If one of your books, or series, aren't selling much, will it help to change the book cover, the book description (also known as the blurb), or will it be a lot of effort for nothing?
In episode 103, Autumn share the results after she re-released one of her book series.
Tune in to learn all the do's and don'ts.
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Read the full transcript below.
(Please note that it's automatically generated and while the AI is super cool, it isn't perfect. There may be misspellings or incorrect words on occasion).
You're listening to the Am Writing fantasy podcast in today's publishing landscape. You can reach fans all over the world. Query letters are a thing of the past. You don't even need a literary agent. There is nothing standing in the way of making a living from writing. Join two best selling authors who have self published more than 20 books between them now onto the show with your hosts, Autumn Birt, and Jesper Schmidt.
Hello, I'm Jesper, and I'm, Autumn. This is episode 103 of the Am Writing Fantasy podcast. Well, today, Autumn, you recently went through some renaming and rebranding of your books. So that's something we wanted to talk a bit about today.
Yeah. I definitely have some reasons why you might want to do it some stats because you know, we like to provide that kind of information and things to watch out for that. I didn't think about the first part, but that we'll get to that. Right. You're in the middle of some big events going on. So how are you doing over there?
Jesper (1m 11s):
Oh, I'm good. I was, well, today has been one of these organization days. I was setting up some emails this morning to announce the VIP launch of the world building course that we talked about last week and I've just also just trying to get organized in general before I actually, tomorrow I take the rest of the week off because I'm going to move out of our house and into the apartment, as I've mentioned a few times. So if everything goes well by Friday, this week, we should be living in our new place by then. That's amazing. That'll be really exciting. And I hope it does go well because it'll be a lot of work, but it's so exciting.
Jesper (1m 53s):
Cause you've been working on this for like two years. So it's really, really cool. It's finally here. You're doing it. Yeah, it was actually in November two years ago that we first put the house up for sale. So it is just, just past two years since, since this whole journey started. So that's quite amazing. Amazing. Yeah. So we were actually thinking that if all goes well and we do move into the apartment and start living there by Friday, we did think about going because the apartment is much more centrally located than our house. So it's like I've said before, it's in the main city in this area.
Jesper (2m 33s):
So there are, that also means that there are restaurants around. So we actually thought about a Saturday going to this very nice sushi place that is, and we don't have to drive there. Now we can just walk, walk.
Autumn (2m 46s):
So that's pretty nice. That's going to be kind of cool. I might be a little envious because I lived in town when I first moved to where we are in Vermont and I didn't enjoy the noise. Cause it was only a second floor apartment and we're right at an inter big intersection. But you know, we could, especially, this was before COVID. So there was like Tuesday nights, if we walked down to one pub, there was always a group of fiddlers playing and doing a jam session together. And then there was a yeah, the bookstore. And if we decided we needed something else for dinner, there was a grocery store, a small one, a co-op that was within walking distance. So I do kind of miss that. So that is super cool. You're going to be living that close to everything.
Jesper (3m 29s):
Yeah. That's nice. And we are, yeah. As I said before, we are right next to the beach, so there's no like big, there's no big road right next to the buildings or anything like that. So that's quite nice. And we are on the fifth floor and there is because we have a corner apartment up there. It also means that there is only one wall against, you know, to watch a neighbor. There's nobody above us. And there there's only somebody below, so it should at least the person who rented it before us, that it was very, very quiet. And that's exactly what I like. So I hope that's true.
Autumn (4m 8s):
I hope so too. That's really awesome.
Jesper (4m 13s):
Yeah, but you've been extremely busy as well on UN
Autumn (4m 16s):
Yeah. Well we had some big plans to, you know, do some website rebuilding at am, writing fantasy. And I was going to rebuild the course website in January, except we've been building all these courses and it finally dawned on me. I needed to have the new website done before we made those live. So I've been, I'm doing an emergency website build over the weekend, but I promised myself that once I, I got that done, I would take two days off whenever it was because, Hey, when you're a full-time writer, what's Saturday, Saturday, it can be Thursday if you happen to get it done then. So I'll, I'll have my, my weekends. I usually try to do more Photoshopping and more fun things for me with other store on the computer.
