Cover Title Conundrums

I recently had a couple more of my covers redone. One that many people liked, the one for the 4th book in the Morelville Mysteries series, Hitched and Tied, I just wanted tweaked a little. It was the first one a family member did for me and, while I was happy with the art, I didn’t feel like the title was very eye catching. At thumbnail size, it was very difficult to read. Here’s the new cover:

Hitched and TiedThe art, which got a lot of comments when the cover came out, is the same but the whole cover is framed in now and the title is so much more appealing to the browsing eye than it was before.

The other cover to get a recent revamp – though I’m still not altogether happy with it – was done by the same person. It’s the most recent Morelville Mystery cover for Book 7, Mad for Mel. The titling looks a lot better but the art came out so much darker. I’m told it’s less cartoon-ish and more mystery now but, I don’t know. My books, though they typically include murder, also include romance and I never wanted them to be perceived as ‘dark’.

Here’s the new cover. What do you think? Mad for Mel 3

The book has a Valentine’s Day theme as part of the backstory so the original cover had a lighter purple hue and it was trimmed in more of a red than an orange. I understand picking up the coloring of the biker’s bandanna here but I’m just not too sure about this one overall. I’m going to let this one simmer for a bit. Maybe it will grow on me. We’ll see how well it does on Amazon – if it gets more clicks, or not. It’s been loaded up there already.

I haven’t actually had this book converted for CreateSpace yet so there’s no full wrap cover for it. I’m going to hold off on it until I decide if I’m keeping this one or have it lightened up a bit.

That brings me to a dilemma. Hitched and Tied is out in print (via CreateSpace) with the old cover. I need to have that changed so I’m going to have to dig through my files, get the old formatting data and have my full wrap cover designer do a redo. Maybe he kept records? Probably not…

And, speaking of dilemma’s, I absolutely love the design of the Dana’s Dilemma cover that was done by author, publisher and graphic artist Shiralynn Lee. It’s very representative of the story and we went back and forth quite a bit getting it just right. danas-dilemma-coverShiralynn just started her publishing company though and she isn’t doing a lot of cover work these days. In this quest to revise covers to have more prominent titles, I’m looking at this book and I’m thinking that I just want to tweak that just a bit. The art is great; love it! The title I’m no longer satisfied with. In thumbnail, danas-dilemma-coveras shown, it’s just a little hard to read. I guess I’ll let the artist I’ve been working with on all these revisions have a go at it as long as he promises not to touch the artwork. But then that’s another cover that has to be changed with CreateSpace too…sigh…

Hannahs Hope Cover BHannahs Hope Cover BI just recently held a little cover choice poll for my next book, the eighth in the mysteries series, Hannah’s Hope (to be released in June). It was close with lots of people who liked both covers. One edged out the other but the one that won; this one, is another one that’s very hard to read at thumbnail size – even harder than with Dana’s Dilemma. I really like it too but I’m thinking fonts are going to have to change on it.

And, fans of the other cover, don’t worry, I kept it. I’ve decided I’m going to use it for a future book. It may be for Book 9 or maybe for the sequel to Broken Women, if I decide to do one. Here’s the template of that cover:

Book 9 Cover Template

There really is something mysterious about it. I can see why so many people liked it. I think it will make a better Book 9 cover for the series and a follow-up to Hannah’s Hope than it will as a follow-up to Broken Women. Once ya’ll read Hannah’s Hope, I think you’ll agree.

Why does this even matter?

So, why all this attention to how titles look, you might be asking…especially if you’ve stuck with me this far. Well, all of my research and testing have shown that books with titles that are easy to read at thumbnail size tend to sell better. I’ve definitely seen that with my own stuff and I’ve found lots of research to back that up from some of the biggest names in the marketing business. Yes, I LOVE writing but I also want to sell the books I write.

It frustrates me as a reader when I’m scanning through Amazon on my phone or looking at the also bought on my iPad and even on my PC and the book titles don’t pop at the small sizes. Typically, I skip right over those books. How many more people are just like me? As an author, the thought scares me. And yet, I see so many of my fellow authors, women mostly, that I hang out with in Facebook groups and that I chat with who present books with great or at least decent artwork only to have the title in a small, thin font – often script – and often in a color that blends into the cover art. Sadly, some of the best known names in lesfic do this. Why? What could be their reasoning?

Your thoughts and comments as always, are welcome.

About Anne Hagan

I'm an East Central Ohio based government employee by day and a fiction author by night. I specialize in mystery fiction featuring lesbian sleuths and cozy fiction featuring women sleuths. I also dabble in romance especially romantic lesfic. I live with my wife and our dogs in a tiny town that’s even smaller than the Morelville of my first fiction series and we wouldn't have it any other way. My wife grew up here and she has always called this little village home. Though it’s an ultra-conservative rural community, we're surrounded here by family, longtime friends and many other wonderful people with open hearts and minds. My wife and I are the co-owners of a commercial haunted house: Hagan's House of Horrors. Much as my dream has always been to write fiction, hers has been to create it through the medium of horror. We went full commercial in 2015. Watch us as we grow!
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