Sunday, September 14, 2014

I need feedback on the design of my next book

I'm intent on releasing Regret Things soon. I haven’t touched the manuscript in months, except to insert links into the Kindle file. But I have been messing with my cover.

The image on the left was my first stab at it. I designed it to feel anonymous, choosing a common font and stripping identifying information. I wanted to play into the book’s themes of infidelity, ego and desperation. But a few things have made me reconsider my concept.

First of all, Sin Walks Into the Desert has been a consistent critical hit and a mild commercial success. While Regret Things isn’t exactly a prequel, Nicki and her little brother Sin show up in both books. It seems wise to let fans know the stories are related.

Secondly, I got some pointed advice (from Ty, among others) about selling books on Amazon. Readers want to identify the author and genre at a glance. Subtlety equals death.

And last, while the book takes place in locations across America, three of the chapters are set in turn-of-the-century Manhattan and they're the best writing I've ever done. When I saw a glorious photo of the city on Unsplash, I fell in love and wanted to see what it'd look like as a cover.

What do you think? Which design would make you want to pick up the book? If you're a guy, would you even consider buying a book with a hotel bed on the cover? Help.

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