To offer discreet covers or to not offer discreet covers, that was the question. And eagle eyed readers can probably tell -per the image above- that I opted with TO offer them.
I debated about this with myself for a long time. But sales have been non-existent for the photo covers, and I didn’t think I had much to lose by taking the plunge. Romance readers follow trends, for one thing. For another, they ‘eat with their eyes’ and, as much as I love my photo covers, there is something to be said for bright, eye-catching designs that actually do leave a lot to the imagination. (I have included a warning about the explicit content in the preface of those new print covers, though.)
However, what I didn’t anticipate was how much I’d prefer the alternative covers when they arrived. They’re currently Amazon exclusive (because I can’t really afford the Ingram Spark set up costs to make them go wide right now), but they are absolutely gorgeous in person. I did a little TikTok unboxing video for anyone who wants to see my reaction, haha.
I feel guilty for thinking this, but I actually prefer them to my original covers. So much so that I might just cancel the photo covers for the rest of the series and focus solely on the discreet ones going forward, which was never the plan.
See, I hate it when I’m collecting a set and the author changes the covers midway through, but that’s what I’m considering doing right now. I might upset the grand sum of 6 people who bought the original covers, but that is a risk I am willing to take.
Yes, this means I’m kind of rebranding. Yes, this means I’m giving myself additional work (removing the old covers entirely, unpublishing with Amazon and properly merging the new covers across etc). But…I’m excited about all of it. The old ones aren’t selling. I haven’t sold a paperback in months. Just because I have an emotional and sentimental attachment to them shouldn’t mean I should stick with them. Gotta cut my losses and move on, really.
(Here’s where I eye Charlie’s biceps and sigh sadly, lol.)
Honestly, I’ve made so many mistakes in this self-publishing journey. This has the potential of becoming yet another one. But I’m happy to take the risks now: to make the changes and play around while I’m still relatively unknown, rather than give up. And, hey, if these changes don’t pan out? I can always bring the photo covers back. That’s the beauty of being in control of my own publishing, I guess.
Anyway, I’d love feedback on the new covers, or on whether you’ve also tried rebranding/new covers and how that went for you. I know I’m not alone in trying to figure things out, so any advice is welcome!