What did I learn?
1. Your covers should have a clear, simple, striking image that will still pop out when the cover is reduced to the size of a postage stamp.
2. Your covers need to have a consistent, branded look.
3. Don't be afraid to experiment, to rethink everything about how your book is presented: the title, the cover art, the categories its listed under, the way you describe it, the way you've priced it. Just because your book has been posted, that doesn't mean it's been carved in stone and can't be altered. You need to adapt to find your audience. In other words, you can't just post your book on the Kindle and leave it. Your book will continue to need attention and, if necessary, updating to stoke sales.
At one point I wanted to license Lee's .357 VIGILANTE series, but the economy hit and I had to concentrate on other things. I am glad Lee is learning the lessons we've known here at Pulp 2.0 for awhile now, and having greater success because of it:
- People DO judge a book by its cover.
- It needs to work in a variety of formats in order to be the most effective - as a thumbnail, a web banner, a poster and yes - as a book cover.
- The book inside is the steak - you need to sell the sizzle because an entertainment purchase is an emotional decision.
- Add value to the book wherever you can. Your customers deserve it.
THE BOOK IS ONLY THE BEGINNING...
At Pulp 2.0 Press we have these discussions all the time - via email, over the phone and in person. We want you to read our books, but we also want you to experience them. Call that transmedia or multiplatform or whatever... it's an important factor in how we approach what we do here.
So when you make the decision to purchase a Pulp 2.0 book you should understand that we're going to use all of the buffalo in creating something unique and entertaining to which you can connect. That means the story, the cover, the medium and the "goodies" - it's the whole package.
You'll soon be seeing some of that difference here on the web. Stay tuned.
EDIT TO ADD: Seems Joe Konrath agrees with me on some things.