything I probably gained more from Amazon's new series feature which came along at around the same time.
In fact, the book of which there are most copies out there (thousands and thousands) has been permafree for almost as long as I can remember, and it is the one for which the original cover was once featured on  'lousy book covers', 'Crime in the Community'.
   
The next in the series, 'Reunited in Death' seems to be the one that has actually sold most copies, because it has been a steady seller over the past few years. I've always quite liked this cover, because it has a picture on the cover that my late brother took of a graveyard in Lintrathen, at the foot of one of the Angus glens, where some of our ancestors are buried.
   
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Offline Daphne Reading Wanted by Tim Arnot
25 Oct 2015, 02:08 PM | Post: #3

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RE: Which has actually been the most successful of your covers?

(25 Oct 2015 10:08 AM)cecilia_writer Wrote: Wrote:    I am still not entirely convinced that cover design influences readers a huge amount - I feel it is more of a case of having an appropriate design for the genre.
I absolutely agree with this, Cecilia. I'm not at all surprised to hear that the two covers you show have led to lots of readers picking up the books as both are atmospheric and suggestive of the cosy mystery/British detective genres.
As a matter of fact I did on one occasion buy a classic stock-photo style cover of the type that was widely recommended. It was a lovely cover, but was probably my least successful in terms of getting reader attention. 
For my cosy mysteries I find my covers with an English country house or garden style are the ones that mystery readers relate to, although there are also a lot of cosy mysteries with more cute/chicklit style covers around that seem to fit a particular sub-set of cosy mystery.

I continue to be fascinated by cover art and would love to see more examples of other author's covers which have been their personal bestsellers.
[Image: 51F7xHVzRlL._SL95.jpg][Image: 51elwZ0zy4L._SL95.jpg]
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Offline Alan G. Brown Reading
25 Oct 2015, 07:25 PM | Post: #4

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RE: Which has actually been the most successful of your covers?

Covers sometimes seem to have an impact on sales, although I have seen some really gross ones in the best-seller lists. The first professional cover I used started selling the moment it appeared, but I am unsure whether the cover or title was the cause: Mermaids can have Sex.
Perhaps both played a part. I am now using stock photos more, but finding photos to match the contents is sometimes difficult. Personally, I look closer at content if a cover and title catch my attention.
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Offline Daphne Reading Wanted by Tim Arnot
26 Oct 2015, 07:03 AM | Post: #5

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RE: Which has actually been the most successful of your covers?

(25 Oct 2015 07:25 PM)Alan G. Brown Wrote: Wrote:    The first professional cover I used started selling the moment it appeared, but I am unsure whether the cover or title was the cause: Mermaids can have Sex.

Certainly a successful attention-catching cover/title combination, Alan.

[Image: 81zTFCsOZzL._SL1500__zpsu0rahnrc.jpg]

It's interesting to see what works in different genres, and science fiction is a genre which seems to produce some bold and exciting cover art.
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Offline Alan G. Brown Reading
26 Oct 2015, 05:46 PM | Post: #6

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RE: Which has actually been the most successful of your covers?

Thanks Daphne, glad you like it.Smile
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