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Proof that Book Covers Make the Difference

I recently came across this fabulous post by Author, Jody Hedlund: Book Covers: Are They Important in the Digital Age?. It’s something I’ve wanted to blog about for a bit, but kept holding off.

Every day I realize just how important covers are. Especially to ebooks. Let me tell you why.

July 2011 I self pubbed a story called Stampede Fever. Remember that one? My very first cover that I ever made (I shake my head at it now). I think I made ‘maybe’ $10 from July – November on that story.

Sad. It’s a good story.

On the suggestion of a good friend, Lisa Renee Jones, I decided to change the cover and title. It is now Hot for Cowboy and well … the cover is HOT. Hot For Cowboy

December 21, 2011 it went live. I’m going to give you the numbers of what it has sold per week since then. I’m amazed.

The week before I changed the cover – Stampede Fever sold 1 copy.

Hot for Cowboy Release Week – 44
2nd Week – 112
3rd Week – 76
4th Week – 73
5th Week – 51
6th Week – 52
Currently (3 days into the week) – 144

I have not used KDP for Hot for Cowboy. Not yet. I’m happy with these numbers. I’m currently #79 for Romance/Western on Amazon. I’ve held that steady now for a couple days. I’m also in the low 4,000’s (correction I’m in the 3,000’s now) for paid fiction. I’m getting there. I’m happy.

The cover does make the difference. The cover is the first thing your reader will see before they read your words.

How are your sales? Could they be better? Have you tried everything to increase your sales yet nothing works? If your an indie author – have you thought about changing your cover? Too expensive you say? Not so … take a look at www.theauthorsredroom.com – they have premade covers for only $35.

19 Responses to "Proof that Book Covers Make the Difference"

  • ENW
    September 7, 2016 - 6:58 pm Reply

    Guess my comment re confounding manipulations didnt make the cut?

    Im just looking for solid empirical evidence that book covers matter as much as people say they do, compared to, say, well-chosen titles. I appreciate your write-up, but it’s not valid to claim proof based on the experience you shared.

    Im not claiming that covers dont matter–surely they do–but would be great to see if a $300 cover from a top shelf designer really fares that much better than a $20 cover from a budget designer, all other variables held constant. Let me know if you have come across anything like that. moulton8@gmail.com

    • Steena Holmes
      September 7, 2016 - 7:14 pm Reply

      Your original comment was waiting approval. Considering this post was from 2012 – a lot has changed in the past 4 years, including cover designers. I still believe covers matter – and I do feel that my post is valid since I was basing it on my own experience. In the past 4 years, I’ve seen proof of how important covers still are. Would a $300 cover do better than a $20 cover? I guess that depends on the cover and the designer…you can ask a lot of indie authors who have changed covers on their books and the difference it has made.

  • Book Cover Design | YourWordsInPrint.com
    March 7, 2013 - 1:14 am Reply

    […] Proof that Book Covers Make the Difference | Steena Holmes … http://www.steenaholmes.com/I recently came across this fabulous post by Author, Jody Hedlund: Book Covers: Are They Important in the Digital Age?. It's something I've wanted to blog about for a bit, but kept holding off. Every day I realize just how … […]

  • Tameri Etherton
    February 8, 2012 - 2:44 pm Reply

    Ahmazing. Who would’ve thought a cover could impact the book so much? Well, I guess now we know. That’s probably why the traditional publishers won’t let you use your own artwork and generally change the title. I don’t really choose a book for its cover, but rather for the first page. If it doesn’t get me on the first page I’ll skip it, brilliant cover or not.

  • Diana Murdock
    February 8, 2012 - 9:02 am Reply

    In my library days, I used to pick the book by its cover. Shallow yes, but true. I think the cover jump starts the imagination, kind of like foreplay for reading.

  • Lisa H.
    February 8, 2012 - 8:40 am Reply

    How terrible it must have been sorting through all those unattractive men to pick the right cover! 😉

    Interesting post. Great advice!

    • steenaholmes
      February 8, 2012 - 10:58 am Reply

      Lisa, it was horrible 🙂 It really really was 🙂

  • Louise Behiel
    February 7, 2012 - 6:46 pm Reply

    interesting – i’m a person who barely registers the cover, so I find their importance staggering.

    • steenaholmes
      February 7, 2012 - 10:52 pm Reply

      You wouldn’t think it would be that important…but I guess it is 🙂

  • Elena Aitken
    February 7, 2012 - 5:38 pm Reply

    So interesting how a change can make such a huge difference! Very cool. Thanks for sharing your numbers.

    • steenaholmes
      February 7, 2012 - 10:51 pm Reply

      Elena I’m amazed at my numbers this month …

  • Darlene Steelman
    February 7, 2012 - 4:19 pm Reply

    Wow! That is so awesome… 🙂 That is so interesting… I would have looked at Stampede Fever, but not Hot For Cowboy..

    I am glad your change up worked. 😀

    • steenaholmes
      February 7, 2012 - 10:51 pm Reply

      I still love Stampede Fever .. maybe one day I’ll reuse it 🙂

    • steenaholmes
      February 7, 2012 - 4:11 pm Reply

      No doubt it played a part. Cowboy anything right now seems to work … what do you think? I’ll always love Stampede Fever but …

      • Jillian (@JillCFlanagan)
        February 7, 2012 - 4:55 pm Reply

        Hmm. I think Hot for Cowboy sounds sexier than Stampede Fever. The cover is way sexier though. And I do look at covers.
        So I think it was a combination. But the cover looks great and I’m happy your sales are up. Where’d you get the stock from?

        • ENW
          September 7, 2016 - 1:25 pm Reply

          Agreed re title. Not really proof of cover effect because of the confounding manipulations. Bet the title accounted for at least half of the effect

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