Autumn (5m 1s):
I mean, it is almost December in Vermont. So that's kind of the Northern tier of the United States. And it's even today is cold. It is dark. I have all the lights on it is raining. So it's not like I'm going to go for a hike. I just want to go and do something else. But I did. I said after our last episode, even though this is now December when it's going to be released, but today is the last day of November. So it's the last day of nano right. Mo and you want to know my word count.
Jesper (5m 37s):
I did see your Facebook post about it. And I'm trying to remember now what it was, but I felt like it was something like 51,000 or something. If I remember correctly, I'm not sure.
Autumn (5m 49s):
Yeah. That's on the November 25th. I updated my word count to just over 52,000 words. So yeah, I finished it and I started on the 17th. It actually took me 19 days to get the 50,000 words. So I feel it considering it was my 23rd book. That's going to be published. I, I was hoping I could manage to get to it. So I was it's success and I've kept adding to it since then. So I'm almost at 60,000 words now for the month, today was busy and I haven't added in anything, but it'll be hovering just around 60,000 for my first nano. So I feel really good and I'm thinking it was fun.
Autumn (6m 30s):
And I do see there's been some emails and stuff from them about, you know, writing the end and I'm like, well, 50,000 words is not a fantasy. No, that's like halfway through a fantasy novel. So I'm thinking, Oh, you know what, maybe we need to think about doing like an am writing fantasy NaNoWriMo writing group. Cause you can have writing groups there that share tips and support. So I'm my, you know, that's a good question for listeners. I mean, is anyone else out there interested in having us or me lead a little nano right. Mo group writing group of maybe even at camp nano right.
Autumn (7m 11s):
Mow this summer. So, you know, comment, let us know if it's something that you think would be pretty cool and I can try to help you get your 50,000 words too.
Jesper (7m 21s):
Hmm. That's actually a pretty good idea. Yeah. Teaming up is always a good idea. And it has some accountability partners.
Autumn (7m 29s):
It has, especially when you get to some of the sticky parts that can really slow you down and you get frustrated and you sometimes just need someone to like really you out of it and get you on and keep going.
Jesper (7m 41s):
Yeah. Oh, we got the internet with the yam writing fantasy podcast. So I saw a post in the am writing fantasy Facebook group this morning. That quite made me smile
Autumn (7m 54s):
LA what's that? Oh, it's just a,
Jesper (7m 58s):
It's a small one, but it was quite nice. I thought it was like John was pointing out how once in a while a particular well-written turn of phrase is just sort of happens and pour it onto the page. And then he shared what he had just written here and it went like this quote. He looked at me then he's expression dripping with so much contempt. It likely stained the floor. That was quite good.
Autumn (8m 27s):
Good. I love it. When people share and have quotes and stuff on there, that is fantastic. I have to admit though, I've been smiling at Zane's comment from when we released the hundredth episode and he left a comment on a Patriot Patriot and for us. So I don't know if you remember that one,
Jesper (8m 47s):
Autumn (8m 48s):
Hey, he said that he was so excited that he had to go have a beer. And that one made me smile because I have had men grown men tell me that my writing made them cry, but I had yet to ever have someone telling me that something we had done ni paid them money to eat alcohol. So I thought that wasn't very successful way of toasting our hundredth episode that we released. And it was so much fun to do as well. Absolutely.
Jesper (9m 19s):
Yeah. There, there are all kinds of shenanigans going on in the Facebook group, but also some cool tips and tricks and advice that is shared every day. So if you're not a member yet just search for am writing fantasy in the group section of Facebook and then apply to become a member and we will let you in, there's not even a password. So it's true. You're very welcome.
Autumn (9m 43s):
Yeah. I don't think we even ask any like entry questions. So we're, we're really easy. We just just make you ask nicely and you get to come in and have a ton of fun in the Facebook group. And, and of course, and if you want to have even more fun, you can come over and join us on Patrion and, and there you get even more, more personal seizing, I guess, and tips and lots of fun as well. We do sometimes have some fun, some back and forth on there and some jokes.
Jesper (10m 13s):
So a lot of good places where you could join. So yeah. Get going. If you haven't done so already
Narrator (10m 20s):
And onto today's topic
Jesper (10m 24s):
Last week, I sort of took the reins on the podcast, but I think this week is probably your turn
Autumn (10m 32s):
This time, you get to pretend to be the interviewer and ask me how it went. Yeah.
