Rebranding AKA New Covers and Titles for Old Books

The Woman in the Lake - UK-Final-webNicola here. Today I’m talking about re-branding in the form of book covers and titles.  The reason: My publisher and I decided to give The Woman in the Lake a new cover and a new title for the UK e-book and I thought it might be interesting to explore why this happened. I hope this will appeal to readers who might wonder why books are sometimes rebranded, and to authors who may face the same dilemmas themselves. It’s a look behind the scenes – and a very honest one – into what happened with The Woman in the Lake.

TWITL as I call it, was published simultaneously in the UK and North America in March 2019. It’s my third “timeslip” novel, a term which in itself can cause problems for an author trying to interest an agent or publisher in a book. Some people haven’t heard of timeslip, others ask what the differences are between timeslip and time travel, some people call the books dual or multiple time stories… There can be some identity issues!

 As a reader I have always adored books that involve someone in the present travelling back in time, or a mystery that begins in the A traveller in time past and is solved in the present. Some of my favourite childhood books tell these sorts of stories: A Traveller in Time by Alison Uttley, for example, The Driftway and Astercote by Penelope Lively. But in marketing terms the timeslip can be a problem. Is it historical, contemporary, fantasy, all three and more? How do you pitch that to booksellers and readers?

My first two timeslips, House of Shadows and The Phantom Tree, both sold pretty well considering that I had changed from a long career writing Regency historicals to writing something related but different. I loved writing the books (even though I find the plotting of two or three time strands hideously complicated) and readers seemed to enjoy them too. The Phantom Tree in particular struck a chord. Perhaps it was the Tudor setting, perhaps it was the character of Alison and her quest to find her son that caught the imagination. Whatever the reason, the books were building a readership and it made me very happy that there were people who enjoyed reading the sorts of books I loved writing.

When the Woman in the Lake came out I sincerely hoped (as all authors do) that it would do well. For complicated reasons there had been a long delay between The Phantom Tree and the Woman in the Lake, which made me a bit nervous since genre authors are told that we need to publish books frequently to build up a profile but I was hoping the two and a half year gap wouldn’t be too much of a problem. I felt the book had plenty going for it: It’s set in my home town of Swindon, it explores some little-known but fascinating history and it includes smugglers! It is also the story of one gorgeous but deadly “haunted” golden gown that influences the lives of everyone who touches it, so there's a lot going on and it's been described as "clever, twisty and page-turning." It's also romantic!

The Woman in the Lake - US-Final-webFrom the get go I adored the North American cover for TWITL. It was ethereal and fitted the title and the idea of the book perfectly. It didn’t feel as though there were any identity problems there and readers very kindly told me that they loved both the book and the cover. Yay! In the UK it was a different matter. My core readers were as wonderful and supportive and keen as ever but the book didn’t attract new readers. It didn’t reach a new audience or attract much interest.

This is where I’m being very honest because as a general rule, if people ask an author how a book is doing the official line is always that it’s selling brilliantly. Well, The Woman In The Lake hasn’t sold brilliantly in the UK. This happens sometimes for various reasons. A book, it’s setting, its story or its characters fail to catch the imagination of readers. The Woman in the Lake is set in England in the mid eighteenth century, which is said to be a notoriously difficult time period for historical fiction. It doesn’t have an immediate identity like the Regency or the Tudor or the Viking age. Then there was nothing obvious to hang the promotion of it on other than that it was inspired by the life of Lady Diana Spencer, an ancestor of the late Princess of Wales, and that their stories had uncanny parallels. It’s also quite a dark book, dealing with themes of abuse which is important but not to everyone’s taste.  So I can see that it may not have immediate appeal. Plus, of course, there are just so many books out there! It’s hard to make an impact.

Anyway, an opportunity arose to give The Woman in the Lake a makeover. I discussed it with my The Woman in the Golden Dress_04 (002) editor and we agreed that the story is, at heart, all about the golden gown. The new title “The Woman in the Golden Dress” reflects this as does the gorgeous, evocative cover of the new e-book version.

Who knows whether this will make any difference to book sales? Changing the cover and title of a book can be a risky business because readers may pick up a rebranded book in good faith thinking it is a new one and then be justifiably annoyed to discover they have bought the same book twice. But at least The Woman in The Golden Dress now does what it says on the book cover; and I think that cover is totally gorgeous! It’s also only £2.99 on Amazon UK! I’d like to say a huge thank you to readers who have bought, read and reviewed The Woman in the Lake and who have read and enjoyed my previous timeslip books. A writing life can be very up and down – some book fly and others perhaps only hop along. I don’t mind admitting that TWITL was a hopper and it’s always useful to examine why.

So now I’d like to ask how you feel about the rebranding of books. As a reader does it annoy and confuse you when a book is given a new title or cover, or do you think it’s a good idea to give a book a refresh sometimes and try to bring it to a new audience? Is there a particular book you've discovered as the result of a re-launch? As an author, have you ever tried rebranding and found that it works – or not? I’m offering a copy of The Woman in the Golden Gown to one commenter between now and midnight Thursday. Thank you!

95 thoughts on “Rebranding AKA New Covers and Titles for Old Books”

  1. Looking at the audio version on Audible UK both covers for ‘The Woman in the Lake’ are displayed as separate books, one from Harlequin audio (the American version?)and the other from Harper Collins. Both have the same narrators and both are classified as ‘historical’. The price varies dramatically between publishers so if not using a credit one would obviously pick the cheapest as the audio is identical! Only the Harlequin version is flagged as in my wish list though, which is slightly confusing. If ‘The Woman in the Golden Dress’ also appears on Audible that will be much more confusing, especially if there is no indication that it is simply a change of title and cover. Fortunately Audible allows one to return an audio if bought in error or if unhappy for any other reason …. a very customer friendly company.
    Afraid I’m not a fan of rebranding. It would be nice if ‘time slip – historical ‘ could be used to classify.

