Impact of cover art on sales?

General discussion on illustration, art, and the business of same.
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Rebecca Birch
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Impact of cover art on sales?

Postby Rebecca Birch » Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:06 pm

I'm wondering if any of you have experience of changing from basic to more compelling cover art? Did you notice a difference in your sales/sample downloads?
Rebecca Birch
Finalist - 2, SF - 1, SHM - 1, HM - 16, R - 6
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Short Story Collection--Life Out of Harmony and Other Tales of Wonder

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izanobu
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Re: Impact of cover art on sales?

Postby izanobu » Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:20 pm

I have only ever changed one cover. It was on a literary short story. The other two I'd put up were selling at least a few copies a month, but this one wasn't. So I switched out the cover (which was originally a chain wrapped around a rose cane) for another one (face of a crying girl). Within about a month the story started selling 3-5 copies a month. Which is more than zero and about what the average among my short stories. So it made a difference, I think.

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Martin L. Shoemaker
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Re: Impact of cover art on sales?

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:49 pm

I've only self-pubbed two works so far. (It'll be three in a few hours!) In both cases, I revised the covers based on feedback here. Between the two books, I've sold only 7 or 8 copies (not counting copies I gave to friends and coworkers). So I don't have any data to judge.

But I have one anecdote... Last weekend, I had an idea for a story. Really just a concept, an idea seed if you will, plus a couple of characters. And then for some reason I had an inspiration for a cover. I showed that cover to two friends, and both are now demanding I finish the story so they can read it. I'm rather pleased with the impact of that cover.

UPDATE: I take it back! I've actually sold 13 copies altogether! I lost track somewhere.

"The Mother Anthony" is now up to 8 sales. I can't say that's due to the cover switch, but it sure didn't hurt!
Last edited by Martin L. Shoemaker on Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ThomasKCarpenter
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Re: Impact of cover art on sales?

Postby ThomasKCarpenter » Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:58 pm

I changed covers on my short story Sagan's Law. It made a huge difference because the original cover sucked since I designed it. And I'm planning on changing my covers for my Digital Sea trilogy when the last book comes out. The covers aren't bad, but we have ideas on how to make them more distinct.
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Re: Impact of cover art on sales?

Postby s_c_baker » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:27 pm

I've never sold nothin' nowhere, but logic and common sense would dictate it makes a huge impact. You have to consider that the majority of short story ebook purchases are going to be something like "impulse" buys--that's not to be derogatory, just a consequence of their brevity and low price. Most of your customers are going to be people who are bored and looking for a way to spend a few hours, most likely.

Cover art is what will make you stand out. If your cover looks like it was designed by a 20-year old, arthritic, blind cat, it's not going to move many copies. Contrarily, if your cover has breasts on it and you are targeting 20-year old human males, you will soon be a bestseller.

Here are a few links to other places on the web discussing this issue in general terms:
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/529 ... flash-bang

http://www.thetatteredscroll.com/2007/1 ... sales.html

http://www.unifiedmanufacturing.com/blo ... res-proof/ (talking about record sales, but same thing really)

http://makeitinmusic.wordpress.com/2011 ... cts-sales/ (ditto: but this time about e-albums, and how to effectively make art for the computer screen that sells)
Stewart C Baker - 1st place, Q2 V32
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Dustin Adams
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Re: Impact of cover art on sales?

Postby Dustin Adams » Mon Jan 16, 2012 7:08 am

I bought a copy of Anthony, Martin. Looking forward to reading it. Seems right up my alley.
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Martin L. Shoemaker
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Re: Impact of cover art on sales?

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:25 am

Dustin Adams wrote:I bought a copy of Anthony, Martin. Looking forward to reading it. Seems right up my alley.


Thanks, Dustin! I hope you enjoy it. It's a little less nuts-n-bolts than my usual stuff.
http://Shoemaker.Space
Other worlds from award-winning author Martin L. Shoemaker

WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!
SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT!
REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT!
Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience.
NNiNN

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Rebecca Birch
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Re: Impact of cover art on sales?

Postby Rebecca Birch » Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:35 am

Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and data point observations. Marketing and all its permutations are a big fuzzy black-hole-mystery to me.

And fwiw, I just read The Mother Anthony and enjoyed it quite a bit. And such an attractive cover! wotf007
Rebecca Birch
Finalist - 2, SF - 1, SHM - 1, HM - 16, R - 6
Words of Birch
Short Story Collection--Life Out of Harmony and Other Tales of Wonder


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