Jesper (10m 38s):
And I can, I can try to chime in here and there with reflections and thoughts, but of course in full transparency, I have not gone through any rebranding of my own books, although I really should, but I haven't. So I don't have any personal experience to share, but I can try to pitch in where I feel that I have something to contribute with them.
Autumn (10m 59s):
That's fair enough. Well, I think it's a good thing to say that, you know, it's not, it's, it's not random who decides they want to rebrand a book. I remember Joanna Penn was the first one who introduced me to even the concept of it. Cause she rebranded, recovered and retitled a lot of her thriller sale series. And I was like, wow, that is when you see someone, you know, Joanna Penn's level, it's one thing to change your cover. But the change changer titles and you know, she was talking about, you know, making sure her readers knew this is a book you've already gotten. Don't worry about it. This is something, you know, this is, you've already read it. It's just a different title. It looks different. It's a different cover. So that is, is something that authors do, no matter what lever was, if you're a newbie or you've been doing this for 10 years or more, you might suddenly decide that something's not working in your marketing and what's not marketing, what's not working is, you know, the title, the actual physical title of your book or the series.
Autumn (11m 59s):
And not just the cover because yes, rebranding is is can just be the cover. And I have to admit, I think born of water, I have gone through four different covers. Changing a cover is honestly super easy, but of course I'm a graphic designer. So if I want to change my cover, I, I know what to do. I'm responsible for that. Cause I'm the one who messed it up the first place or decided that it changed. I mean the marketing market really has changed since like 2012 when I first released that book.
Jesper (12m 31s):
Yeah. And of course, as we've said before, do not design your own book cover unless you are experienced in book cover design and you know what you're doing to not design your own book cover. And I think I've said it multiple times in different podcast episodes, but I cannot say it enough because for whatever reason it keeps popping up. I see it on Facebook all the time people asking, is it, would it be okay if I designed my own cover? And sometimes I almost feel like jumping on this. I know, but then I think, okay, whatever, I can't keep saying the same thing all over and over again, but do not design your own book covers.
Autumn (13m 9s):
No, even if you have an art background book covers are more than an artistic expression, it is a marketing image. It is, you really need an advertising background and advertising courses and to then know how to look through the market and see what are the trends that you need to do, what need to match, what do you need to be different for? So I agree. Don't do it. I know when I look back at, when I first started doing book covers, I was like, Oh my goodness, they were horrible. And even now I think I could still do better, but I think that's just my issues as a, Oh gosh, I've been, I don't want to even mid hell. My, one of my first memories is literally when I was like three or four and I was drawing. So I've been doing this for a little while now.
Autumn (13m 50s):
I think, I think for decades I still have a lot to learn.
Jesper (13m 56s):
Yeah. But I think maybe a good place to start as well would be like asking the question. Why would you want to rebrand a book or series in the first place? Absolutely. I think that's, that's a good starting question.
Autumn (14m 11s):
It is. And I, again, because I just did this, I have the perfect case example. So I had a book and it is the next, it's the first book and the next series I planning on releasing in 20 early 20, 21. And when I came up with the cover, I don't know if we've read or the title. I don't think I listed, I don't think we recorded episode 37, which is how to title a book that we released. And it's full of really useful tips that you should do before you actually choose a name for your book. But I didn't do that because I don't think we had recorded it yet. And I do tend to go a lot with my gut instinct on things. And sometimes don't run marketing. It was so 20 early, I released this book in 2019 and I came up with the title, the light and the darkness, because it is a definitely a novel where the main character goes is living in a dark world.
Autumn (15m 6s):
And he finds something that inspires him. It's a little bit of light in the darkness of basically a fake post-apocalyptic novel is what I like to call it. So it's based on Fay and I chose a series name called the Calla Bray, which in Gaelic, it means dark time or dark epoch, which is great. But you don't have many people on this planet speak Gaelic. Not that many. No. I think it's less than half a percentage. So if I was trying to market to someone who speaks Gaelic, even though there's no other Gaelic in the book, well, no, there's some names, there are names and things that are, are a little bit Gaelic it's yeah, it was not a good marketing choice.