    Reply
  2. Looking at the audio version on Audible UK both covers for ‘The Woman in the Lake’ are displayed as separate books, one from Harlequin audio (the American version?)and the other from Harper Collins. Both have the same narrators and both are classified as ‘historical’. The price varies dramatically between publishers so if not using a credit one would obviously pick the cheapest as the audio is identical! Only the Harlequin version is flagged as in my wish list though, which is slightly confusing. If ‘The Woman in the Golden Dress’ also appears on Audible that will be much more confusing, especially if there is no indication that it is simply a change of title and cover. Fortunately Audible allows one to return an audio if bought in error or if unhappy for any other reason …. a very customer friendly company.
    Afraid I’m not a fan of rebranding. It would be nice if ‘time slip – historical ‘ could be used to classify.

    Reply
  3. Looking at the audio version on Audible UK both covers for ‘The Woman in the Lake’ are displayed as separate books, one from Harlequin audio (the American version?)and the other from Harper Collins. Both have the same narrators and both are classified as ‘historical’. The price varies dramatically between publishers so if not using a credit one would obviously pick the cheapest as the audio is identical! Only the Harlequin version is flagged as in my wish list though, which is slightly confusing. If ‘The Woman in the Golden Dress’ also appears on Audible that will be much more confusing, especially if there is no indication that it is simply a change of title and cover. Fortunately Audible allows one to return an audio if bought in error or if unhappy for any other reason …. a very customer friendly company.
    Afraid I’m not a fan of rebranding. It would be nice if ‘time slip – historical ‘ could be used to classify.

    Reply
  4. Looking at the audio version on Audible UK both covers for ‘The Woman in the Lake’ are displayed as separate books, one from Harlequin audio (the American version?)and the other from Harper Collins. Both have the same narrators and both are classified as ‘historical’. The price varies dramatically between publishers so if not using a credit one would obviously pick the cheapest as the audio is identical! Only the Harlequin version is flagged as in my wish list though, which is slightly confusing. If ‘The Woman in the Golden Dress’ also appears on Audible that will be much more confusing, especially if there is no indication that it is simply a change of title and cover. Fortunately Audible allows one to return an audio if bought in error or if unhappy for any other reason …. a very customer friendly company.
    Afraid I’m not a fan of rebranding. It would be nice if ‘time slip – historical ‘ could be used to classify.

    Reply
  5. Looking at the audio version on Audible UK both covers for ‘The Woman in the Lake’ are displayed as separate books, one from Harlequin audio (the American version?)and the other from Harper Collins. Both have the same narrators and both are classified as ‘historical’. The price varies dramatically between publishers so if not using a credit one would obviously pick the cheapest as the audio is identical! Only the Harlequin version is flagged as in my wish list though, which is slightly confusing. If ‘The Woman in the Golden Dress’ also appears on Audible that will be much more confusing, especially if there is no indication that it is simply a change of title and cover. Fortunately Audible allows one to return an audio if bought in error or if unhappy for any other reason …. a very customer friendly company.
    Afraid I’m not a fan of rebranding. It would be nice if ‘time slip – historical ‘ could be used to classify.

    Reply
  6. Hi Quantum and thank you for your thoughts. I agree that timeslip-historical could be a good way of classifying the books as they have a lot of historical elements in them. This is the issue I’m trying to discuss with publishers and booksellers. It feels as though there is an appetite for the books amongst readers but that they don’t always get into readers’ hands because they aren’t marketed as well as they could be. Interesting stuff, if a trifle frustrating sometimes!

    Reply
  7. Hi Quantum and thank you for your thoughts. I agree that timeslip-historical could be a good way of classifying the books as they have a lot of historical elements in them. This is the issue I’m trying to discuss with publishers and booksellers. It feels as though there is an appetite for the books amongst readers but that they don’t always get into readers’ hands because they aren’t marketed as well as they could be. Interesting stuff, if a trifle frustrating sometimes!

    Reply
  8. Hi Quantum and thank you for your thoughts. I agree that timeslip-historical could be a good way of classifying the books as they have a lot of historical elements in them. This is the issue I’m trying to discuss with publishers and booksellers. It feels as though there is an appetite for the books amongst readers but that they don’t always get into readers’ hands because they aren’t marketed as well as they could be. Interesting stuff, if a trifle frustrating sometimes!

    Reply
  9. Hi Quantum and thank you for your thoughts. I agree that timeslip-historical could be a good way of classifying the books as they have a lot of historical elements in them. This is the issue I’m trying to discuss with publishers and booksellers. It feels as though there is an appetite for the books amongst readers but that they don’t always get into readers’ hands because they aren’t marketed as well as they could be. Interesting stuff, if a trifle frustrating sometimes!

    Reply
  10. Hi Quantum and thank you for your thoughts. I agree that timeslip-historical could be a good way of classifying the books as they have a lot of historical elements in them. This is the issue I’m trying to discuss with publishers and booksellers. It feels as though there is an appetite for the books amongst readers but that they don’t always get into readers’ hands because they aren’t marketed as well as they could be. Interesting stuff, if a trifle frustrating sometimes!

    Reply
  11. I think “The Woman in the Golden Dress” would have been a better title from the start.
    I really DO NOT like rebranding, unless the book states upfront “also know as” or “formerly published as.”
    As a citizen of the U. S., I most definitely dislike renaming books for our market. Our marketers seem to believe that readers in the U.S. are stupid and that we must have “dumbed down” titles or else we won’t read. I have NEVER seen any reader in a bookstore (or in the formerly healhthy book racks in grocery stores) act that way. In my experience, we all buy our books very carefuly

    Reply
  12. I think “The Woman in the Golden Dress” would have been a better title from the start.
    I really DO NOT like rebranding, unless the book states upfront “also know as” or “formerly published as.”
    As a citizen of the U. S., I most definitely dislike renaming books for our market. Our marketers seem to believe that readers in the U.S. are stupid and that we must have “dumbed down” titles or else we won’t read. I have NEVER seen any reader in a bookstore (or in the formerly healhthy book racks in grocery stores) act that way. In my experience, we all buy our books very carefuly

