I wrote a book—well, actually, I’ve written a few books … but I’ve published one (I could diverge a little more here and tell you the status on the other said books, but I’m trying to stay on topic so no wandering of the brain; yet) …
When The Caretakers first dropped the original cover was an older black and white photo. I liked the cover. I thought it depicted the environment the children were raised in and that their expressions had the kind of vagueness that would make onlookers want to know more. Alas, it was highly suggested by a number of people “in the know” that the cover be changed to something “more commercial.” Something that, “when placed next to other books of its genre would look appropriate.”
And so, I agreed and had the cover changed. We chose yellow for the background because research suggests it’s one of the colors that attracts buyers. And we played off the word “Caretaker” and added some bird cages; one of the images that (again, according to research) attracts women buyers specifically. Really, you should Google best selling book covers of all times … I’m telling you, lots of yellow, lots of birds … and a few empty dress forms. Among other things.
Anyway, wouldn’t you know it … when the new cover hit, sales took off. I sold 872 copies in one day and made the top 10 list for Amazon’s Women’s Fiction … and so, I get it. Covers sell. Content, well, one hopes that eventually it does too, but truth be known people do judge books by the cover. We can’t help it—we are drawn to certain things, images, colors, words … it all makes sense.
Still, I prefer the original. But I won’t change it back. In fact, should the book be re-released (which I’m planning, but not really working on yet), then I think I’ll do a different cover yet. I’ll let you know how the sales go ;)
BTW, you know there are more than 15 covers released for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn—which happens to be my favorite book. I first read my mother’s hand me down copy when I was a teenager. But I don’t remember what the cover looked like … only that I loved the words and it’s those words that sparked me to buy my own copy years later. A copy, I might add, that has a very commercial cover … certainly not the original, and one, I might add, that never would have sparked me to buy the book had I not known the splendor inside.
Today’s post inspired by The Daily One-word Prompt: Original.