It’s pretty obvious to most that there is something very similar about my book covers. If you haven’t noticed, take a moment to check them out — I’ll wait.
Now that you’ve had a chance to look them over, you’ll see that for all the books in Part One of The Human Chronicles Saga, they are all the same, expect for the book title and book number. I did this on purpose, and not just to be lazy. It was an experiment, but my reasoning was that a magazine doesn’t change it’s masthead with each new edition; instead, it remains constant, a way to make the publication stand out and to develop a brand.
I wanted to do the same with my books. When readers go on Amazon to search for new books to read, they usually encounter the thumbnail list of books within the categories they’re interested in. These lists are separated into pages of twenty books at a time. When people search the category of Galactic Empire, for example, they will see some of my books on nearly every page. The repetition of the image is hard to miss. At times, when I have a new book out for instance, I can have four or five books listed on a single search page. The constant familiarity of the covers is something that can be seen on a computer screen from across the room, which is the intent.
I’m not saying you have to use exactly the same artwork every time. A lot of very successful authors use different artwork while keeping the banner of their series constant. I’m just saying that in the competitive landscape of online book shopping, you need to be as dominant as you can, and if all five of your books have completely different covers, you can be easily lost in the mix.
In the days of paperbacks and brick and mortar bookstores, this need for cover domination wasn’t so important. But now, with online retailers presenting our books on a single page and with nineteen other competitors at a time, all trying to draw the attention of the book buyer, we need to think differently. This strategy has worked for me. Hopefully it will for you as well.