    Reply
  13. I think “The Woman in the Golden Dress” would have been a better title from the start.
    I really DO NOT like rebranding, unless the book states upfront “also know as” or “formerly published as.”
    As a citizen of the U. S., I most definitely dislike renaming books for our market. Our marketers seem to believe that readers in the U.S. are stupid and that we must have “dumbed down” titles or else we won’t read. I have NEVER seen any reader in a bookstore (or in the formerly healhthy book racks in grocery stores) act that way. In my experience, we all buy our books very carefuly

    Reply
  14. I think “The Woman in the Golden Dress” would have been a better title from the start.
    I really DO NOT like rebranding, unless the book states upfront “also know as” or “formerly published as.”
    As a citizen of the U. S., I most definitely dislike renaming books for our market. Our marketers seem to believe that readers in the U.S. are stupid and that we must have “dumbed down” titles or else we won’t read. I have NEVER seen any reader in a bookstore (or in the formerly healhthy book racks in grocery stores) act that way. In my experience, we all buy our books very carefuly

    Reply
  15. I think “The Woman in the Golden Dress” would have been a better title from the start.
    I really DO NOT like rebranding, unless the book states upfront “also know as” or “formerly published as.”
    As a citizen of the U. S., I most definitely dislike renaming books for our market. Our marketers seem to believe that readers in the U.S. are stupid and that we must have “dumbed down” titles or else we won’t read. I have NEVER seen any reader in a bookstore (or in the formerly healhthy book racks in grocery stores) act that way. In my experience, we all buy our books very carefuly

    Reply
  16. I have a negative reaction to rebranding. I think a reader would buy the book twice and be irritated. Personally, I have only ever bought one book solely based on the cover. But that was before the Internet. I do find titles intriguing, however, and I agree the second title is better here. Best of luck on the sales.

    Reply
  17. I have a negative reaction to rebranding. I think a reader would buy the book twice and be irritated. Personally, I have only ever bought one book solely based on the cover. But that was before the Internet. I do find titles intriguing, however, and I agree the second title is better here. Best of luck on the sales.

    Reply
  18. I have a negative reaction to rebranding. I think a reader would buy the book twice and be irritated. Personally, I have only ever bought one book solely based on the cover. But that was before the Internet. I do find titles intriguing, however, and I agree the second title is better here. Best of luck on the sales.

    Reply
  19. I have a negative reaction to rebranding. I think a reader would buy the book twice and be irritated. Personally, I have only ever bought one book solely based on the cover. But that was before the Internet. I do find titles intriguing, however, and I agree the second title is better here. Best of luck on the sales.

    Reply
  20. I have a negative reaction to rebranding. I think a reader would buy the book twice and be irritated. Personally, I have only ever bought one book solely based on the cover. But that was before the Internet. I do find titles intriguing, however, and I agree the second title is better here. Best of luck on the sales.

    Reply
  21. I also have a negative reaction to rebranding. It particularly aggravates me when it’s a re-issue of an older book and there is no indication on the Amazon Kindle page that it’s renamed/reissued. It’s only when you start trolling thru reviews that you can sometimes pick it up. I have been stung by repurchasing books this way. My bad, I guess, that I don’t recognize something I’ve read already! (Disclaimer – When I used to use the library more heavily I will admit to getting home with a stack of books, starting one and thinking…gee, this sounds familiar, lol!)
    I also agree with Janice M that I rarely buy based solely on the cover. I think that happens even less now as I purchase the e-editions. Maybe when I was looking over a rack of paperback books I might have reached for something based on the cover but I would purchase based on author/story summary.
    Nicola, I DO appreciate your sharing the story behind the re-branding for this book and I hope it sells well!

    Reply
  22. I also have a negative reaction to rebranding. It particularly aggravates me when it’s a re-issue of an older book and there is no indication on the Amazon Kindle page that it’s renamed/reissued. It’s only when you start trolling thru reviews that you can sometimes pick it up. I have been stung by repurchasing books this way. My bad, I guess, that I don’t recognize something I’ve read already! (Disclaimer – When I used to use the library more heavily I will admit to getting home with a stack of books, starting one and thinking…gee, this sounds familiar, lol!)
    I also agree with Janice M that I rarely buy based solely on the cover. I think that happens even less now as I purchase the e-editions. Maybe when I was looking over a rack of paperback books I might have reached for something based on the cover but I would purchase based on author/story summary.
    Nicola, I DO appreciate your sharing the story behind the re-branding for this book and I hope it sells well!

    Reply
  23. I also have a negative reaction to rebranding. It particularly aggravates me when it’s a re-issue of an older book and there is no indication on the Amazon Kindle page that it’s renamed/reissued. It’s only when you start trolling thru reviews that you can sometimes pick it up. I have been stung by repurchasing books this way. My bad, I guess, that I don’t recognize something I’ve read already! (Disclaimer – When I used to use the library more heavily I will admit to getting home with a stack of books, starting one and thinking…gee, this sounds familiar, lol!)
    I also agree with Janice M that I rarely buy based solely on the cover. I think that happens even less now as I purchase the e-editions. Maybe when I was looking over a rack of paperback books I might have reached for something based on the cover but I would purchase based on author/story summary.
    Nicola, I DO appreciate your sharing the story behind the re-branding for this book and I hope it sells well!

    Reply
  24. I also have a negative reaction to rebranding. It particularly aggravates me when it’s a re-issue of an older book and there is no indication on the Amazon Kindle page that it’s renamed/reissued. It’s only when you start trolling thru reviews that you can sometimes pick it up. I have been stung by repurchasing books this way. My bad, I guess, that I don’t recognize something I’ve read already! (Disclaimer – When I used to use the library more heavily I will admit to getting home with a stack of books, starting one and thinking…gee, this sounds familiar, lol!)
    I also agree with Janice M that I rarely buy based solely on the cover. I think that happens even less now as I purchase the e-editions. Maybe when I was looking over a rack of paperback books I might have reached for something based on the cover but I would purchase based on author/story summary.
    Nicola, I DO appreciate your sharing the story behind the re-branding for this book and I hope it sells well!

