Does changing your book cover help sales?

I have heard many authors say that your book cover is what sells your book. True, to a certain extent. The cover has to reflect the content in some way and be the branding image for your books, especially if they are a series.

These were my book covers after I changed them when my publisher closed down. I was in  a rush to get them out so as to keep my reviews. The one that really stood out for me was A Silence Heard.

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Now, I really don’t like most of the book covers I see. However, I do realise why in some genres, the images are the way they are, to attract a specific fan base. That would mean for example, that these days a YA Dystopian covers will almost always look something like this.

510FKrsZfwL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_ Yeuk, as far as I’m concerned, but I am not the target reader.

Dystopian with a strong female protagonist, such as Divergent by Veronica Roth, and The hunger Games Suzanne Collins, also my genre for The song of Forgetfulness series, take a more abstract approach to their cover design. They sell a lot of books.

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After delving into the some of these books, the content is pretty much the same, so yeah, the covers reflect that.

I have noticed recently in the Dystopian genre a huge trend  in favour of the fantasy style covers with images of pretty girls on them. They all look like romance books to me.Yet they are listed as Dystopian.

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My problem is that my story is different, my narrative style is very different. If I were to choose a cover similar to the ones above, then the reader would be disappointed with the content, perhaps. At least, it would not be what they expected. That is if they bought the book solely on the merit of the cover.

With that in mind I decided to choose  covers that were very different in style from those in the same genre, yet reflected the content in some way. I want to attract readers who will like my quirky style of writing by using a cover design that would stand out from the others.

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In the words of the late, great Umberto Eco. “Eco discussed his approach to writing in an interview at a Guardian Live event in London in 2015. “I don’t know what the reader expects,” he said.

“I think that Barbara Cartland writes what the readers expect. I think an author should write what the reader does not expect. The problem is not to ask what they need, but to change them … to produce the kind of reader you want for each story.”

I have been told by a few authors that I am wrong to do this and that I should get a cover like one of  these.

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Will I sell more books if I use a design like the ones above?

I’ll never know because I will never have a cover like that.

I want to stand out.

Have I ruined my chance at selling my books because I dare to be different?

I took a chance with the narrative style of my book and it worked, so why not the covers?

To my delight, I have gotten some excellent reviews often praising my slang-based language. Echoes from the Lost Ones was even used as the basis for a graduate thesis by Mattia D’agostina. You can read the blog post here: https://nicolajmcdonagh.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/translation-can-it-work-for-every-book/

So, I think I’ll see how these new covers work when I start to re-market my books.

What do you think?

Am I right?

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You can purchase any of the books from The Song of Forgetfulness series on Amazon:

US: http://amzn.to/1TlwaBP

UK: http://amzn.to/1O01bZ1

For more information about The Song of Forgetfulness series, please go to the website: http://www.thesongofforgetfulness.com/

 

 

 

 

A Time for Change – revisited

boris on grass This new year has brought about restlessness within me. There is something about January and February that makes me want to start all over again. So, I decided I would do just that.

I have two YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi books published by an independent publisher that are languishing on Amazon. I have quite a few excellent 4* and 5* reviews, but I’m still not getting the sales that reflect the enthusiasm of the reviewers. I stopped to think why.

Maybe the blurb isn’t right?

Maybe I’m not doing enough to promote, or get myself noticed?

Perhaps it is the covers?

Well, the answer is all of the above, I guess.

My gut reaction was to re-edit both books. I wasn’t happy with the ending of the first novel in the series, The Song of Forgetfulness. Echoes from the Lost Ones had too much of a cliff-hanger finish, which meant that book two, A Silence Heard, would need to be changed to accommodate the revisions. Then I remembered I had a prequel! On re-reading it, I realised that this series could be something special – with the right marketing.

Firstly, I turned my attention to the covers.

echoes cover for email                                 A Silnce Heard cover sml

The cover for the first book in the series – The Song of Forgetfulness – is okay and does have relevance to the content, but the second one does not. In fact it is misleading. I’m not saying that the covers are hindering the sales of my books, but they aren’t helping, in my opinion.

Here are my new designs for the covers of Echoes from the Lost Ones, and A Silence Heard.

I am attempting to reflect the futuristic atmosphere and tension that is present in the narrative. Also, the images I have used are relevant to the story. They aren’t the finished product, just mock-ups, but I like them better than the old ones – so far.

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It felt good to throw out the old, re-edit my books, and change the covers. Maybe I can attract the attention of readers by giving them a more rewarding reading experience. Plus, I am going to swot up on how to market and publicise for greater effect. I hope it works. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

What do you think? Feedback would be very useful. Especially any tips on marketing and promotion. Thank you:)

You can watch trailers for the books on Youtube:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ8o_mBopYM

If you would like to know more about me and my writing, please visit these websites: http://www.nicolamcdonagh.com/ http://www.thesongofforgetfulness.com/      

Cover Reveal of Concordant Vibrancy

Cover Reveal

Welcome!

Today we are happy to present you with the cover of
Concordant Vibrancy: Unity, An All Authors Anthology

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Before we show you the cover, lets tell you a little bit about Concordant Vibrancy.

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Blurb:

All Authors Publishing House, a subsidiary of All Authors Publications & Promotions, is pleased to present its first short story anthology, Concordant Vibrancy.

Concordant Vibrancy represents the interweaving of unity and uniqueness through the eyes of eleven incredible writers. Through the array of genres, all of these talents share a phenomenal love of writing which aims to leave imprints in the reader’s imagination.

