Jennifer Lyon


Friday, February 6th, 2015
New Covers for The Plus One Chronicles Series

As promised, I’m going to talk about why I’m doing new covers for The Plus One Chronicles Series. If you want to skip all this, you can scroll down to the bottom and see the covers. Or you can read on to see my reasoning/explanation. Okay, for those of you still reading, I debated doing this for a long time. This is a risk, I’m investing a good chunk of money in the covers—I need five of them.
–A new cover for each book: The Proposition, Possession and Obsession.
–I need a new 3D cover for The Plus One Chronicles boxed set
–And because not all vendors take 3D I also need a flat cover.

And then I need to reformat the files with the new covers and do some promo. All told, once I’m done, I’m going to spend a thousand or more on this.

So why am I doing it? There are several reasons, so let me start with some background. Last year alone, at iBooks, I sold 103,000 copies of The Plus One Chronicles Series. That’s my biggest vendor, but I’m giving you an idea of what kind of sales I had at one vendor.

By the end of last year and into this year, it’s dropped dramatically (down to hundreds and tapering off) as is the natural course of things. It’s the law of diminishing returns. Let’s not get into a bunch of economics here, the basic premise is simple: Buying excitement and motivation is high in the beginning and sales track up, and if all things remain the same, sales then plateau and fall. (A simplified explanation for MY purposes).

So basically, with all things being the same, I’ve reached the audience I’m going to reach for the most part. Sure I’ll get a few more, but not a lot. But if I change things up, I’m hoping to reach a NEW audience for this series. This means rebranding the series to go outside the reach I currently have. And part of that reach is the covers.

Covers mean a LOT in sales. They are one of our strongest tools to catch reader’s eyes. Story blubs, tag lines, and other promotional tools are useful too. But covers, particularly in this social media world where readers are scrolling through life and we only have one to three seconds to catch their attention, covers are key. As the old adage goes: A picture is worth a thousand words. A cover will, I believe, stop a scrolling reader to take a second look.

And a second look can add up to more sales.

So I decided it was time for new covers to see if I can breathe new life into the series. So here are the things I was looking for with a new cover.

1) Branding. The old covers, I think, were beautiful but they were very different. The first one showed a dessert, the second one showed a sensual woman, and the third a couple. They lacked cohesion and didn’t quite tell the story of the series. One could easily believe it was three DIFFERENT stories, not one over-arching story told in three segments. The new covers show the same couple on each book. And shows the progression of their relationship: First they are looking at each other in The Proposition which shows the beginning. In Possession they’re turned toward each other, clearly growling closer, and in Obsession they are intimately together, clearly in love. This gives a stronger concept an emotionally erotic love story.

2) My name and bestseller status. I am an international bestseller, and my name has become my brand. I had to get over my resistance and put that on the very top of my covers like a smart businesswoman.

3) All the titles and cupcake emblems are in the same, creating a more uniform brand.

4) The older cover for Possession was in the “dungeon” at Amazon. What that means is that it was suppressed in the search engines with an adult only tag due to the cover. Amazon has tightened their cover restrictions. I’m hoping the newer covers will be okay, however I want to say that I’m not complaining. Amazon has the right to make their rules, and I can choose to use them as a vendor or not. I choose to use them, and if these covers get tagged, that’s life. A side note: I’ve been in long discussion with another vendor, and so far we have not agreed on terms. I’d never bad mouth that vendor either—they have the prefect right to set their terms. This is business, not personal.

5) Late this year (or possibly early next year if things don’t go as I hope) I want to launch a new series that will be very loosely tied to the Sloane’s world in The Plus One Chronicles. Freshening up the covers could possibly bring new interest. It keeps my name alive while I get new books ready to release. And having The Plus One Chronicles more clearly branded will separate it from the Shattered Illusions series, but my name and bestseller statues will connect the two. So if someone reads the new series the Jennifer Lyon, International Bestselling Author, and search for more books by me, they’ll find The Plus One Chronicles.

6) THE ONE THING I DON’T WANT TO DO—trick readers who’ve already bought the books into buying the new ones. The titles, release dates and blurbs will all be the same. I’m openly discussing this to get the word out and will probably put both covers labeled “original” and “new” on my website.