    Reply
  25. I also have a negative reaction to rebranding. It particularly aggravates me when it’s a re-issue of an older book and there is no indication on the Amazon Kindle page that it’s renamed/reissued. It’s only when you start trolling thru reviews that you can sometimes pick it up. I have been stung by repurchasing books this way. My bad, I guess, that I don’t recognize something I’ve read already! (Disclaimer – When I used to use the library more heavily I will admit to getting home with a stack of books, starting one and thinking…gee, this sounds familiar, lol!)
    I also agree with Janice M that I rarely buy based solely on the cover. I think that happens even less now as I purchase the e-editions. Maybe when I was looking over a rack of paperback books I might have reached for something based on the cover but I would purchase based on author/story summary.
    Nicola, I DO appreciate your sharing the story behind the re-branding for this book and I hope it sells well!

    Reply
  26. Like others, rebranding is a problem for me unless it’s clearly labeled as such. It’s very frustrating to pick up a new book only to find it’s something I already own with another cover or title. It can be equally hard in e-books. There are some stories that I want in both paper and e-book. Others, I don’t want to purchase again. If the author or publisher is open about the rebrand, I can make make an informed decision.
    Research is in new titles can be time consuming so I do appreciate your honesty about this information.

    Reply
  27. Like others, rebranding is a problem for me unless it’s clearly labeled as such. It’s very frustrating to pick up a new book only to find it’s something I already own with another cover or title. It can be equally hard in e-books. There are some stories that I want in both paper and e-book. Others, I don’t want to purchase again. If the author or publisher is open about the rebrand, I can make make an informed decision.
    Research is in new titles can be time consuming so I do appreciate your honesty about this information.

    Reply
  28. Like others, rebranding is a problem for me unless it’s clearly labeled as such. It’s very frustrating to pick up a new book only to find it’s something I already own with another cover or title. It can be equally hard in e-books. There are some stories that I want in both paper and e-book. Others, I don’t want to purchase again. If the author or publisher is open about the rebrand, I can make make an informed decision.
    Research is in new titles can be time consuming so I do appreciate your honesty about this information.

    Reply
  29. Like others, rebranding is a problem for me unless it’s clearly labeled as such. It’s very frustrating to pick up a new book only to find it’s something I already own with another cover or title. It can be equally hard in e-books. There are some stories that I want in both paper and e-book. Others, I don’t want to purchase again. If the author or publisher is open about the rebrand, I can make make an informed decision.
    Research is in new titles can be time consuming so I do appreciate your honesty about this information.

    Reply
  30. Like others, rebranding is a problem for me unless it’s clearly labeled as such. It’s very frustrating to pick up a new book only to find it’s something I already own with another cover or title. It can be equally hard in e-books. There are some stories that I want in both paper and e-book. Others, I don’t want to purchase again. If the author or publisher is open about the rebrand, I can make make an informed decision.
    Research is in new titles can be time consuming so I do appreciate your honesty about this information.

    Reply
  31. Thank you for your informative post, Nicola, and best wishes for improved sales with your book’s new title and cover.
    I’ll admit to having bought second (and even third) copies of books I’ve already read … and that was without any changes to either title or cover art! I’ve also run afoul of buying books that appeared to be new books by an author but were actually rereleases; that can be irritating. I’ve been known to check the copyright information before buying a book.
    With the advent of ebooks, I sometimes wonder if people even see a book cover. One of my pet peeves with the Kindle is that books generally open up to the start of the text. 99.9% off the time, I will go back to the cover so that I can see it and all the prefatory matter before beginning to read a book.

    Reply
  32. Thank you for your informative post, Nicola, and best wishes for improved sales with your book’s new title and cover.
    I’ll admit to having bought second (and even third) copies of books I’ve already read … and that was without any changes to either title or cover art! I’ve also run afoul of buying books that appeared to be new books by an author but were actually rereleases; that can be irritating. I’ve been known to check the copyright information before buying a book.
    With the advent of ebooks, I sometimes wonder if people even see a book cover. One of my pet peeves with the Kindle is that books generally open up to the start of the text. 99.9% off the time, I will go back to the cover so that I can see it and all the prefatory matter before beginning to read a book.

    Reply
  33. Thank you for your informative post, Nicola, and best wishes for improved sales with your book’s new title and cover.
    I’ll admit to having bought second (and even third) copies of books I’ve already read … and that was without any changes to either title or cover art! I’ve also run afoul of buying books that appeared to be new books by an author but were actually rereleases; that can be irritating. I’ve been known to check the copyright information before buying a book.
    With the advent of ebooks, I sometimes wonder if people even see a book cover. One of my pet peeves with the Kindle is that books generally open up to the start of the text. 99.9% off the time, I will go back to the cover so that I can see it and all the prefatory matter before beginning to read a book.

    Reply
  34. Thank you for your informative post, Nicola, and best wishes for improved sales with your book’s new title and cover.
    I’ll admit to having bought second (and even third) copies of books I’ve already read … and that was without any changes to either title or cover art! I’ve also run afoul of buying books that appeared to be new books by an author but were actually rereleases; that can be irritating. I’ve been known to check the copyright information before buying a book.
    With the advent of ebooks, I sometimes wonder if people even see a book cover. One of my pet peeves with the Kindle is that books generally open up to the start of the text. 99.9% off the time, I will go back to the cover so that I can see it and all the prefatory matter before beginning to read a book.

    Reply
  35. Thank you for your informative post, Nicola, and best wishes for improved sales with your book’s new title and cover.
    I’ll admit to having bought second (and even third) copies of books I’ve already read … and that was without any changes to either title or cover art! I’ve also run afoul of buying books that appeared to be new books by an author but were actually rereleases; that can be irritating. I’ve been known to check the copyright information before buying a book.
    With the advent of ebooks, I sometimes wonder if people even see a book cover. One of my pet peeves with the Kindle is that books generally open up to the start of the text. 99.9% off the time, I will go back to the cover so that I can see it and all the prefatory matter before beginning to read a book.

    Reply
  36. I, too, have been caught in the re-issuing trap, especially if it is by an author I generally purchase. I have gotten into the habit of religiously checking copyright dates to attempt re-buys.

    Reply
  37. I, too, have been caught in the re-issuing trap, especially if it is by an author I generally purchase. I have gotten into the habit of religiously checking copyright dates to attempt re-buys.

