As an author, one of the hardest things I’ve had to do is admit that I screwed up, quit fooling myself that it will work out… and make the necessary changes.
A few years ago, I was at the Emerald City Convention in Seattle, and the panel of Editors and Agents mentioned that books were selling well about crimes to do with the mob.
Sitting at the table, my imagination took off and I began fantasizing the beginning of my six-book series, which I eventually called The Mob Tracker.
While sitting there, I saw Cassi, a naive young woman watch her twin get killed by the gang he was running with. And I saw her freeze rather than try and stop the beating, and then move too late to stop the unexpected murder. A cop saved Cassi’s life that night, took a bullet for the crazed female, and became her protector.
He worried about Cassi…
Until he saw her fight. Then he fell in love.
And so, the story began!
Almost all the 132 reviews for Retaliation were positive, very complimentary in fact, so I knew that the people who did read the books loved them. But not nearly as many people as I expected bought the first book which I priced at 99 cents for months.
In my opinion, it bombed.
And I was totally devasted.
This was my favorite character – Cassi Santino is awesome. I knew if folks met her, they couldn’t help but follow her story through the series.
Not long ago, trying to turn things around, I decided that maybe I needed to change the cover on the first book from the center figure being a female boxer to a guy with a naked chest. I mean, we know they sell well. But… yeah! It didn’t work for me.
Then a friend came clean and confessed she never thought the series title (The Mob Tracker) hooked interest to the series. It really didn’t give the reader a clue that the protagonist was a female, and that the books were romantic suspense.
I had thought that the book’s titles of: Sweet Retaliation, Sweet Justice, Sweet Resolution, Sweet Endings, Sweet Faith and Sweet Leni had covered the romance aspect.
Nope – it seems to have just confused everyone even more. All the covers had the word “SWEET” in a huge font, with the second part of the title not so significant. When I asked friends what they thought, should I change the titles, most agreed that I should? Take out the word Sweet and just use the other parts of the titles they suggested.
But the word SWEET mattered in the story. Then my brain quit trying to fight the idea, and I decided to just rename the whole series, I changed it from The Mob Tracker to Her Sweet Revenge Series. This way, I would keep the word sweet on the book cover and it would show up beside the title on the Amazon book page, yet it didn’t override the titles which were simply, the themes of each book. (Retaliation, Justice, etc…)
Trust me, I fretted over starting the process. There was a cost with my cover artist, Steven Novak. It meant a lot of work for him to change all six eBook covers and then the paperbacks also. He was great though and did it all quickly.
I wasn’t sure of Amazon’s rules. So, I wrote to them and asked the questions I needed the answers for. Pleased to find out that the Amazon book’s page for each of the books would stay the same, I finally decided to go ahead. Once I knew I could change titles and covers without any problems, it seems a “why not?” decision. Best of all, no one would accidently buy the remodeled book because they would be told they had already bought it (one of Amazon’s better ideas!).
And so, I’m introducing you to my new covers – all six of them.
I’d love to know what you all think!!!
Traci Hall says
These are terrific!! Great job Mimi!
Mimi Barbour says
Thanks, Traci. You all helped me make up my mind and it went quite smoothly once I jumped in. Now to see if it pays off!!