Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Branding Stories Via Cover Art

Thanks to the healthy competition of my fellow LOOW silo writers (League of Original Woolwrites ;) and a better (not an expert, but coming along) understanding of genre, sales trends, Amazon categories, visual/thumbnail displays, etc., I've decided to focus on a certain direction with my new covers for my silo saga.

I'm actually one who wants to see on the cover jacket something from the book I'm reading. An illustration, perhaps, of a scene or critical theme within the novel. But the reality of impulse buys and what appeals to the eye in this day of click-through browsing tells me covers have to speak to a "type" more than anything else. (Besides, most print books today have covers that have practically nothing to do with the story inside!)

So with that in mind, I'm pulling out the stops! I'm going for a very particular post-apocalyptic and dystopic feel with this series. And thanks to a graphic designer I found via the Kindle Boards (yes, I lurk there, but can't keep up with hardly any of the sometimes very helpful discussions), I feel I have a beginning of a "brand" that works. Does it work for you? :) Let me know.

Now one question I tossed back and forth is whether to change the title of my first story to simply "Petition." One reason is that one word titles work well in identifying a story online. And Part Three of this series is "Silence." Another point someone made is that a vocal set of SF readers are irrationally anti-Christian (my phrase), and so having "prayer" in the title might work against me. 

But I'm thinking I'll keep the original, 1) because it is the theme of the story, 2) it evokes a "last hope" desperation that fits this cover perfectly, and 3) when I beta-tested the two titles side by side with my middle and high schoolers, they all said go with "The Last Prayer." I asked them why and most said they didn't know what petition meant! Sigh. But I got to thinking, I bet a bunch of adults don't know that word either, so if this story gets on a YA list somewhere, then at least readers will know what the title means! 

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