    Reply
  38. I, too, have been caught in the re-issuing trap, especially if it is by an author I generally purchase. I have gotten into the habit of religiously checking copyright dates to attempt re-buys.

    Reply
  39. I, too, have been caught in the re-issuing trap, especially if it is by an author I generally purchase. I have gotten into the habit of religiously checking copyright dates to attempt re-buys.

    Reply
  40. I, too, have been caught in the re-issuing trap, especially if it is by an author I generally purchase. I have gotten into the habit of religiously checking copyright dates to attempt re-buys.

    Reply
  41. It depends.
    I ride the bus 5 days a week. The trips average about 3 hours a day. I read on the bus. I know I’m fortunate I can. But I read what I call hard-copy books. I can’t read e-books anyway because they give me headaches – on the bus would be much worse! So covers are important visual clues for me as to if I’ve read this book recently. I average a book a day so this is important to me. I have bought re-released books without realizing it until I got home, but sometimes I’ve worn out books from re-reading them so often so this can be a good thing. :-D. While a cover catches my eye though, it’s usually the story blurb on the back or inside that determines if I buy it. I use the cover more for identification than anything else.
    I have gotten frustrated with rebranding when I’m trying to complete a set and think I’ve found a new book in a series I’m collecting, only to find I have that book already. That’s disappointing.
    But I understand updating covers too. As long as the blurb is the same so I recognize the characters and the story, I’d be okay with it. I have seen some gorgeous new covers on some old favourites that I quite liked.
    But I’ve treasured books with some so-so covers because the story was so fabulous. So I’m a mixed bag of reactions that boil down to, “it depends.”

    Reply
  42. It depends.
    I ride the bus 5 days a week. The trips average about 3 hours a day. I read on the bus. I know I’m fortunate I can. But I read what I call hard-copy books. I can’t read e-books anyway because they give me headaches – on the bus would be much worse! So covers are important visual clues for me as to if I’ve read this book recently. I average a book a day so this is important to me. I have bought re-released books without realizing it until I got home, but sometimes I’ve worn out books from re-reading them so often so this can be a good thing. :-D. While a cover catches my eye though, it’s usually the story blurb on the back or inside that determines if I buy it. I use the cover more for identification than anything else.
    I have gotten frustrated with rebranding when I’m trying to complete a set and think I’ve found a new book in a series I’m collecting, only to find I have that book already. That’s disappointing.
    But I understand updating covers too. As long as the blurb is the same so I recognize the characters and the story, I’d be okay with it. I have seen some gorgeous new covers on some old favourites that I quite liked.
    But I’ve treasured books with some so-so covers because the story was so fabulous. So I’m a mixed bag of reactions that boil down to, “it depends.”

    Reply
  43. It depends.
    I ride the bus 5 days a week. The trips average about 3 hours a day. I read on the bus. I know I’m fortunate I can. But I read what I call hard-copy books. I can’t read e-books anyway because they give me headaches – on the bus would be much worse! So covers are important visual clues for me as to if I’ve read this book recently. I average a book a day so this is important to me. I have bought re-released books without realizing it until I got home, but sometimes I’ve worn out books from re-reading them so often so this can be a good thing. :-D. While a cover catches my eye though, it’s usually the story blurb on the back or inside that determines if I buy it. I use the cover more for identification than anything else.
    I have gotten frustrated with rebranding when I’m trying to complete a set and think I’ve found a new book in a series I’m collecting, only to find I have that book already. That’s disappointing.
    But I understand updating covers too. As long as the blurb is the same so I recognize the characters and the story, I’d be okay with it. I have seen some gorgeous new covers on some old favourites that I quite liked.
    But I’ve treasured books with some so-so covers because the story was so fabulous. So I’m a mixed bag of reactions that boil down to, “it depends.”

    Reply
  44. It depends.
    I ride the bus 5 days a week. The trips average about 3 hours a day. I read on the bus. I know I’m fortunate I can. But I read what I call hard-copy books. I can’t read e-books anyway because they give me headaches – on the bus would be much worse! So covers are important visual clues for me as to if I’ve read this book recently. I average a book a day so this is important to me. I have bought re-released books without realizing it until I got home, but sometimes I’ve worn out books from re-reading them so often so this can be a good thing. :-D. While a cover catches my eye though, it’s usually the story blurb on the back or inside that determines if I buy it. I use the cover more for identification than anything else.
    I have gotten frustrated with rebranding when I’m trying to complete a set and think I’ve found a new book in a series I’m collecting, only to find I have that book already. That’s disappointing.
    But I understand updating covers too. As long as the blurb is the same so I recognize the characters and the story, I’d be okay with it. I have seen some gorgeous new covers on some old favourites that I quite liked.
    But I’ve treasured books with some so-so covers because the story was so fabulous. So I’m a mixed bag of reactions that boil down to, “it depends.”

    Reply
  45. It depends.
    I ride the bus 5 days a week. The trips average about 3 hours a day. I read on the bus. I know I’m fortunate I can. But I read what I call hard-copy books. I can’t read e-books anyway because they give me headaches – on the bus would be much worse! So covers are important visual clues for me as to if I’ve read this book recently. I average a book a day so this is important to me. I have bought re-released books without realizing it until I got home, but sometimes I’ve worn out books from re-reading them so often so this can be a good thing. :-D. While a cover catches my eye though, it’s usually the story blurb on the back or inside that determines if I buy it. I use the cover more for identification than anything else.
    I have gotten frustrated with rebranding when I’m trying to complete a set and think I’ve found a new book in a series I’m collecting, only to find I have that book already. That’s disappointing.
    But I understand updating covers too. As long as the blurb is the same so I recognize the characters and the story, I’d be okay with it. I have seen some gorgeous new covers on some old favourites that I quite liked.
    But I’ve treasured books with some so-so covers because the story was so fabulous. So I’m a mixed bag of reactions that boil down to, “it depends.”