Short stories in this collection:

Butterfly Mask” by Nicola McDonagh

Messarii’s Blood Hunt” by D. John Watson

Seven Days” by Harmony Kent

Touch Me” by Andrea Houtsch

… and we” by Adonis Mann

Til Death Do Us Part” by A. Lopez, Jr.

Coalesce” by Da’Kharta Rising

Her A to Z” by C. Desert Rose

Lester’s Release” by Synful Desire

The Authentic Snap” by Queen of Spades

Alma’s Unsung Angel” by Y. Correa

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It was important to portray both the unification and individuality of each author as well as the theme of this anthology on its cover. In the introduction of Concordant Vibrancy, Y. Correa, the creator of All Authors P&P explains it this way, “… like leaves on a tree, we are all connected. Mother Earth, the best example of unity mankind has.

Without further ado, we present you with the cover of Concordant Vibrancy created by All Authors Graphic Design.
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Now available for Pre-Order at:
Amazon.com

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Continuous Drips Cover Reveal

It gives me great pleasure to announce the cover reveal of:     Continuous Drips cdfinalA marvellous short, multi genre story anthology by three very talented wirters: The collective: Da’Kharta Rising, Synful Desire, and Queen of Spades. Blurb: Different colors of ink collide in this short story anthology Continuous Drips Take a trip into darkness with Da’Kharta Rising with:

“Unrest”, “Omitted” and “The Kutters”.

da'kharta rising Love, loss, and erotic heat hypnotically swirl in the mind of Synful Desire when reading: “Derailed Endurance”, “Final Prep to Happiness” and “FAN-tasy Island”. synful derailed

Episodes of human interaction displacement are given in doses when Queen of Spades presents: “Misfortune”, “Afro Shock”, and “Útil.” Afro shock Amazon Pre-Order The official launch date for Continuous Drips is November 12th but pre-order is available: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OTQVO9C You can find out more about these authors on the following: Networking links: da'kharta rising id

Da’Kharta Rising

synful id Synful Desire

QOFS Queen of Spades

Twitter @authorqspades (https://twitter.com/authorqspades) I wish Queen, Synful and Da’Kharta all the best with their new collection – Continuous Drips cdfinal

Exclusive – Book Cover Reveal

At last! the cover for the second book in The Song of Forgetfulness  sci-fi/dystopian series, is out!!

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A Silence Heard continues the story of Adara, and her desperate search for the missing Meeks – gifted young ‘uns. As a taster I have posted a small extract from the book. In this scene Adara and her companions have landed in Agro headquarters, and have encountered the Agro menace for the first time. The book itself is due for publication on 6th May 2014.

“A swishing sound halted our progress. It came from one of the structures to our left and we turned to see two bullmales exit from an oblong hole in the centre. They moved towards us and the hole closed. I blinked and no matter how hard I tried, I could not see where the doorway had been. Eadgard stepped in front and pushed Kendra and myself behind him. Wirt, stood to his right and Marcellus to his left. I nestled up against Eadgard’s back and took in long breaths to slow the pace of my heart.

The Agro guards marched closer.

I poked my head around Eadgard’s bod just enough to spy the males. I had never seen an Agro up close and was full of apprehension. Those Carnies I believed to be Agro were merely fake and did not represent their form at all. I imagined Agros to be huge and bulky, with tiny eyes and big claw like hands. In short, I supposed them to be more beast than hominid. But as they approached, I saw, with some disappointment, that they were not so different from us in shape and size. They carried fierce weapons that looked as though they could both poke and bludgeon at the same time. I did not want to cause further palpitations by imagining said weapons being used on me and mine, so took to gazing upon their person instead.

No two hominids could be more similar in appearance. They were tall and thin with patchy black and grey stubble splattered over much of their long sunken-cheeked faces. They wore the same uniform, an all-in-one blood red trouser suit made from a strange sparkly material. They stopped in front of us and aimed the weapons at our heads.

One of them stepped forward and lowered his weapon, “Follow,” he said. His voice was deep and boomy. His eyes were a dull brown and no light seemed to come from them. The other stared blankly at us and I felt Eadgard’s spine stiffen.” 

Choosing a Book Cover Image

After deciding to self-publish my collection of short stories, and rejecting the cover I wanted to use (because of copyright laws) I thought it best to use one of my own photographs. Instead of the collection being called Rousseau’s Suburban Jungle after a story in the anthology, I chose to name it Glimmer, after another tale.

This word conjured up all sorts of ideas of light and twinkling images and I spent many days rifling through my photographic collection until I saw a few pictures that I felt would be appropriate. I then narrowed it down to two.

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I preferred the last one and after fiddling around for ages, chose a different photograph! Well, not so different actually. I then played around with colour:

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Although I really liked the blue version, I felt that the red would have more impact. A graphic designer friend very kindly offered to format the layout and graphics for me:

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And after a few tweaks, the final result:

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I really liked it and the book was launched on 1-1-14.

You can purchase a Kindle or paperback copy on:

http://www.amazon.com/Glimmer-Nicola-McDonagh-ebook/dp/B00H89AN1M/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388153321&sr=1-1&keywords=glimmer+by+nicola+mcdonagh

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Glimmer-other-stories-Nicola-McDonagh/dp/149432928X/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386951475&sr=1-10&keywords=glimmer

 

Coming soon – Glimmer

My collection of short stories Glimmer is due to be self-published shortly!

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So as a taster, here are a couple of images and quotes:

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Scarecrow
‘She caught her breath and ran through the sodden, rutted fields.
Stumbling and falling, she headed towards a low privet hedge at the end of an overgrown meadow.’

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Earnest Thirk
‘…the mullion windows that cast a soft light upon her naked body; the thick grey smoke that curled from his Russian cigarettes.’