Iterating and Optimizing

I have started reading Sterling & Stone’s awesome book about the next step in self-publishing, Iterate and Optimize. Needless to say, I have been inspired. The book has caused me to look at my own work as the editing phase on Lockwood Tower winds down before beta, and I’ve got a critical eye now that time has separated me from the passion of my past works.

The Entity Episode One Cover

The Entity was my first real great hit. If you haven’t read it, it’s a horror serial that follows a family who has unfortunately moved into a haunted house. No surprise that they live in Shapleigh, my childhood haunting grounds. I loved writing this series, and plans for a sequel started to get off the ground, but have been halted for the meantime. (I was spreading myself too thin, and I needed to get a better ending in place. More on that at a future date, if all goes according to plan!)

My critical eye turned to the covers of my released books. At the time, they were good. But, looking at them now, they just aren’t great. Do they convey my genre in an instant? Do they use the trappings of horror to capture interest?

My sales numbers will say no. The covers were trying to be artsy, which was something I needed to get out of my system.

On a browse of the horror genre on Amazon, I found that there was a theme to all the best-selling horror books. The text on my covers was plain white while the storefront showed splashes of red everywhere. I was trying to make covers based on scenes in the books, but the ones on the storefront showed creepy locations bathed in green and blue.

I set to work to redesign my series covers. I am happy with the outcome, and the friends I tested the new covers on were happy with them as well. They are horror-junkies, like me!

Here is the cover for my first book in the series, The Entity: Volume 1.

The Entity Volume 1 INTERIOR

Note that not only did I change the text, but I added more text where it was needed. The log lines for each book are not on the cover (something RL Stine did on all of his books) and I changed the word “Episode” to “Volume”. I think that is nicer and doesn’t make the books sound cheap. They are novellas, not full-blown novels in their own right. You need to read them all to get the full story.

What do you think? Do you like these changes? They should be on the Amazon storefront very soon!

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