    Reply
  46. Retitling a book has always annoyed the hell out of me. Until I got the Byron database, I had no way of knowing that I was looking at a new title on an old book. I still find it confusing. I want to say, pick a title and stick with it! as unfair as that may sound to authors. But who knows how many readers got cheesed off and felt cheated when they bought the same book twice, such that they remembered that the next time they saw that author’s name and were put off buying another book? I have spoken with some fans who have extremely long memories for annoyance 🙁
    Changing the cover alone, on the other hand, is not important to me. We all know that reissues generally have different covers. That does not seem to be done to trick anybody. It is a shame, however, that so many reissues have unattractive, uninteresting generic covers, particularly the ebooks.
    What is the poor author — and the poor reader — to do? As Kareni said, check copyrights; maybe keep a list of books bought, and check with the seller as to whether the book can be returned if it turns out to be a duplicate. Good luck to us all!

    Reply
  47. Retitling a book has always annoyed the hell out of me. Until I got the Byron database, I had no way of knowing that I was looking at a new title on an old book. I still find it confusing. I want to say, pick a title and stick with it! as unfair as that may sound to authors. But who knows how many readers got cheesed off and felt cheated when they bought the same book twice, such that they remembered that the next time they saw that author’s name and were put off buying another book? I have spoken with some fans who have extremely long memories for annoyance 🙁
    Changing the cover alone, on the other hand, is not important to me. We all know that reissues generally have different covers. That does not seem to be done to trick anybody. It is a shame, however, that so many reissues have unattractive, uninteresting generic covers, particularly the ebooks.
    What is the poor author — and the poor reader — to do? As Kareni said, check copyrights; maybe keep a list of books bought, and check with the seller as to whether the book can be returned if it turns out to be a duplicate. Good luck to us all!

    Reply
  48. Retitling a book has always annoyed the hell out of me. Until I got the Byron database, I had no way of knowing that I was looking at a new title on an old book. I still find it confusing. I want to say, pick a title and stick with it! as unfair as that may sound to authors. But who knows how many readers got cheesed off and felt cheated when they bought the same book twice, such that they remembered that the next time they saw that author’s name and were put off buying another book? I have spoken with some fans who have extremely long memories for annoyance 🙁
    Changing the cover alone, on the other hand, is not important to me. We all know that reissues generally have different covers. That does not seem to be done to trick anybody. It is a shame, however, that so many reissues have unattractive, uninteresting generic covers, particularly the ebooks.
    What is the poor author — and the poor reader — to do? As Kareni said, check copyrights; maybe keep a list of books bought, and check with the seller as to whether the book can be returned if it turns out to be a duplicate. Good luck to us all!

    Reply
  49. Retitling a book has always annoyed the hell out of me. Until I got the Byron database, I had no way of knowing that I was looking at a new title on an old book. I still find it confusing. I want to say, pick a title and stick with it! as unfair as that may sound to authors. But who knows how many readers got cheesed off and felt cheated when they bought the same book twice, such that they remembered that the next time they saw that author’s name and were put off buying another book? I have spoken with some fans who have extremely long memories for annoyance 🙁
    Changing the cover alone, on the other hand, is not important to me. We all know that reissues generally have different covers. That does not seem to be done to trick anybody. It is a shame, however, that so many reissues have unattractive, uninteresting generic covers, particularly the ebooks.
    What is the poor author — and the poor reader — to do? As Kareni said, check copyrights; maybe keep a list of books bought, and check with the seller as to whether the book can be returned if it turns out to be a duplicate. Good luck to us all!

    Reply
  50. Retitling a book has always annoyed the hell out of me. Until I got the Byron database, I had no way of knowing that I was looking at a new title on an old book. I still find it confusing. I want to say, pick a title and stick with it! as unfair as that may sound to authors. But who knows how many readers got cheesed off and felt cheated when they bought the same book twice, such that they remembered that the next time they saw that author’s name and were put off buying another book? I have spoken with some fans who have extremely long memories for annoyance 🙁
    Changing the cover alone, on the other hand, is not important to me. We all know that reissues generally have different covers. That does not seem to be done to trick anybody. It is a shame, however, that so many reissues have unattractive, uninteresting generic covers, particularly the ebooks.
    What is the poor author — and the poor reader — to do? As Kareni said, check copyrights; maybe keep a list of books bought, and check with the seller as to whether the book can be returned if it turns out to be a duplicate. Good luck to us all!

    Reply
  51. Thanks, Sue, I think so too! However authors and publishers don’t get these things right all the time (and my title for it was Dark Water)! I do think that the initial branding of timeslip books has a lot to do with it. How do you present them? What should they look like?
    I agree that there are similar issues in the market here sometimes with books being or looking dumbed down. The poor author engages in a number of battles over blurb, title etc because they know their readers aren’t stupid!

    Reply
  52. Thanks, Sue, I think so too! However authors and publishers don’t get these things right all the time (and my title for it was Dark Water)! I do think that the initial branding of timeslip books has a lot to do with it. How do you present them? What should they look like?
    I agree that there are similar issues in the market here sometimes with books being or looking dumbed down. The poor author engages in a number of battles over blurb, title etc because they know their readers aren’t stupid!

    Reply
  53. Thanks, Sue, I think so too! However authors and publishers don’t get these things right all the time (and my title for it was Dark Water)! I do think that the initial branding of timeslip books has a lot to do with it. How do you present them? What should they look like?
    I agree that there are similar issues in the market here sometimes with books being or looking dumbed down. The poor author engages in a number of battles over blurb, title etc because they know their readers aren’t stupid!

    Reply
  54. Thanks, Sue, I think so too! However authors and publishers don’t get these things right all the time (and my title for it was Dark Water)! I do think that the initial branding of timeslip books has a lot to do with it. How do you present them? What should they look like?
    I agree that there are similar issues in the market here sometimes with books being or looking dumbed down. The poor author engages in a number of battles over blurb, title etc because they know their readers aren’t stupid!

    Reply
  55. Thanks, Sue, I think so too! However authors and publishers don’t get these things right all the time (and my title for it was Dark Water)! I do think that the initial branding of timeslip books has a lot to do with it. How do you present them? What should they look like?
    I agree that there are similar issues in the market here sometimes with books being or looking dumbed down. The poor author engages in a number of battles over blurb, title etc because they know their readers aren’t stupid!