Autumn (15m 47s):
And I kind of knew that when I released it, but 2019 was a very, we we've had a podcast of episode. I'd get that one. But 2019 was a very hard year. For me. It was worse than 2020 in many ways, 2020, in some ways I've gotten my crap together and I feel much better as a person, despite the global pandemic, which is just crazy. But it goes to show what's going on outside. Doesn't mean what's going on in the inside. So 2019 was a bad year. I was just happy to get this book released. And I chose these things that if you have, when I finally sat down and looked at the marketing and wondering like, okay, I'm writing this book, I'm getting serious about marketing it.
Autumn (16m 28s):
And I'm doing some research and seeing, you know, getting some idea of how it's going to sell and how it's going to hit the marketplace. And so I do a Google or an Amazon search and a Google search for the light and the darkness. And I get a ton of self help books. I don't even get my own book. I mean, my own book is like back there and like the dose bleeds section that you're like, okay, it doesn't even exist. And you do a search for Callan, right. You know, there's no one who's going to know how to spell that. Nobody's going to search that. No, no, exactly. And I thought, you know what? This is a problem. This is a problem. It doesn't help the book. I want this book to do as well as I can make it possible.
Autumn (17m 9s):
And so I had to step back and I'd already recovered the book. I did a very basic symbol cover that I didn't like. And so I've already put in a much more dynamic cover that a lot of people have commented on. They really like it, but the title just doesn't do anything. And I finally sat down and said, you know what? I have to listen to podcast 37 and do some research and retitle it and do this seriously. And then figure out, you know, will this help. And I have some before and after stats on what choosing a new name meant for how this book is doing. And again, this is the only book in the series that is out yet. I, the rest of them, I haven't even put them on pre-order.
Autumn (17m 51s):
I'm hoping by the middle of December, I'll have my act together and have the pre-orders up for the rest of the series for next year. But right now it's just a standalone novella. It's sitting up there without the rest of it's the rest of its family that is coming. But so you're gonna have a question or
Jesper (18m 11s):
No. Well, I don't know question, but I was just thinking, because one thing is the title and the cover reflecting market trends, I guess, or reflecting the <inaudible> and market expectations, read expectations, that's sort of one thing. And, and usually that then translates into lack of sales. So that's sort of your, that's sort of the main driver behind rebranding, a book and a series. But at the same time, I was just thinking as well, that unless not necessarily thinking about your example here, but more in general, like, unless you completely missed the Mark.
Jesper (18m 60s):
I think one of the nice things with fantasy compared to many others, young writers is that the market trend, if we can call it that or read the expectations, they don't change that rapidly when it comes to fantasy, you know, we'll see, we continue to love dragons, right.
Autumn (19m 19s):
Brackets on the cover. It's a winner. So that doesn't yeah,
Jesper (19m 26s):
Yeah, yeah. But that I agree, but my poem was more like, it doesn't change that much where I think others, young writers are much more prone to stuff changing much more frequently in terms of what the trends are. So, so in those Sean Morris, the authors might need to keep much more finger on the pulse to say, Oh, go, okay. I need to change my covers now because they are one and a half year old and market trends have moved. Whereas I think for us, maybe you need to have a look at your covers every three, four years, but that's, that's probably more to do with that. The artwork can be made much more beautiful at a less cost.
Jesper (20m 8s):
So it might be worth updating your cover to just more beautiful pictures without really changing the cover, but more like just make them look a bit better. And so that they don't look outdated, whereas the actual imagery and stuff like that might be absolutely fine to keep as long as you refresh it, where some others young wrists, they might have to change all the imagery. So I think in that sense, we are a bit more lucky.
Autumn (20m 37s):
I think so too. And I think even our titles can stand usually the test of time. If you choose a proper title, it doesn't even matter. You know, sometimes someone's going to up something very similar, but the market can usually handle it. There's a lot of fantasy books and it helps to, I would say the biggest thing is to be clear, but clear in your titles and clear on what your story is about, but when it does come to the covers and the imagery, I mean, I still think of some of the covers that are, I mean, Mercedes Lackey. I literally the books that I remember reading those cover is the same as when I was reading it as a teenager, it's it doesn't need to be changed. It is an illustrated cover and it is still gorgeous, which I think is fantastic.
