Why and How Books sometimes get New Covers

book covers are different

Overview

The saying goes that you should never judge a book by its cover. But in the reading world, this saying is misleading and you will be surprised by how unrealistic it is. The fact is that readers will look at the cover of the book, try to make an assessment of it thereof, and make a decision on whether to buy the book or not. As a matter of fact, some bookshops use the display method as a sales and marketing tactic.

There are some authors who do not have to be overly worried about the cover. This is because they are already famous, and they have already accumulated a large fan base. Authors such as Daniel Steele, Sydney Sheldon, and Ken Follet do not have to introduce themselves to the readers, and any title they release will be deemed as good as the previous ones.

But majority of the authors and writers have to fight for their space in readership. Therefore, they have to ensure that they get the issue of the cover right, otherwise, they are not going to have a solid readership in their writing career. They have to work very hard in order to achieve optimal results.

This article will guide you on why and how books sometimes get new covers.

Why Books sometimes get New Covers

Publishers can have a lot of autonomy and they may get it all wrong. Some publishers are given a lot of powers at the expense of the authors. In some cases, authors are surprised when they find that a certain cover page was allowed to see the light of the day. The fact is that some of the authors take the cover page as a brand, and they would not want their brand diluted.

When the publisher compromises the quality of the cover, then, the author starts the long journey of having the cover revised. The author may desire to revise the cover in order to initiate re-imagination of the book in a positive way. In the end, the author gains the much-needed legitimacy. Sadly, there are same cases where it is very difficult to change the cover of the book.

The cover may be revised in order to be in alignment of the story. The marketing department in publishing houses cares more to learn that the book is going to sell. Individual authors may not care much about sales, but rather, they would want to know if the cover of the book has the right representation of the book.

Authors may desire to have a forget me not experience with their readers. If they are to have a memorable interaction with their readers, then they need to have an effective cover. For instance, To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most well-read books in the US, but this is due to its major thematic concern (racism). But other thematic characteristics do matter too. For example, the cover shows a mockingbird which is a show of innocence.

Technology brings about the much needed change, and new solutions are injected into the market. For example, in the begging, musicians would compose songs which were supposed to be listened to, but later, with technology, fans started watching songs. Today, a lot of authors realize that technology brings about change. One is supposed to respond to change or one is wiped away.

If an author decides to change the title of the book, most of the times, one will be required to change the cover of the book too. This happens if the first title misrepresented the book such as Michigan Fabrication, or there is any other reason for improvement.

There are a few cases where a book could have the same title, but different covers. One of such books is Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone. The book is aimed at the children and the adults, and each demographic carries its own cover. In such a case, then, Having different covers is justifiable.

Similarly, a book may be published in the US and Canada in a certain cover, and have a different cover when it is targeted at other regions of the world. This is about cross-cultural communication and cultural sensitivity. Some communities in the world are highly conservative, the Africans and the Asians for instance, and they may mind about certain visual representation, and in some cases, they may reject it in entirety.

At the same time, the author may feel that the cover of the book is controversial. The following situations may warrant an appeal to have the cover revised:

-It is a well-known fact that sex sells. But some authors have a very strong moral stand concerning what they think is right and wrong, and they do not want to be associated with some topics such as illicit sex or promiscuity. It is true that the US is a liberal society, but some Americans do not want to be associated with some behavior and topics, and the best thing is to have their preferences respected. When a cover is deemed controversial, or portrays an explicit message which is misleading, the author may seek a modification of the same.

-There is a general agreement that Vampire Chronicles’ book Prince Lestat sells very well. But a significant number of readers have complained that the cover is misleading. The author, Ann Rice, responded stating that she does not have any control over the cover that the publishers choose. This is one case of a book being misleading and the author admits that she does not have much say over what the publishers decide to do.

-Politics is a highly polarized topic. In the US, politics is perceived to be divided into two major party lines: The Republicans vs the Democrats. Being an independent is not fad in the US. Thus, when a cover seems to lean on one side of the political divide, it alienates the other political group.

