Tuesday, 15 November 2011

My own 'Cover Story'...

This writing lark isn't easy.  Well, actually, it is.  The writing bit, anyway.  As far as I'm concerned that's a walk in the park compared to the bit that comes afterwards - the dreaded marketing!  But I'm learning, slowly.  I'm learning a lot.

When I first started out on this journey I was more than a little naiive.  I didn't know anything, I'll hold my hands up.  I knew how to write, I knew how to string a story together, and I knew that I wanted my books to be read.  What I didn't know was how to get them noticed.  I knew absolutely nowt, as we say up here in the North East of England.

But, almost 6 months on, and I know a hell of a lot more than I did back at the end of May!  And one of those things I've learnt is that, despite what I might have thought before, the covers of my books are slightly more important than I first gave them credit for.  After all, they're the first thing people see when browsing for a book to read.  An eye catching cover can draw people in, and grabbing potential readers' attention is what it's all about, isn't it?

So I had to make a decision.  Two of my books needed an overhaul.  And that's exactly what I've done.  Covers have been changed, one of them has had a slight re-edit (mainly for grammar purposes, the story hasn't changed) and now both of them are back out there and available to download with their new, rather sexy covers.  And I'm quite pleased with them.  They say a lot more about the books than the original covers did.

'No Matter What' - Before
'No Matter What' - After
So, which books have had that all-important overhaul?  Firstly, 'No Matter What'.

I did like the original cover, don't get me wrong.  But, knowing what I know now, and realising how important packaging can be, I can see that it doesn't really give you much of an idea as to what the book is actually about.  It's a romance novel, a love story - a bit of an epic one, but a love story all the same.  And I'm not sure the original cover conveyed the essence of the book, or the story.  The new cover, however, does.  Hopefully it tells potential readers who may be browsing for a new romance, that this is something they might want to try.  Hopefully it tells people that this is a love story.  Time will tell, but I'm happier with the new cover, and more confident that I can market the book in the genre in which it belongs - romance!

'See You At The Show' - Before
The other book to have a make-over
'See You At The Show' - After
'See You At The Show'.  

This is also a romance novel, but it's a more edgy, slightly sexier romance, set in the world of rock 'n' roll, with sexy fermale roadies and hot American rock stars.  Am I selling it to anyone yet!? ;)  So, hopefully, the new cover gets that message across.
It's romance, just with more of an edge.  Again, the new cover makes me far more confident of marketing the book within the romance genre, because I, as a writer, am finally comfortable in that genre.  It's what I am, I know that now.  I'm a romance author.  And it's what I love to write - God knows I can get precious little romance at home so I've got to get it from somewhere! ;)

I struggled with my genre for a while,you see, in the first few months of my writing journey.  I don't know why, and maybe it was because I sometimes felt there could be quite a bit of literary snobbery when it came down to romance novels, with some people dismissing them as mindless fluff, but, let me tell you, that couldn't be farther from the truth.  And, anyway, so what?  The romance genre covers such a wide spectrum, from chick lit to Jackie Collins, it's all there.  And what is so wrong with a bit of romantic escapism?  It's what I love to read, so it made sense that that was what I was going to love to write.  And if you don't love what you write, how can you expect anyone else to love it?

So, I've had little over a week of changing not only my books' covers, but also my whole attitude to this entire writing experience.  I now finally feel comfortable with who I am, the kind of writer I am, and the kind of books I'll be continuing to write.  Books I know there is a market for.

Will the new covers make any real significant difference to sales?  Who knows.  Only time will tell, but, as we hurtle towards Christmas (a bit too fast for my liking) I can move forward with books I can't wait to market, books I can't wait for people to read, knowing that I'm finally happy with where I am, the writer I've become, and the writer I know I'm going to be.  And that's all that matters.

Oh, and a really big thank you goes to everyone over on the Indie Writers Unite page on Facebook, who have given me so much advice and support during my various creative meltdowns! And there've been many! I truly am grateful for everything.  :)

Right, I suppose - now that covers, re-edits, and attitudes are finally sorted - I'd better get back to what's important in the life of an author.  Writing!  And, yes, there's more romance on the way... lots and lots of romance...

Don't forget, both 'No Matter What' and 'See You At The Show', along with my chick-lit-inspired comedy romance 'Too Much Trouble in Paradise' , are all available to download from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com

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