Sunday, November 8, 2015

Your Novel Doesn't Sell? You Can Change That. (Part Four)

This is Part Four of what you can do to change up your book to make it a good seller.

D) Get a cover designed by a professional book cover designer. You might say, "But my son knows Photoshop, and he can do amazing things with it." That's like saying, "My son is a great mechanic and is amazingly skillful with his hands, so I'm going to have him fix my teeth."

Yes, a professional book cover is expensive, anywhere from $400 or $500 up to $1500 or more. But this is your novel we're talking about, one of the most significant things you've ever done. Skip eating out for a few months if you must, but get a professional cover. I can't count the number of authors who've proudly handed me a copy of their new book and my first thought is to wonder why they skimped on a cover. Buy a used car instead of a new car. Do whatever it takes.

Here's a useful thought experiment. Imagine your book on a table with 20 current bestselling novels. Now imagine people walking by and, without opening any of the books, picking out the one that looks like it will have the best story. Will it be yours?

You might be wondering about my covers. Although I'm extremely happy with them, and I think my cover designer is amazing (Keith Carlson Graphic Design), I now see that I made a mistake in the beginning of having my name small because I was an unknown. I thought, "An unknown name is certainly not going to help get attention for books!" Multiple people told me otherwise, including, I think, the designer, but I didn't pay attention. (I often miss the obvious.) I've since come to realize that the author name should take the same, larger format on the first five books as it does on the next eight. More work to do, but it will be worth it. Even so, many times people come by my book exhibit and buy books having never opened them up to even read the first sentence. They say something like, "This book looks like it is really good." And then they buy it. I know, crazy! But it happens often.

Will a professional cover make your book a success? No. But a non-professional cover will almost guarantee that you won't find success.

Stay tuned for part five...

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