This Bonkers New Cover Will Boost Book Sales, Right?

But what do I slap on there? The original cover was intended to give the messy 33% Non-Fictional story a sort of textbook feel. Thus, the template with the generic layout, the non-expressive font, and the totally uninteresting subtitling.

I still like it, don't get me wrong

I still like it, don’t get me wrong

Plus, there’s the index at the back of the book, to add to this textbook vibe, providing easy access to all the Antony and Cleopatra and cheap hand job references.

It's helped scholars and perverts immensely

It’s helped scholars and perverts immensely

But, I felt the casual reader would not understand what the hell I was aiming for, or why there are so many references to the Chevy Aveo. They may question how this tale can really be 33% non-fictional while still including so many robots. So I figured, here on the 13-ish month anniversary of the initial publication, Parade Day needed a new cover. Which brings us to today.

How do I go about such a thing? I’m no graphic designer, and my spatial comprehension sucks major tetrahedrons. So I boiled it down to the age old question – “How can I move an assload of this story easiest, at the briefest glance, with as little skill required as possible?” And that got the ball rolling.

First up, the idea of hiring someone else to work on the design was immediately rejected. Composing the cover would almost certainly require the artist to have read the book, and that unfortunately cut the talent pool down to me, my mom, and a handful of others.

Including the girl on the cover, related to me by marriage

Including the girl on the cover, related to me by marriage

So, back in my hands – the person who threw together the original cover – I lost a lot of faith. What brings people in? What sells? What books have big success and is the cover the reason for it? The Da Vinci Code is a hacky pile of clauses and contrived suspense. But does its cover force a customer to ignore those drawbacks and buy anyway?

There's gotta be some explanation

There’s gotta be some explanation

So, would the Mona Lisa move copies of Parade Day, despite having nothing to do with the plot? Do we reference any other famous works of art we can slap on the cover? *Consulting index* It appears not, but there are a bunch of Yuengling mentions, so…

Made in ten minutes! In MS Paint!

Made in ten minutes! In MS Paint!

Bah, that’s not gonna work! I’ll get my ass sued off! And there isn’t that much ass to go around that I can afford to lose any! Okay, so if I can’t blatantly rip off another cover’s design, what can I use to pull people in? The promise of fun and excitement? And that it’s something good looking people do? Hmm…

In our partnership with the good people from Big Tabacco!

In our partnership with the good people from Big Tobacco!

No, that’s not gonna work. People don’t smoke anymore! And those that do certainly don’t read! They’re too busy coughing! So we can’t go with the All Fun angle. What about just good looking people? Sex sells! Can sex move Parade Day, a book featuring zero nudity and only a smattering of hand-holding? What if we put all the lurid excitement on the cover? That could work!

The kids love Lady Gaga's rear business!

The kids love Lady Gaga’s rear business!

Dammit, but what about the ladies? They aren’t going to appreciate picking up a book with a thonged-up female posterior! Way to alienate your readership, Goats! Maybe we package the same book for women and men? Just like blue and red bag Skittles!

That's the ticket

That’s the ticket

No, no, no, guys get a whiff that this cover is floating around and they will run straight back to their Field & Streams and John Updikes before you can say SKOAL: Always There in a Pinch! So what’s the solution? I’ve exhausted everything I know about advertising. Pizza, cigarettes, Dan Brown, asses, abs – that’s it, that’s how commerce works. I took Business 101, and I believe all we did was watch that Cindy Crawford Pepsi commercial the whole semester (I went to college in the ’90s, obviously).

The hell with it, I’m going to use my mighty powers of Paint and concoct a new cover from scratch! Something bold and alcoholic! Something iconic and subtle! Something guaranteed to rake in the cash and convince others that Scranton’s binge drinking is way more awesome than it is sad!

Boom! Done! Just look at this new cover, it’s a beauty! I’ll just open my wallet and wait for the moolah to jump right in! Wait, what? What do you mean that’s not how it works? What the hell else is there? Okay, smart guy, we’ll see which one of us is proved correct. Let the games begin!


Filed under humor, Internet, Publishing, Writing

2 responses to “This Bonkers New Cover Will Boost Book Sales, Right?

  1. Oh my goodness but this article made me laugh! Especially since I just spent untold hours designing a couple of covers in my non-graphic artist sort of way. I approve of the new cover. It’s more eye-grabbing and clean than the old one. Well done!

  2. rpmas

    Flat out, if I didn’t have Rotty, aka RPMAS Designs in my pocket, I wouldn’t even have bothered writing which tells you how important covers are. We do judge a book by its cover. It’s my only chance as someone clicks through all those books to get them to click on mine because honestly? It will probably get lost in the shuffle if they don’t take a look right then. Amazon has what? 5,000,000 books or so?

    She does my covers and I do her store so I get my covers for free. My designs from her are on both blogs and on the WIP pages as well as her premades in a gallery on my blog here. She also did the custom graphics on my main site. As for covers to show how she works with authors, the Premade cover called Rage was one of her redesigns for Jabin & the Space Pirates by Bev Allen. They continued to work on the cover and another was selected because Bev couldn’t see Jabin as being that angry. She works off a synopsis and what you want for her custom work. You have to have the ability to tell her what your book is because that does change the cover. Some of our conversations about mine got very interesting and funny.

    But honestly? Without her? I wouldn’t even be thinking of publishing anything. And I really HATE rewrites.

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