Book Covers: Do People Sell Better?

Guest Post Re-Post: Originally posted as a guest post – part of my Black Orchid blog tour organized by Masquerade Crew.
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We all know book covers are the first way readers are drawn to a book they buy – especially from an author they haven’t read. A book cover needs to stand out among the multitudes and catch the eye. But it also needs to convey the type of genre the reader should expect.
My first series of books – which were paranormal romance – were all titled for flowers. Consequently, I used flowers on each of my covers for the series. Now, I happen to think they are gorgeous (perhaps I’m biased) and that they do pop in the search results. But consider this next fact. When I released the first book for a new series, I went with the sexy girl on the cover. Now here’s where it gets interesting. That one book is outpacing the other four in terms of sales. However, of the 5 books, while it has good ratings, they’re not as good as my other books.
So the question is… why is it selling so much better?
There are several possible culprits – it was launched in February and I did a book tour in March. It’s the first of a new series. And so on. However, something in my gut tells me that it’s the book cover. That the sexy girl with the cougar on her shoulder grabs the attention of potential readers faster/better in this particular genre.
So, being the business analyst I am as my mild-mannered alter-ego, I went on Amazon and looked at the
bestseller list for Kindle eBooks > Romance > Paranormal. I only looked at the top 50. And here’s what I found in terms of covers:
  • Only 7 out of 50 had something other than a girl, a guy, or a couple on the cover
  • Only 7 incorporated an animal (mostly the shifters)
  • Black was the most common main color used followed by red and then silver
  • There were only 2 books with mostly white background covers – and they didn’t look very “paranormal-ish” to me
Hmmm…. food for thought, right?
As much as I LOVE my flower covers, I’m now debating changing them in favor of the girl/guy/couple. Based on the stats after just a quick look, I’d say that’s what readers expect to see on covers in the paranormal romance genre. Based on the other information I gathered,  I think I’ll incorporate animals only if shifting is a major plot line. I’m now thinking that I should stick with a black background, but use some eye-popping colors (bright pink, purple, yellow, green) to help the book stand out somewhat. And – maybe – no more white. Although it does pop on screen a midst all the black.
What are your thoughts on what grabs your attention as a reader? Should I try different covers for my Svatura series?

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