    Reply
  56. LOL, Pam, I did that myself only the other day – got home, looked at a book I’d just bought and thought “no wonder I liked the look of this – I already have it!”
    Thanks so much for saying that you appreciate me sharing the story of this rebranding. I thought long and hard about it but I didn’t simply want the book to appear and nothing be said as to why!

    Reply
  57. LOL, Pam, I did that myself only the other day – got home, looked at a book I’d just bought and thought “no wonder I liked the look of this – I already have it!”
    Thanks so much for saying that you appreciate me sharing the story of this rebranding. I thought long and hard about it but I didn’t simply want the book to appear and nothing be said as to why!

    Reply
  58. LOL, Pam, I did that myself only the other day – got home, looked at a book I’d just bought and thought “no wonder I liked the look of this – I already have it!”
    Thanks so much for saying that you appreciate me sharing the story of this rebranding. I thought long and hard about it but I didn’t simply want the book to appear and nothing be said as to why!

    Reply
  59. LOL, Pam, I did that myself only the other day – got home, looked at a book I’d just bought and thought “no wonder I liked the look of this – I already have it!”
    Thanks so much for saying that you appreciate me sharing the story of this rebranding. I thought long and hard about it but I didn’t simply want the book to appear and nothing be said as to why!

    Reply
  60. LOL, Pam, I did that myself only the other day – got home, looked at a book I’d just bought and thought “no wonder I liked the look of this – I already have it!”
    Thanks so much for saying that you appreciate me sharing the story of this rebranding. I thought long and hard about it but I didn’t simply want the book to appear and nothing be said as to why!

    Reply
  61. Thank you, Leanne. I think it’s essential to be clear about a rebrand even if the reasons for it aren’t always that positive! I’d far rather be honest. Plus I love the book and want to give it another chance. But it is a tricky subject because I know it can be a big issue for readers.

    Reply
  62. Thank you, Leanne. I think it’s essential to be clear about a rebrand even if the reasons for it aren’t always that positive! I’d far rather be honest. Plus I love the book and want to give it another chance. But it is a tricky subject because I know it can be a big issue for readers.

    Reply
  63. Thank you, Leanne. I think it’s essential to be clear about a rebrand even if the reasons for it aren’t always that positive! I’d far rather be honest. Plus I love the book and want to give it another chance. But it is a tricky subject because I know it can be a big issue for readers.

    Reply
  64. Thank you, Leanne. I think it’s essential to be clear about a rebrand even if the reasons for it aren’t always that positive! I’d far rather be honest. Plus I love the book and want to give it another chance. But it is a tricky subject because I know it can be a big issue for readers.

    Reply
  65. Thank you, Leanne. I think it’s essential to be clear about a rebrand even if the reasons for it aren’t always that positive! I’d far rather be honest. Plus I love the book and want to give it another chance. But it is a tricky subject because I know it can be a big issue for readers.

    Reply
  66. That’s a very interesting point about an e-book opening inside the the cover, Kareni. I do exactly the same and go back and look at all the material it has skipped over. There are so many issues around covers, titles, blurbs and marketing… I find it fascinating but my main concern is always to be sure I haven’t accidentally misled a reader.

    Reply
  67. That’s a very interesting point about an e-book opening inside the the cover, Kareni. I do exactly the same and go back and look at all the material it has skipped over. There are so many issues around covers, titles, blurbs and marketing… I find it fascinating but my main concern is always to be sure I haven’t accidentally misled a reader.

    Reply
  68. That’s a very interesting point about an e-book opening inside the the cover, Kareni. I do exactly the same and go back and look at all the material it has skipped over. There are so many issues around covers, titles, blurbs and marketing… I find it fascinating but my main concern is always to be sure I haven’t accidentally misled a reader.

    Reply
  69. That’s a very interesting point about an e-book opening inside the the cover, Kareni. I do exactly the same and go back and look at all the material it has skipped over. There are so many issues around covers, titles, blurbs and marketing… I find it fascinating but my main concern is always to be sure I haven’t accidentally misled a reader.

    Reply
  70. That’s a very interesting point about an e-book opening inside the the cover, Kareni. I do exactly the same and go back and look at all the material it has skipped over. There are so many issues around covers, titles, blurbs and marketing… I find it fascinating but my main concern is always to be sure I haven’t accidentally misled a reader.

    Reply
  71. I think that can be the only way sometimes, Linda. So many books are re-issued or put into anthologies and repackaged. It’s a good principle to work on!

    Reply
  72. I think that can be the only way sometimes, Linda. So many books are re-issued or put into anthologies and repackaged. It’s a good principle to work on!

    Reply
  73. I think that can be the only way sometimes, Linda. So many books are re-issued or put into anthologies and repackaged. It’s a good principle to work on!

    Reply
  74. I think that can be the only way sometimes, Linda. So many books are re-issued or put into anthologies and repackaged. It’s a good principle to work on!

    Reply
  75. I think that can be the only way sometimes, Linda. So many books are re-issued or put into anthologies and repackaged. It’s a good principle to work on!

    Reply
  76. Thanks, Karen! That’s a really interesting insight. I also love buying new copies of books I’ve worn out with reading but I guess it’s better for that to be a choice rather than an accident 🙂 In this case the blurb is identical so hopefully that will help but I’ve so appreciated all these responses and found them very interesting.

    Reply
  77. Thanks, Karen! That’s a really interesting insight. I also love buying new copies of books I’ve worn out with reading but I guess it’s better for that to be a choice rather than an accident 🙂 In this case the blurb is identical so hopefully that will help but I’ve so appreciated all these responses and found them very interesting.

    Reply
  78. Thanks, Karen! That’s a really interesting insight. I also love buying new copies of books I’ve worn out with reading but I guess it’s better for that to be a choice rather than an accident 🙂 In this case the blurb is identical so hopefully that will help but I’ve so appreciated all these responses and found them very interesting.