When a book becomes very popular, other writers may think about writing on the same topic, or similar topics. What this means is that competition is going to grow with time, and you will need to set yourself apart, otherwise, other books are going to be given a preference at the expense of your book.

The cover of a book may be modified to make an improvement of the book. After all, the reason why books are modified is to make an improvement of the existing text, and check if there are mistakes.

Jessica Bell, the author of String Bridge, changed the title twice. In the first instance, the publisher of her book closed shop, and she had to look for marketing opportunities all by herself. In the second instance, her book was not grabbling the attention of the readers, and she had to think about a better look which would be commercially viable. She says that in each of the two instances, she had the old cover for a period of six months.

Melisa Foster, the author of Chasing Amanda started with a cover which had a dark and mysterious theme. With time, she noticed that parents were very attached to her writing, Therefore, she decided to change her cover, giving it a look which was cleaner and fresher. This effort really helped her sale to the better.

Talli Roland wrote a book, The Hating Game. However, with time, the publisher noticed that something was not right with the title, and she suggested that there is a need for a change of the title.

How A Book Changes Covers

Before you think about changing the cover of the book, be very sure that this is a decision that will be acceptable to the readers. You can do research on this issue and make an informed decision. You do not want to upset your readers. The following steps can help you make an informed decision:

-Ask a professional who has been dealing with books on what they think about the cover of your book (it is advisable that you seek an external professional and not your publisher). Such professionals have accumulated vast experience in publishing and they will be able to help you in the best way that they can.

-Ask your friend about what they think about your book cover. Genuine friends are very honest people. They tell you the truth about you whether you like it or not. There is nothing personal; they want you to make an improvement of your work. Your friends want you to push your limits and get better.

-You need to keep in touch with your genuine readers and ask them what they think about the cover of your book. Remember that they interact with your writing, and they are best placed to give you an opinion. Remember that this is more or less of a survey or a research, and you have to ensure that there is sufficient sampling, and that the research is representative.

There are some sentiments that readers can become very confused with the change of the cover. However, new insight shows that readers are not confused with such changes. It is worth noting that in most cases, there is a press release that accompanies such changes, and readers are notified well in advance. In any case, readers are prepared for changes in the publishing world.

When it comes to a hard cover, the process of changing the cover is unfortunately long and takes a lot of time. Critical decisions have to be made, for example, if to first of all sell or the books in circulation, and change the cover for the new ones. Another argument is to recall all the text books and change the title of the book, and this can be an expensive undertaking.

Now that publishing has gone digital, digital authors have a very easy time in changing the cover of their book. For example, the following procedure is used when one is updating the cover in kindle:

-Start with going to the bookshelf

-Click an ellipsis button

-Choose edit paperback content/choose edit ebook content: This should take you to the content page

-Scroll down on the cover section

-You need to upload the cover file or the launch cover creator

-Choose the book review or the kindle e-book review

-Click the launch pre-viewer

-Click save and then continue (this takes you onto the pricing change.

-At this stage, just click on the publish button and there you have a new cover

The Way Forward

If you are an author, it is important to avoid making a lot of changes from your original publishing. This is because some of the readers could feel alienated and they may not buy your books any more. Therefore, try to get the cover page write from the word go. The following steps can be of great help in helping you get the cover right:

-The more one writes, the more one understands the writing process, and the less the mistakes made. Writing could be compared to riding a bicycle, the more you ride, the better the riding tactics. Similarly, the more one writes, the better the ability to play with words

-It is good that you understand your target audience, thereby, you are going to be able to know how you are going to tailor your message

– Have a mailing list; it will be a good source of feedback

-Accept your mistakes, and learn from them

-Join a community of authors and learn the best from their writing

Conclusion

It is very important that the cover of a book is chosen wisely bearing in mind the implications that it is going to have in both the short and the long run. Rather than being in a hurry on this stage, it is important that you consider taking your time. In some cases, once you choose the cover, you may not easily change it. Overall, a cover plays a critical role when it comes to connecting with the reader.