Autumn (21m 20s):
And so there's a lot, even though there's some trends that are current changing, like the colors and the magic right now are just absolutely amazing right now on eBooks. But if you could, if you still have a top end, more of a hand drawn image, that's still going to do amazingly well, because I think we're all still in love with, you know, picking up those books in the 1980s that remind us of those paperbacks that we loved as, as teenagers. You know, maybe the younger kids might not remember that, but I still think they see the trends and the what was there at the time, but it really, it isn't something you need to do every year.
Autumn (22m 3s):
It is probably if your book's not selling, it's not the first place I would start. But if you have an instinct that you titled your book, something very strange and hard to understand, like the light and the darkness. And it brings up a whole bunch of self-help books, which are not even the right and Shannara, that's not a good sign, but if you choose like you have an interesting world name, like <inaudible> Chronicles or something like that, you know, it's probably not the best title. That would be a better series title maybe than a single book title, but it's not horrible for the fantasy genre, but
Jesper (22m 43s):
Did you just make that up? I did pretty good. Quick copyright it, spell it. No, but it was more like coming up with that on top of your head that it was pretty good. Thank you. Lots of writing recently, 50,000,
Autumn (23m 3s):
Whereas apparently in November, but so I, I knew I had to retitle it and I did a lot of research and I ended up coming up with a dark Faye outcast because it fits, it's a face story. It's about a dark Fe he's kicked out. I mean, it's pretty much, you know, calling what is it? The pot calling the kettle black is the phrase. It fits the book. It's very blunt titling. It works on the keywords. And I went from Cal Ray for a serious name to the tainted Fe because at his perfect, I kind of wanted broken magic, but that's already been used. And I didn't feel like tangoing with the person who's already using that one, but no one has the tainted Fe already took it. Don't even try grabbed it already.
Autumn (23m 46s):
But so I did that and what I had been doing, I don't have a ton of marketing into it yet. Not till I get up my pre-order. So this is just looking at the stats of running book, funnel giveaways. And I have three books, all with signup pages that were created about the same day at the end of may. And that's two novellas and one that's a lead in for my current eight book series. And what I thought was interesting is to show you, if you are struggling with marketing and you really do think it is your title, the difference is at the time I changed the title for dark Faye out cast on October 14th.
Autumn (24m 30s):
And that day I had what would be considered a usual up rate for born to darkness, which is my one Novell. I had six people pick that up. I had three pickup people pick up born of water, which is the lead into my big series. Guess how many people? And usually I would have the same for the light and the darkness. I know the title of the light in the darkness I'd have maybe two or three as well. So on that first day, when I changed the title, a guest, how many downloads I had of that as a free book in just a random book funnel, you know, joint author promo. Hmm.
Jesper (25m 4s):
Well, it has to be positive because otherwise the point of changing it. So let me say 10,
Autumn (25m 10s):
No 55th. Okay.
Jesper (25m 14s):
That's that's a massive paints. It was. But, but the thing is also with your new title and your new series named it, is it speaks directly to the attended audience by saying exactly what it is. There is no doubt, you know, it is people, if you like reading face stories, this is your book, right? It is. So it's right there in your face. And, and that's, that's the whole point of it, right? It needs to be crystal clear so that there's no doubt. What is this about? Yes. That's the kind of book that you like, you will click, you'll pick it up if you don't like it, when you skim through, you'll just skip it and that's, and that's a good thing, right? So you can get the right readers and not random readers.
Autumn (25m 53s):
And that was what I think I, I saw at that point is, I mean, it had, it's a very strong cover with someone you can't quite see his face and he's holding some ruins or falling from his hand. So it's, it's, it's Fe it looks Fe has some ruins and things on it. It's kind of dark and brooding. And then with this title, it's just, I knew it was right. I knew it was right in the market. What's neat is that was not a one day thing. It went from maybe two to maybe four or five downloads a day to staying above 30 to 40 for over a month. And it just, it has stayed up there. So at this point, as of I checked on just yesterday on the 29th of November, you know, board of water, which is to me is it was my debut novel, but it's the one with the full two full series.
Autumn (26m 41s):
I mean, this is a ton of work in time. That's going into this book. So it's usually what I market and promote the most that's only sitting at just under 600, 600 downloads were born into darkness is almost the exact same, just a little bit less. So those two are pretty similar, almost a thousand downloads. So over, almost double for dark Fey outcast. And they were all created at the same time. And all of that, that extra 500 has come since October 14th. So in a month and a half, I've gotten almost 500 downloads and that's pretty good. That's really, I mean, one, it makes me excited because I'm about ready to release the rest of the series. So I'm like, Ooh, this is a good thing to discover.
