Let me begin by saying that I loved my previous cover and title.
Here’s the thing, I loved the cover, but it did not help potential readers know what the book was about. It did not place the reader in a story and show them how it would benefit them
And what is writing about? In a book, it is about the reader.
One last time, here is the beloved cover:
I am still amazed that Vanessa Mendozzi, my cover designer, created such a three dimensional cover. My first idea to her—and you will quickly see why I am not a cover designer—was to have a smiling face with a bit of lettuce on a tooth.
Why? Because the idea of the book is that many people who write (be it on social media, a blog, or newsletters) don’t realize they have “lettuce on their teeth.” I know I didn’t. As I grew as a writer, I kept thinking, “I’m not stupid, why didn’t anyone tell me this before, I could easily have removed this lettuce on the teeth of my writing!”
As the months went by, I realized, this cover is beautiful, but not helpful in communicating. I take full responsibility! Vanessa presented several options, and this is the one I chose to go with.
Now let’s talk about the title: All the News That’s Fit to Tell and How to Tell it. I still like it. I like how it cleverly points to the decisions that a cross-cultural worker has to make when they write a newsletter. I like that she has a nickname, All the News. Or in my notes, ATN for short.
Here is what I have learned
In the midst of this, I wrote Getting Started. Well now, what do you notice about that title and Looming Transitions? Both are two words and start with an “ing” word (getting and looming). Again, with the reader in mind, I wanted to find a two-word title that started with an “ing” word. I landed on Enjoying Newsletters.
Enjoying Newsletters is exactly what I want the reader to do . . . enjoy communicating with his, her, or their supporters.
So, how does an author go about changing the cover and the title?
Decide to make the change. Feel sad. Feel happy. Feel overwhelmed.
Figure out the new title. Run it by friends. Tweak it. Land on a new title. Enjoying Newsletters: How to Write Christian Communication People Want to Read.
Contact Vanessa. Explain the need to update the concept. Love her even more as a cover designer when she is also sad because the loved her first cover, but understands.
Drag your sister into helping you refine the new cover. I happened to be visiting Laura and Sue when Vanessa got me the new covers. Laura helped me select from the five. But the cover was a bit too tied to China (I want a more global feel) and way too pink for men to read. Poor Laura was a saint as I texted her iteration after iteration. Imagine an eye test from hell. Which did you like better? The blue or the green? This font or that? How about this one?
Let’s take a quick break because you might be wondering what to see the new cover. I really do love this one too :)!
Seeing the new cover helps to keep going with the steps, doesn’t it! Thinking of the reader, I love how this cover invites the reader to eat fun food while working on a newsletter.
Back to the process!
Contact Andy who formatted the book and have him change any reference to ATN to the new title . . . mostly in the endorsements.
Gather new files for the book interior (print and ebooks) and covers (print and ebooks). Publish the Enjoying Newsletters. Unpublish ATN.
Contact Amazon and figure out how to link the reviews from ATN with Enjoying Newsletters.
(If you are curious, technically ATN still exists, but is “invisible.” Which is cool, but annoying when the ATN cover was what was publicly shown, instead of the new cover. You might find it interesting that I helped Amazon with a Tom Young solution. My dad was known for creative solutions that might not have been pretty, but they were effective. I uploaded the Enjoying Newsletter cover to the ATN file. As long as it stays unpublished, that image is the only one Amazon can find! Ha! The representative I talked with wondered why no one had thought of this solution before. I almost told him, “Because none of you were raised by Tom Young!”)
So there you have it, the process of changing a title and cover of a book. If you have a project that you need to revisit and make changes and wonder if it is worth it? I would say, go for it.
In the end, I’m glad that Enjoying Newsletters has a name and cover that help readers know what to expect.
Have you ever needed to revisit a project?
Amy, this looks great. Your first cover was clever and attention-grabbing, but I admit when I got the book I was disappointed. I had thought it would help me decide what news was fit to tell, and what stays buried under privacy codes; even the cover seemed to be about the play between concealing and revealing! The book was good; it just wasn’t at all what I had expected. This new cover is very attractive, and will tell people exactly what to expect. Well done.
I understand! The subtitle of ATN was what the book was about, but if you didn’t read that, you would miss it. Which shouldn’t be on the reader, clearly! The impetus behind this book is that most people who write newsletters don’t think of themselves as writers. So, they would not even think to look for a book to improve their writing :)! (I’m not a surgeon, why would I need a book about being a better surgeon?). But improving our craft is one way we can serve our supporters better. Thanks for not giving up on me even though you were disappointed :)!
Jody Collins says
Oh friend, I LOVE the new book cover and the message it presents. It think your decision makes total sense; the blue cover with the torn paper holes doesn’t quite communicate what you wanted. When my son in law designed my cover (he worked for a marketing and branding firm for 5 years so he knew what he was doing, thank God) he helped me see what the reader would see. “Jody, you have 3-5 seconds to tell people what this book is about it. Images and words are key.”
Anyway, well done! And your backstory of all the how-to’s is so very familiar, not that I’ve changed anything in my little red and white book but all the ins and outs as a self-published author, well, that’s a lot of work.
If I need help on another project in the future, I’ll need your people. They sound amazing.
Thank you, friend :)! When I first wrote the book, as I said in the post, the image that would not leave me was that of lettuce stuck to someone’s teeth and how easy it is to remove, but we often need someone to say something :)! I still believe that! and how easy it is to make a few small changes to a piece of writing that make it so much stronger. BUT that idea didn’t translate well into a cover :)! Another lesson has been, it’s better to change and get over a bit of embarrassment than to not change. As I say, embrace that we are all practicing in public :)!!! Much love!
Jan Fallon says
I loved the old cover and title, but totally understand why you felt the need for change. I’m so proud of you for taking this backwards journey that will lead your important work forward! Great job and great writing! The new cover is a solid representation and I think any writer can see themselves as the person on the cover! I know I did, even though I write posts and novels. None of them are easy and enjoyment can slip aside at times. You do good work!
LeAnne Parham says
Oh, Amy! I know this couldn’t have been an easy decision! The original cover was SO cool and eye-catching. The content and title match to me, but it’s quite possible that’s because I knew what the content was without depending on the title…. The new cover is also beautiful and requires zero thinking on the reader’s part to know what’s inside. And, honestly, on a perusal by readers, that’s what you want. Probably good call, but man, that 3D cover was clever!
Mechelle Larson says
Amy I lovehow alive, open, honest and fresh you are. Congratualtions on the book. Mechelle