How to Write a Novel

writing a novel

Create that winning story idea

When thinking about Novel Writing you have to realize that this means you will be writing 75,000 to 100,000 words on this story. That is a lot of writing. In novel writing most writers will write somewhere between 1,000 and 3,000 words per day. Let’s say you are somewhere in the middle at 2,000 words per day and you work 6 days a week on your book. You are making a commitment in the case of an 80,000 word book to at least 7 weeks of solid work.

This period is going to be the minimum amount of time that it takes to complete your book and assumes that you get no false starts and that you are able to just write and it all comes together perfectly.

Will your story sustain 75,000 to 100,000 words? Will the story keep the reader’s interest over that length of book? If you have doubts, then think again for another idea.

A great way of understanding the market, and what is selling, is to take a look at the Amazon best-sellers list. Check-out the kind of books that are selling. Learn from those already actively Novel Writing

The last thing that you want is to spend all that time writing and then have nobody buy the book.

Your technique

There are two primary sorts of writers. There are those that sit down and plan out the whole book before they start to write. They will know the entire story and what each chapter will contain. Only then will they fill in the actual writing into each chapter. Then again, there are those that like to jump straight in and discover the story as it goes along, certainly a more risky strategy and may require a lot of rewriting in some cases, as ideas fail to pan out. Author Stephen King is one of these writers and just jumps straight into the story.

In Novel Writing I suggest that you do have at least a minimal structure otherwise you run the risk of completing the story in 20,000 words.

Get your research done

Your reader must be able to believe in what you write. Even a story like Harry Potter had to have a structure within which the author set the stories. Even though the stories were fantasy there had to be a set of rules within which the fantasy played out.

If writing a story that is based around a San Jaoquin County Project Management Company, for example, you need to be accurate about procedures and what can or cannot be done in that context. If you have glaring errors, it distracts the reader from the story and makes it unbelievable. Keep your characters consistent, make notes about each main character describing them physically and mentally. Make a note about their relationships with other characters. That way, if they re-enter the story later in the book, you will be sure that they have not suddenly become a very different character.

That special character

Of all the characters in the book, there will probably be one who takes center stage throughout the book. The hero or protagonist. It is important that this character develops through the story and ultimately develops into someone with a heroic persona. They must be a better version of themselves than they were at the start.

This is not to say that the hero/heroine has to be perfect, in fact to make them more believable it helps if they have some flaws. Flaws that can be corrected by the end of the story. Your antagonist (bad guy) also has to be well thought out. Do not make him bad without showing why he is bad. If he/she is bad, then help the reader understand why.

For every single character you need to have written down in your notes, the answers to:

  • What do they want?
  • Who or what is stopping them from getting it?
  • What will they do to fix this?

Sometimes it is easy to get a lot of characters confused. Try and make each character different from all the others. Do not add too many characters in one go or the reader will just find it too much work and will quit.

 

novel writing

Expand the writing idea into a full length plot

All books have a structure, many of them follow a simple formula. The author simply hangs the story on this structure, Let’s take a look at a typical structure. Nearly every writing coach is going to provide pretty much the same basic structure.

  • The opener
  • An exciting occurrence that has a huge impact
  • Waves of further crises that add stress to the situation
  • A Climax
  • A conclusion

In novel writing it is the utmost importance to capture the reader at the earliest opportunity (the exciting occurrence) and then keep them hooked by employing the subsequent crises as the whole story builds towards its climax. Then after the climax give the raiders closure by filling in the gaps in the story.

Even the most well known authors tend to follow this structure, even though at first glance their writing may seem very different.

Who is telling the story?

In writing the story you will choose which voice to use.

  • First Person: I and me
  • Second Person: You and Your
  • Third Person: He, she or it

In an ideal world this means that the Point of View that narrates the story should be consistent throughout the story. If that is not possible, then only one POV per chapter. Your reader will view the whole story from the perspective of the one chosen character. You may think that this limits the writer to using the first person only, but the fact is that most stories are written in the third person.

The fact is that nothing will have more impact on the story than the point of view it is written from.