Autumn (27m 24s):
So this is when you know, this is, I knew it was a bad title. This to me proves it. This is the proof positive of the power of a title that you need to really consider what you're taught early or not. You need to have a strong cover, but you need to have a strong title that is very clear. So that readers see it. There's no doubt it is. You have, what is it? Three seconds to convince a reader, to read your blurb and look at it. And I have to admit, I did update my blurb as well. Not much, just a little tweaking. I added another sentence or two to bring up a romance subplot that's in there. So that's all it took to double again to download, right? Cause I haven't put out advertising to it at all yet.
Jesper (28m 6s):
Yeah. The eye tracking analysis that was made on having people look at Amazon showed that it was six seconds before they clicked away in total. Right? So, so you have those six seconds where their eyes will always seek up to the top left corner first. And guess what's there, that's the cover on, if you think of the, a book page on Amazon, you'll have the CAPA, the cover at the top left-hand corner, that's where the eye goes first. Then they go to the title. Then they go to the blurb. And that movement of the eye that was tracked in this analysis, take six seconds. And within this D six seconds, they have decided either to buy it or to leave it.
Jesper (28m 48s):
So that means that you really have to deliver on all the notes, meaning that the cover has to be a hundred percent professional. For one, it has to be a hundred percent on brand speak a hundred percent to the intended audience that this is a book for me, the title needs to do the same thing. And then of course the, the blurb needs to close the deal. And only when all the three things are in place, will it convert as best as it can? I mean, I guess you could say, okay, if you have one of them slightly weaker than it could be, you can still have something that converts quite well, but it could be better.
Autumn (29m 25s):
Right? And that I think is the important thing. I mean, to me, the title, the old title was so weak that, I mean, I wasn't even seeing much in sales and I have seen sales since then my reader list goes and buys it every single time I send out a newsletter, which is kind of, I always like to do exactly. Like I had an increase in sales. Oh, that's why it's very exciting. But I will say something. We talked about all the positives, this is the thing, you know, the good things. This is why it's worth it because it's, if you don't see that kind of change. Oh my goodness. It was quite a lot of work because you don't realize all the places you have your book, unless you're maybe on Kindle unlimited, if you're wide, like I am and you are, and you are in book funnel and a distributor and Kobo and Google books and all of these places, book, funnel, story origin.
Autumn (30m 23s):
It seemed like every time I turned around, I'm like, Oh, I have to have that, that place too. I forgot about that file. It was a little bit of a nightmare. I have to say it took me some time
Jesper (30m 34s):
In tweet on Twitter and all kinds of, I mean, but, but this is exactly why, I mean, I know that I'm actually in the self puppets success course in one of the modules, I'm actually using my own cover as an example of what not to do, because it, it is. I mean, I explain all the details in the course about it. And I also say in the course that I really should change them. Right. But because of what you just mentioned is the reason why I have not done it because I just know it's a lot of work. I mean, yes, I could, you know, I could ask you very nicely to do a new cover for me. So it probably wouldn't even cost me any money, but just the amount of work that goes into one thing is uploading them to all those different places.
Jesper (31m 20s):
But then I have to hunt down, where is all the reoccurring social media posts I have going with this covered? And I didn't have to change if I change the title. I mentioned it in a million places in different, and then I have to go and change it. All those it's just like, nah, it's a lot of work. Right. I mean, and then of course you could say, well, it doesn't matter because what I would say, if somebody said what I just said to us in a Q and a session, like we run on, on patron once a month. Yeah. Slide wise to them would be, well, you have a very long career in front of you. So if it takes you one week now and you can benefit it from it, the next 20 years, it is well worth the effort.
Jesper (32m 4s):
That would be my response and advice. And I don't even do it myself. So yeah, it's double standards here. I know, but it's just like on the to-do list of things that I feel like it's gonna move the needle the most, for example, releasing our new courses and stuff like that. It is an important part of our business between you and me. Just as much as writing books. So from a revenue perspective, going back and updating that book series, there there's only three books in it. So the read-through, it's not massive amounts of money versus releasing new courses that is going to earn quite a lot more money.
