I’ve been taking some time to look over some of my older releases particularly those whose sales have been lower than expected while yet drawing good reactions from folk who did read them. Sometimes a bad cover or bad book description can drag a book down.
People really do, after all, judge a book by its cover.
Case in point my novelette The Spaewife.
We started with the cover:
And the description:
A young mother hears the Norns. They tell her of terrible things to come. When Ulfarr wants her gift of prophesy to serve him, he takes her and steals away her children. Can the young mother escape from Ulfarr’s clutches and save her children from him? Only the Norns know.
Recently, the cover was described as “looks like a craft book from the 70’s”. The font used for title and byline were also problematic.
Other complaints were that the person looking at it didn’t know what a “Spaewife” was. Question was: “what’s a spae?” Also, they noted that a person unfamiliar with Norse myth might not know who the Norns were and, in general, the description confuses rather than entices.
So, first order of business was a new cover:
Although the building styles and the cross peeking out from behind the right side of the woman’s head are anachronistic for the story, this cover does more clearly say “fantasy” than the old one. The font is bolder and more easily legible even at thumbnail sizes.
The new cover has been uploaded, but Amazon can take up to three days before it shows up online.
Next came the new description or “blurb”:
What can a Spaewife do, when even the gods are against her and the future she foresees is full of horrors?
For years Katla Gudmarsdottir told no one of the things the Norns, controllers of fate, told her were coming. She shared forecastings of when to plant and when to harvest and other simple things, but not the dread visions the Norns gave her.
Now Ulfarr, the Foul one, has kidnapped her and holds her children hostage for her foretelling.
And alone, forsaken even by the Norns, Katla must save herself, her children and her people.
Here we make things a bit more clear. We are given an idea what a Spaewife is. The Norns are introduced to those who do not know what they are. And we are given the problem she faces in stark terms.
And so we have a much better presentation to help people who might enjoy the story find it. Which, in the end, is the goal of marketing, to bring together products and people who appreciate those projects.
And if this is a product you might like, you can find it here (sorry: as I said it can take a few days for Amazon to update the cover image and they’ve still got the old one):