Yesterday I got another flattering review, but it included a remark about the cover, saying that she was worried about downloading the book as the cover looked too raunchy for a gay romance novel.
There is a new cover in development!
I thought it was a risk going with the original, but went ahead anyway, thinking that it would make my book stand out in a genre where book covers all seem rather the same to me. But I suppose that sends out the right message to potential readers, and I was sending out a mixed signal.
I know the importance of covers, so am not surprised. Look at that one there - the very first cover for 'In The Dark'. It was accepted by all retailers, and despite the book being an early work where to be honest the writing isn't that great (I've polished it since, so don't be put off!), and also quite a short story for the minimum $2.99, Amazon force me to charge, it is my best-selling book by quite some way. And years after the release it still sells well.
I reckon it's the cover. I've subsequently had to modify it - there is the 'Flaming Hot' banner which goes with all my covers now, but also a whip draped over his dick, which Smashwords actually asked for as some of the retailer they deal with are getting shy about such things. But even still, it's a powerful image. There was actually a mildly negative review which blamed the cover for enticing a purchase 'Who could possibly resist it with a cover like that!' the lady said. So take note, I tell myself, and remember the old phrase - some people might not judge a book by its cover... but the vast majority do!