Jesper (32m 46s):
It's just like, it's so far down the to-do list that it's not that it's not important, but it's just not as important, more important than others. And some of the other things. So, and I guess now I have it in this public success cost to explain as a bad example. So now it even serves a purpose.
Autumn (33m 2s):
So there you go. Well, I've always said we, we tend to live our life as an experiment so that other people don't have to, this is definitely the other side. I mean, again, it, it helped that the impetus for me was definitely that this is the next series I'm going to release. And for me, you know, till I take a weekend, which is usually my time and I decided to rename and rebrand my book because I can hire myself on the fly on the weekend to redo a new cover, which I already had to cover. That was positive. So it was literally just doing the research and coming up with the new name and then realizing that that meant a whole new website or web page on my site to go with a new series name.
Autumn (33m 44s):
Cause I read with my series on their own pages and updating marketing images, but you're right. I mean, there are a ton of marketing images. Like I have to made with the new title where I had probably 20 made before, because that's see, that's what I do for a hobby is marketing images. I'm really strange that way. It makes me happy, but I have tons of them with the old title, but now I only have a few that I go to because I just haven't made the time. I haven't made the time to make the new, the rest of this series covers yet. So I have not worried about
Jesper (34m 18s):
No, but yeah. Yeah. But you caught it early as well. Of course. I mean that, that was good. That made the amount of work less hours. But do you have any idea, you know, in terms of creating new covers, uploading everywhere, redoing slightly on the blurb and stuff too, do you know how much time do you think you spend in total on it?
Autumn (34m 40s):
I would say, okay. Ignoring the fact that I have a horrible internet. So anyone in the rural United States or rural Africa or Australia probably can relate to the internet speeds I suffer through off of cell phone, dial up. So ignoring that if it's just upload time, Amazon is the worst. If it's just a single book, it really it's maybe four hours. It really isn't bad because you've got to figure out where you're going and your own website, assuming you don't have to send it to someone else. If you can do it yourself and just upload it, maybe four hours max, once you have the new title and everything, and you redo your ebook files, you usually have to compress your new cover into it as well, as well as upload the new cover.
Autumn (35m 25s):
So it's uploading the new file and the new cover. But I had, I have to admit, I had a slight snafu with the amount of work that this caused me that I didn't think about when I first started doing it and really made me kick myself. And I will never probably change a book name or a series title again, unless I'm really no, I did a bad, bad job, which I trust you will make sure that I don't do that again. Testing you run all my covers, my, my titles by you after this. Well, I have even taken away that we have three, so maybe five fiction books. I have all of my books listed in all my other books.
Autumn (36m 8s):
So I have 15 books. I had 15 books or so I had to up date all the titles, but I also took the advantage of it. I updated my author photo, which I just had a new author photo taken because my husband's a photographer. So that was kind of, you know, I, I made him sit down, told him I wouldn't feed him again until he got it and took a photo of me look decent. And I updated my blur because where I, what I'm doing has changed. So I took some time to do a few, you know, make sure all of my links and stuff were going, but that, that literally between that, and really managing to get everything uploaded and that Amazon takes is a multi-step approach. And plus I updated all my paperbacks.
Autumn (36m 50s):
So we went from 15 to 30 book formats. I had to update, Oh yeah. Oh, that was, it literally took me a month, but I wasn't working on it continuously. I'd kind of come back to it. And the last one I did was Google play. And I have to admit that one was the fastest one to update. Oh yeah. So Amazon was the most painful, especially having to do the e-book and the paperback and with the upload speed. And then when you do the paperback, you have to go back into the paperback previewer. It doesn't let you go past that state. And it literally takes 10 to 15 minutes for the paperback previewer to open for me per book.
Autumn (37m 29s):
It was, yeah, that was the worst, the most painful part. So that was one of those things where it's like I said, I was never doing it again. Unless I had a virtual assistant where I could be like, here you go have fun. Here's my passwords.
Jesper (37m 44s):
No, that's true. And I've also seen sometimes people saying, well, once you do the cover, redo the covers and the titles won't that confuse your readers. But actually, I mean, unless you change the identification number on the store's like ACIN number on Amazon, for example, it doesn't matter because readers will not doubt they will. They can't download this the same ASEN number twice. So it is just easy like that. And then, well, maybe you could say that few people get confused, but, but then I would revert back to my advice to myself from a moment ago and say, well, who cares if a few people get confused during one week, if the book is up for the next 20 years.