    Reply
  79. Thanks, Karen! That’s a really interesting insight. I also love buying new copies of books I’ve worn out with reading but I guess it’s better for that to be a choice rather than an accident 🙂 In this case the blurb is identical so hopefully that will help but I’ve so appreciated all these responses and found them very interesting.

    Reply
  80. Thanks, Karen! That’s a really interesting insight. I also love buying new copies of books I’ve worn out with reading but I guess it’s better for that to be a choice rather than an accident 🙂 In this case the blurb is identical so hopefully that will help but I’ve so appreciated all these responses and found them very interesting.

    Reply
  81. Thanks for your thoughts, Janice. As readers as well as authors, I think a lot of us are keenly aware of the pitfalls that retitling can bring and no one wants to upset their loyal readers. It’s an interesting conundrum which is why I wanted to be upfront about it and ask for people’s thoughts.

    Reply
  82. Thanks for your thoughts, Janice. As readers as well as authors, I think a lot of us are keenly aware of the pitfalls that retitling can bring and no one wants to upset their loyal readers. It’s an interesting conundrum which is why I wanted to be upfront about it and ask for people’s thoughts.

    Reply
  83. Thanks for your thoughts, Janice. As readers as well as authors, I think a lot of us are keenly aware of the pitfalls that retitling can bring and no one wants to upset their loyal readers. It’s an interesting conundrum which is why I wanted to be upfront about it and ask for people’s thoughts.

    Reply
  84. Thanks for your thoughts, Janice. As readers as well as authors, I think a lot of us are keenly aware of the pitfalls that retitling can bring and no one wants to upset their loyal readers. It’s an interesting conundrum which is why I wanted to be upfront about it and ask for people’s thoughts.

    Reply
  85. Thanks for your thoughts, Janice. As readers as well as authors, I think a lot of us are keenly aware of the pitfalls that retitling can bring and no one wants to upset their loyal readers. It’s an interesting conundrum which is why I wanted to be upfront about it and ask for people’s thoughts.

    Reply
  86. Interesting commentary. I understand your reasons for changing your marketing on the book. Like others, covers do not influence my book purchase especially since I now use Kindle. I am generally annoyed by a changed title for an author unless the offering clearly states that the book was originally purchased under a different title and then give the name of the title. For tour paperbacks that notice should be placed on the cover. For an e book it should be prominently placed at the beginning of the description. I think to do otherwise is misleading to your readers and is a rather deceptive trade practice. If you do all of those thIngs then I have no problem with Re-branding. Unfortunately I find few publishers follow that practice. If you have a favorite author and you are like me, you purchase any new title they publish. I’ve been bitten that way and each time my ire has been directed against the author, perhaps unfairly. But as an author I think you need to protect your readers to the best of your ability. If you can’t control what goes on the cover or in the ad, then post on your website so that readers know upfront.

    Reply
  87. Interesting commentary. I understand your reasons for changing your marketing on the book. Like others, covers do not influence my book purchase especially since I now use Kindle. I am generally annoyed by a changed title for an author unless the offering clearly states that the book was originally purchased under a different title and then give the name of the title. For tour paperbacks that notice should be placed on the cover. For an e book it should be prominently placed at the beginning of the description. I think to do otherwise is misleading to your readers and is a rather deceptive trade practice. If you do all of those thIngs then I have no problem with Re-branding. Unfortunately I find few publishers follow that practice. If you have a favorite author and you are like me, you purchase any new title they publish. I’ve been bitten that way and each time my ire has been directed against the author, perhaps unfairly. But as an author I think you need to protect your readers to the best of your ability. If you can’t control what goes on the cover or in the ad, then post on your website so that readers know upfront.

    Reply
  88. Interesting commentary. I understand your reasons for changing your marketing on the book. Like others, covers do not influence my book purchase especially since I now use Kindle. I am generally annoyed by a changed title for an author unless the offering clearly states that the book was originally purchased under a different title and then give the name of the title. For tour paperbacks that notice should be placed on the cover. For an e book it should be prominently placed at the beginning of the description. I think to do otherwise is misleading to your readers and is a rather deceptive trade practice. If you do all of those thIngs then I have no problem with Re-branding. Unfortunately I find few publishers follow that practice. If you have a favorite author and you are like me, you purchase any new title they publish. I’ve been bitten that way and each time my ire has been directed against the author, perhaps unfairly. But as an author I think you need to protect your readers to the best of your ability. If you can’t control what goes on the cover or in the ad, then post on your website so that readers know upfront.

    Reply
  89. Interesting commentary. I understand your reasons for changing your marketing on the book. Like others, covers do not influence my book purchase especially since I now use Kindle. I am generally annoyed by a changed title for an author unless the offering clearly states that the book was originally purchased under a different title and then give the name of the title. For tour paperbacks that notice should be placed on the cover. For an e book it should be prominently placed at the beginning of the description. I think to do otherwise is misleading to your readers and is a rather deceptive trade practice. If you do all of those thIngs then I have no problem with Re-branding. Unfortunately I find few publishers follow that practice. If you have a favorite author and you are like me, you purchase any new title they publish. I’ve been bitten that way and each time my ire has been directed against the author, perhaps unfairly. But as an author I think you need to protect your readers to the best of your ability. If you can’t control what goes on the cover or in the ad, then post on your website so that readers know upfront.

    Reply
  90. Interesting commentary. I understand your reasons for changing your marketing on the book. Like others, covers do not influence my book purchase especially since I now use Kindle. I am generally annoyed by a changed title for an author unless the offering clearly states that the book was originally purchased under a different title and then give the name of the title. For tour paperbacks that notice should be placed on the cover. For an e book it should be prominently placed at the beginning of the description. I think to do otherwise is misleading to your readers and is a rather deceptive trade practice. If you do all of those thIngs then I have no problem with Re-branding. Unfortunately I find few publishers follow that practice. If you have a favorite author and you are like me, you purchase any new title they publish. I’ve been bitten that way and each time my ire has been directed against the author, perhaps unfairly. But as an author I think you need to protect your readers to the best of your ability. If you can’t control what goes on the cover or in the ad, then post on your website so that readers know upfront.

    Reply

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