Saturday, January 21, 2012

I think I LOVE my new cover...

for the paperback edition of LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD, INTO THE FOREST AGAIN


(both front and back sides are shown)

What do you think?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Cover for Little Red Riding Hood

I participated in a workshop yesterday with the Indie Book Collective, which are a totally rocking group of Indie Writers who know a lot about what it takes to be successful in the ebook world.

One of the things we talked about was covers: What makes good covers. What makes not so good covers. My cover for Little Red is one that I've struggled with for a long time. While it looks great on the paperback edition, the thumbnail that shows up on Amazon and other book searches is just too small to show any appealing detail. Author Carolyn McCray (30 Pieces of Silver) affirmed what I'd long suspected. My cover illustration wasn't doing my book justice. Little Red needed to be bigger, because she was lost in the thumbnail.

While looking at other Little Red books available on Amazon, I realized my cover looked similar. And while this was an aspect I considered to be appealing and reflective of my book's content, it did little to help make my book stand out from the crowd. As it stood, Into the Forest Again, didn't show that it offered something new to the traditional tale, something different, something exciting, and even something a bit suspenseful.

I happened to come up with this new cover almost by accident. Well, not quite by accident. I was exploring photo-effect options on my beloved photo editing site (Picnik.com), when I stumbled upon the invert feature. Voila!

Actually, changing the cover involved a lot more than a simple press of the button, as well as use of some other beloved software on my computer. I'll spare you the details. But! I am very interested in hearing what you think.
New Cover:























Old cover:


Happy 2012!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What I've Learned about Amazon categories


With readers having found The Ghost in Me over the holidays, I finally got to learn a little bit about how category placement in Amazon translates into sales. The Ghost in Me had inched up into the Top 10 and Top 25 in categories for Arts and Music, Theatre and Spine-Chilling Ghost Stories. (Whoot!) And I could understand the first two listings, since The Ghost in Me is centered around a play that the characters get involved in. However, my book isn't overly scary, and that concerned me. I wondered, Would it find its way to the right readers since it was listed in the HORROR category? What about readers looking for lighter, more humorous stories?

I decided to test the waters. I went to Amazon and changed the category listing to Sci Fci, Fantasy and Magic, thinking it might be a better fit. I left the Theatre category in tact. It took about a week for the category change to take place. Low and behold, today I found out my book dropped off the search engines on Amazon for Children's Horror and Ghost Stories, even though yesterday, it was listed in the Top 25 among those sellers. Today, if readers want to find a ghost story like mine by surfing this category in Kindle, they won't find it.

Yikes. I didn't realize that would happen, especially since the word "ghost" is in the title. My book is still selling well, its just that readers now have to find it by name, which makes it a little bit of a bummer in realizing I'm missing out on readers who are browsing the Ghost shelves.

Thus, back to Amazon I went and changed the category listing back to Horror and Ghost Stories. Interestingly, The Ghost in Me is still in the top 10 in three other categories related to Arts and Theatre, but for now, I'll have to limp through a week with having lost the top 25 rank among Ghost listings.

Here's hoping that happy readers can continue to get the word out until my flub is fixed, and that I can get that ranking back by next week. It really does help when your book is seen on the first few pages at Amazon in a category of interest.

I guess you never know what you don't know, until you realize what you didn't know,... and then you know it, sometimes a little too late.

Best wishes to all you authors and readers out there who are surfing the dominions of the book categories holding the golden rings.