Changing a Book Cover After Publication…Good Idea or Bad?

Now that Halloween is over, and I have used up all of my KDP free promotion days (I love using those) it’s time to get back to writing the sequel to Turning Grace. But before I spend my nights with my beloved Grace, I have decided to do some tweaking to the first book.

After I did my last revisions I said to myself “these will be my last revisions”. However, the other day I was thinking about it, which seems to be a never-ending process in my brain, and decided to research something.

First of all, my book sales aren’t exactly the best. I mean for being that this is my first book, I can’t say that my sales are horrible. I have read that many indie authors don’t make a single sale for months. That definitely isn’t the case for me. But of course I would love to boost my sales and get myself out there as much as I can. I feel like I have exhausted…okay maybe not exhausted…but used a lot of different promotional avenues that have not really made a difference. I promote my book on Twitter, Facebook, my website, Wattpad, Google, and do ads every now and then. My sales seem to remain the same. So, I began to focus on my actual book. Maybe I could make it look better. Or maybe change the blurb or something.

The “looking better” option really stood out to me, considering during the publication process I did have several other ideas in mind besides what I chose for the cover. I started investigating this. Could I change the cover of my novel when I have already published it and made sales?

I found an article written by Joanna Penn, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, highlighting this very question. In her article, she displays her own cover changes and gives a few examples of other bestselling authors who have changed their covers as well. Russell Blake, an author who has sold over 400,000 thrillers, changed the cover of one particular book 4 times before settling on the right one!

Read Joanna Penn’s full article here

After reading this, and a few other testimonials I found about the success authors have had after changing their covers, I have decided that I WILL change the cover of Turning Grace.

My novel is mostly targeted for the young adult audience. When I decided on the cover that I have now, I really had my audience in mind. And this novel is not completely dark. There is some humor in it despite the fact that Grace is turning into a flesh-eating zombie. I wanted something that was serious, but not too serious. Something that would catch the eye of a teenager.

This is the cover if you haven’t seen it…

Book Cover front

I also really wanted the cover to become sort of an icon…maybe like a brand for my novel. I worked pretty hard on this cover. When I bought this image from iStockphotos, it was simply the photo in the middle, in completely different colors. I learned how to use photoshop, which isn’t an easy task, and played around with it until I got this result.

Which isn’t bad. Don’t get me wrong. I am very proud of this cover and even if no one else likes it, I really do. It’s artsy and displays Grace in the way I wanted.

But now the new cover I have in mind is an actual picture of an actual person. This wasn’t easy either. I describe Grace thoroughly in my book. Since her appearance is changing throughout the novel, it was important for me to detail her characteristics. Trying to find a photo of a girl who has those exact qualities was tough. Unless you find a photo that is sort of silhouetted and doesn’t focus solely on the face. Which is what I found!

Is this a good idea? To change my cover? I have no idea. But that is the great thing about being an indie author and self-publishing. We can do whatever the hell we want! And if that means you have to make some big changes in order to figure things out, then so be it! You won’t know until you try, right?

So, has anyone else changed the cover of their book after publishing? If so, how’d it go? And if you are someone who is thinking about changing your cover, be sure to read that article or do some research. It actually made me feel a bit better about my decision.

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