So to wrap it up, I basically felt that the covers I was using had gotten a little stale, and freshening up the series with new updated ones might breathe new life into the series and reach an untapped readership.

It’s a risk. I have no way of knowing if it will pay off, but that’s the beauty of self-publishing—I’m in control, and I can try new things as long as I determine that I can afford the risk if it doesn’t pay off.

I expect the new covers will go up in most places in a week or two. After a month or so I’ll report back with the best numbers I can to let you know how it’s working.
And now…here are the covers!

The Proposition, Possession and Obsession designed by Patricia Schmitt

3SamplePlusOne_allthree_C

The Plus One Chronicles Boxed Set; 3-D version

Sample revised boxed set PlusOneBox_c (1)

The Plus One Chronicles Boxed Set, flat version

PlusOne_BOX_FLAT

8 comments to “New Covers for The Plus One Chronicles Series”

  1. Kat
    Comment
    1
      · February 6th, 2015 at 8:48 am · Link

    All very logical and good reasons. Make sure you do the business of writing with your head and write the stories from your heart and you can’t go wrong.

    I have talked with so many other authors and continuality of covers and branding is very important in the business.

    Is there any way you would consider traditional publishing of the series? Even as a limited run pre-order set up with one of the smaller self publishing companies?
    There are some out there that do runs of 200 books then it is up to the author to do the marketing and selling.



  2. Silver James
    Comment
    2
      · February 6th, 2015 at 10:06 am · Link

    Sound reasoning! And here’s hoping you give sales a boost. I’m hoping to do the same with the Moonstruck series but in a different direction. I LIKE the new covers and yes, much easier to follow the branding into the next series. One other thing I’ll add…when you change out the covers, you might add a note to the blurb that these are a rerelease with new covers only. Just my 2¢ worth.

    Have a great weekend!



  3. Viki S.
    Comment
    3
      · February 6th, 2015 at 12:50 pm · Link

    I loved the originals but I totally understand why you’re changing things up a bit.

    These new covers are beautiful too. I really love the cover of the boxed set and flat. They capture Sloane nicely ;).

    I think we have a pretty good hold on who you are and I see you stating in bold that these are just new covers. There is no fear in me that you won’t make that really clear.

    All in all I think this is a fantastic idea and I think you will draw new readers.

    Have a fantastic weekend and say “hi” to Linc for me ;).



  4. Jennifer Lyon (Apodaca)
    Comment
    4
      · February 6th, 2015 at 12:59 pm · Link

    Kat, thanks :-) I would consider any offer a publisher brought me, however I haven’t pursued it myself. What I should have done was put these books in print myself. That was my fault, everything happened so fast, I just didn’t do it when I should have.

    Hope you have a good weekend!



  5. Jennifer Lyon (Apodaca)
    Comment
    5
      · February 6th, 2015 at 1:02 pm · Link

    Silver, yep, I have that on my notes to to–we’re thinking alike :-) I really REALLY don’t want readers to buy the same book with a different cover.

    Hope you can find the right brand for your Moonstruck series.



  6. Jennifer Lyon (Apodaca)
    Comment
    6
      · February 6th, 2015 at 1:05 pm · Link

    Viki, thanks! I intend to make it as clear as I can.

    I loved the old covers too, my favorite was Possession, although The Proposition is a close runner up. Obsession was my least favorite. It’s all very subjective.

    Hope you have a good weekend too!



  7. Sonia
    Comment
    7
      · February 6th, 2015 at 1:41 pm · Link

    you do what needs to be done to get more sales. No one should fault that. I LOVE THIS SERIES . I WANT MORE PLEASE AND WHEN ?



  8. Jenn
    Comment
    8
      · February 6th, 2015 at 2:09 pm · Link

    Hi Sonia, thank you! I’m planning a new series that will cross paths with Sloane and Kat. It’ll be called The Shattered Illusions Series, and each book will be the story of one of the guys in the Shattered Illusion rock band. I’m hoping to launch that with the first book at the end of the year. All these guys pretty much grew up with Sloane.

    Have a great weekend!



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