In Novel writing, switching points of view is one of the biggest mistakes new writers make. Avoid doing this at all costs. The point of view not only decides the Voice that is used to write (first person, second person, third person) but also controls whose story it is. The point of view is limited to what the selected character knows, sees, and hears. You cannot simply drop in scenes that the character could not possibly know about.

First Person

Some people say this is the best voice for a novice as it forces the author to only include what the main character sees himself/herself.

Second Person

By using the second person, you are forcing the reader into the story as the protagonist. While this is common in non-fiction, in fiction it is relatively rare. Not recommended for the novice.

Third Person

The most commonly used voice in novel writing. As you tell the story using he, she, it, or the name of the character, you are limited to what that character can actually see, hear or know.

Start when the action is underway

Novel Writing some novice authors believe that before telling the actual story, it is necessary to explain the whole situation and describe the characters and location. This makes for very boring reading. Why does the reader even care about all that stuff since they don’t know the significance? Page 1 should go straight into the story, capturing the interest of the reader.

The backstory, if required, can be filled in later on, once the reader is hooked. In Novel Writing every sentence, paragraph, page and chapter has just one aim. That aim is to ensure the reader just has to read more.

novel writing techniques

Trigger imagination

Many people when comparing a book with the movie are heard to say that they prefer the book. This seems strange, as in the movie you get to see the whole story layed out on the screen for you. How the scenes look, is very much down to the set designer. What if they design a set that looks nothing like you had imagined it when reading the book? Your mind is faced with a conflict.

After reading a book, you know how that scene should look and however big the budget of the movie might be, it can never compare with what your brain can create, Your imagination is far more powerful.

The job of a writer, in novel writing, is not to describe exactly how every scene looks, your job is to allow the reader to imagine it themselves, after you have provided an outline.

Make the storyline tough

A big mistake that novices make is to make life too easy for the protagonist. Give the hero a tough time. Your story started with the hero is a tough situation. Your job now is to make it even tougher as it builds to a climax. They give the hero too many resources to use to overcome the situation. The writer needs to start with fewer resources and ensure that he loses many of those that he does have.

Because your protagonist is going to eventually overcome the problems, do not make the mistake of making him totally inept. He can have weaknesses, and faults, but make them so that he can eventually overcome them.

Make it hopeless

Early on in the plot you need to create that moment where everything is falling apart and it almost seems impossible for things to turn around. It should seem like it’s all coming to an end, but leave just a slight remote hope that, even though it seems hopeless, is still there.

Bring it all to that big finale

As you approach the end of the story all the strands should have come together as the hero comes to face the ultimate test. Everything is individually building towards the big finale. The reader can see that all the individual stories are finally coming together and to overcome this ultimate test seems absolutely hopeless, but then suddenly the reader sees an opportunity for the hero to come through after all. Then it all turns around and the situation is resolved and the hero is victorious. Do not forget the emotional inale as well as the overall victory.

Make the end satisfying

The hero has overcome and this is where the reader gets the reward for sticking with the hero. The best possible solution has been found and the writer should play up the emotional release. The hero should not just disappear and the story peter out, keep the hero as central to the very end.

Final Points to consider in novel writing

The structure I have described can work with any time of story, whether it be a love story, an adventure, science fiction, or whatever. The same elements are present in all kinds of stories.

When you first consider writing a novel it appears to be a project of such magnitude that it is beyond your abilities. You may doubt whether you have the staying power to continue with the project for months on end. Do not be phased by all this. Earlier I gave a time in which technically the average writer could complete a novel. That is not carved in stone. If it takes you two or three times as long, do not worry. As long as each day you are working at it and making some progress, it will eventually be finished. If you start to take breaks of ever increasing lengths then you will be doomed.

You will know if you are on to a winner if you cannot wait to write the next section, if the story is drawing you in and excites you, the author.Stay focussed on what you set out to achieve. Become the hero that faces great difficulties and overcomes them.

Never let fear of failure decide your course of action. If you complete the novel and it bombs, you will still have done something that most people could not achieve. You will have grown in stature and after a short break, be ready to start again, armed with your experience and new knowledge, far better equipped to succeed.