AS you know I am learning about the publishing business. And at this point we have worked on the cover of the book to sell. My question is: what makes a book cover sellable or a sure sale?
For me when I look at a book cover some things catch my eye. Of course, there is the eye candy. And then of course there is the title. And then of course there is the author. Not necessarily in that order. I have some favorite authors that no matter where I am, I will always look for that author. And then there are some cover models that if I recognize them I will look for them as well. You get to know who they are. If you look on the inside cover sometimes they will tell you their names. You get big stars like Fabio Lanzoni who became big as a model cover, who in his own right, is a famous businessman in his home country. And they also start other careers as well. Another thing I look for is the synopsis. The synopsis will tell me whether or not I want to peruse the book as well. Am I interested in it enough to go from the back synopsis if they have one to the inside cover if they have one to maybe picking out a page on the book. Seems like a lot to do before deciding to read a book. I didn’t even know I actually did that until I started writing this entry. And then I look at the price. Do I want the hard cover at $27.00 or do I want the soft cover at $6.99? Sometimes guys it’s no contest. I only got the $6.99 to pay. But there you have it, what goes into my picking out of book at the bookstore.
Having said that, what as a writer of books, a publisher of books will make the book that I write for you the reader sell? I recently found in my perusal of facebook on the networked blogs a new blog that has probably been read by all of you already whether or not you are in the publishing business or not. The name of the blog and address is: http://networkedblogs.com/snUM0 entitled ZLS Publishing. On that page I found several little subpages that may help you in determining if you are on the right track for your publishing needs. But the page I am focusing on now also has to do with my question about your book cover and it is found on: Author Self Questionnaire.pdf-
The following questions in specifics:
2. Is it essential that you see your book on the bookshelf of retail bookstores?
My answer: I would like to see my book on the bookshelves of retail bookstores, yes. But in reality, I know that if I do self publish it may be more of me schlepping it around on my own. I will be going to the stores downtown, or at the library or from door to door maybe selling it. If I choose to do the eBook then it is online sales that will make me some money. And some of the programs will also offer me access to regular retail stores such as Barnes and Noble. This will increase my sale base and possibly get me on the best seller list like Darcie Chen. You never know.
3. If self-publishing or using our print-only service, are you sure you don’t want a Traditional publisher? Why?
My answer: For the first novel that I chose to put out was my poetry. In looking around even for an agent, a lot of traditional publishers and companies don’t sell poetry. A lot of that happens to come from word of mouth or specialized people in the industry. And what I have found out is that despite people liking poetry, some just don’t want to pay for a book of poetry alone. They would like something else involved in their reading experience. A lot of people like spoken word albums. They prefer to hear what you have written and then read it or read it and then hear it. Self publishing allows you the author to choose how many books you will think you will sell based on the amount of money you may actually have to spend. It will allow you to make the money and spend it at the same time. You may not have any money left over but you will know that later on. And some of you will make a killing in the industry. It all depends on where you are in your journey of writing and publishing.
4. Can you identify or contact a niche group of people interested in your topic?
In actuality I cannot identify who would be interested in what I have written without first trying it out. So I have people that I know read it and complete strangers as well. I do a trial test so to speak. They then let me know what they think and I can then multiply it by say 1000 persons to see what my actual numbers maybe. And there is my interest net.
The rest of the questions are on the webpage and you can view through the link. But take the time to actually read them and answer them yourselves. Your answers will tell you if you are realistically ready to try and publish your novel or not. And then it may just tell you that you want to publish and you will do what you have to for succeeding.
Now back to the book cover. My book cover is very basic actually. I read another two articles which will help you decide about what I am about to say. I had asked for a very basic cover. Not to flashy but not too boring and blasé. But I wanted something to catch your eye. So then I read these three articles entitled: http://networkedblogs.com/snUM0 10 Ways to Keep People From Laughing At Your Book Cover and 5 Things to Remember Before Cursing The Book Reviewer Out and 7 Things The Tooth Fairy Can Teach Authors About Marketing.
These then made me rethink my cover but I already approved it. Does it mean I can’t change it? No it doesn’t. I just have to look some more. But for now, I am hoping that it will catch your eye enough that you want to read it. Even that though makes me want to not try and publish. But if I don’t try and publish, then I will never know if I could have sold my work or not- and for me that is not something that I don’t want an answer about. I think that I am good enough to get published and to sell. I have been told that I am good enough to read and that it might sell depending on who wants to buy it. So why not try and sell my work-no reason.
To sum up guys, I am taking a risk that you will like my mindset and my personality enough to like my writing. As people say you work for us right because you write for us- well in some way that is true. I write so you read what I have written and therefore I work for you. And you help pay my salary. If you buy what I write then you might make me rich. But if you personally don’t like what I write there are a lot of other people who might. So when I tell you that specifically I don’t work for you that is not a lie. But hopefully you like me enough to buy what I wrote after all.
And then I can tell you the readers and my public- thank you.