Jesper (38m 26s):
Autumn (38m 28s):
But it was, I mean, I changed the title on good reads. Again, you don't delete the old book, even on Amazon, you don't delete the old, you literally go in and change the title, except for the paperback. The paperback is assigned the ESPN that you get an Amazon is assigned to that title. So you, that you have to unpublish and then publish a new Virgin and ask Amazon to sync them. And they do it. And it was not a problem, but everything else do, you know, with eBooks and everything else do not delete the old one, you literally can go into Amazon, changed the title, change the name, and then, you know, it upload the new cover and everything's fine.
Autumn (39m 9s):
It sinks up good reads was the exact same way. I was worried on good reads that it wouldn't let me change the title, that it would see it as a whole new book. But no, it let me change the title. So now, if anyone goes in, they will see that it is the same book. It'll tell them they already purchased it or they already downloaded it. Unless of course they got it in somewhere else, like as a free promo. And now they went in and paid for it and they have the same book and then they might be a little annoyed, hopefully not. And it was definitely, yeah, it was worth it. I mean, it was, it was a good thing to do. And it was a definitely a lesson now that I can step other people through this. If they really feel like it's something they have to do.
Jesper (39m 50s):
Yeah. And it used to be so as well, that, that you could not update the title without on publishing it and publishing a new book on a, under a new AC number on Amazon. But, but as you say there, I think that's not the case.
Autumn (40m 4s):
No, it's not. You can change the title as much as you want. As long as it's under the EISA number, the ASI number, it is fine. You can change the title as much as you want and they don't complain and you can upload the book cover or the files, all that. It's just the paper. It's just, if you have an ESPN, if you have an ESPN, then you can not change the title. At that point, you will have to delete the old book or unpublish it and upload a whole new version. So that's, that is one of the drawbacks. Hey, we had a whole podcast episode, if you should be using free ISBNs so knowing that it was free from Amazon, I didn't even blink. I'm like, Oh, well that's a bummer. And I just, you know, recreated a new paperback version.
Autumn (40m 45s):
And then I had asked them to sync the two and it was not a problem.
Jesper (40m 50s):
No, indeed. So I think overall here, I mean the rather obvious lesson is that, well, get the branding right from the beginning
Autumn (41m 2s):
Book cover. That's a good cover image is not that big of a deal. You don't have to change the formats. It's not that hard. The title, especially if you have multiple books out to Hertz a little, get it right. The first time, listen to episode 37, it steps you through it brilliantly.
Jesper (41m 22s):
Yeah. And then you don't have to worry about the stuff if you just do it right. At least until not until some years later where you might want to update the cover design as we talked about, if it gets slightly dated or something, but also remember
Autumn (41m 34s):
That the self-publishing success course actually covers everything you need to know about covers titles and blurps. So all that is explained in last week's episode. So yeah, that's pretty easy. Absolutely. Go check it out, check out our past episodes. And yeah, my best advice is try to get it right the first time, but it's not the end of the world. It is entirely fixable. If you realize your series name is completely wrong or your yearbook title is completely wrong, you can, you can salvage that and maybe double, you know, your downloads or your sales just that easily. Yeah. And don't forget that the self-publishing success course is free.
Autumn (42m 17s):
I will add a link in the show notes from where you can grab this, this free course. So it's available for you. And then you might be able to avoid some of all this rebranding stuff that we've been discussing separately. So we hadn't come out with the course yet. So I hadn't watched it. It's definitely, it will get you straight and be all the help you need. So go check it out. Okay. Next Monday we are approaching the end of the year. So we will look forward and share some thoughts on this podcast for 2021.
Narrator (42m 54s):
If you like what you just heard, there's a few things you can do to support the Am Writing Fantasy podcast. Please tell a fellow author about the show and visit us at Apple podcast and leave a rating and review. You can also join Autumn and Jesper on patreon.com/amwritingfantasy for as little as a dollar a month. You'll get awesome rewards and keep the Am Writing Fantasy podcast going. Stay safe out there and see you next Monday.