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Updated: Nov 18, 2018

I’ve never been very into art, but I will say this: I love me some 80s-style imagery.

That’s why this book cover post by J.A. Konrath took me by surprise.

Konrath worked with author Lee Goldberg to optimize his titles and book covers. He scaled titles down to one word and created one central image to use across the series. Frankly, I hate Konrath’s versions. They look amateur-ish. But I have to admit…

The book covers pop.

1.) Each book in the series has its own color scheme. No need to sort through titles.

2.) That silly silhouette is a great branding feature and it helps declutter the images, making the thumbnail more visible. I hate it. I love it. I hate it.

Goldberg’s sales shot up because of the changes. In one case, his sales tripled.

It’s times like these I try to remember:

  • The cover of my book isn’t the subject of an art contest. Its function is to reel people in, get them looking at the book’s description, and buy the dang book.

I’m afraid to shell out money for professional services because I want a mix of both worlds – something with artistic integrity but something also salable. I have a few businesses in mind. Konrath’s book cover designer at Extended Imagery is one of them (sidenote: that Prisoner cover is awesome. I might want to do something similar).

I’m trying to look at it this way, as well: we all spend money on our hobbies. How much money have I wasted on equipment and software to make YouTube videos? I only ever earned about $280 (and $80 of those dollars are held up until I earn out $20 more, but I privatized most of my channel because I got over it… Thanks, Google!) and spent over $500. If I had to do it all over, I’d have kept recording on my cell phone or webcam the way Glendon Cameron does.

In my heart, I also struggle with the fact that my books may not make money. They may not break even.

The difference between this and my YouTube past life? I’ve been passionate about writing since I was in the first grade. This isn’t going away. This isn’t a get-rich-quick gig. I actually love writing. Worst case?

I’ve spent $500+ on a hobby I love while trying to turn it into a career and everyone hates me for it, whether they find my books offensive, my choice of profession questionable, or whatever excuse people need to get a little red in the face.

But you can’t make everyone happy, even when all else is perfect.

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