I know branding is important and yet I struggle with it.

When I first put out my sexy Regency novella, Lady Em’s Indiscretion, as an e-book, I had several choices regarding cover. I could use a similar cover treatment to Lady Dearing’s Masquerade, the only e-book I had out at that time, or do something different. Being naïve, I thought that because the sex scenes in the novella weren’t really any hotter than those in the other book, a similar cover treatment would be fine. The problem is that while Lady Dearing’s Masquerade is a long book with many plot elements besides the sex, Lady Em’s Indiscretion is a short story where sex is the plot. Kind of like dessert without the meal, which is what was intended.

The other thing I didn’t realize is how many readers buy based on author name and a thumbnail. So although I described the story in the blurb, some readers were surprised that what they bought wasn’t like Lady Dearing’s Masquerade or my “Three Disgraces” trilogy. My bad. I need to fix that.

So here’s the range of my covers. I have my split style for most of my books, which are in that medium-sexy range. I intentionally asked for a different style for the reissue of my novella, The Wedding Wager, to indicate that this was a sweeter style book.

Much as I like the current cover for Lady Em’s Indiscretion, I think it needs to change to help it reach readers who enjoy the other end of the sweet/hot spectrum.

I recently read this interesting post at Dear Author about the cover evolution for Midnight Scandals, the new anthology from Courtney Milan, Sherry Thomas and Risky Carolyn Jewel. Now I’m especially aware that the cover needs to look striking (and different from my others) even as a thumbnail.

I’d be interested to know what people think. If I end up changing the cover, look forward to a celebration giveaway.

Also a bit of news. Authors Gail Eastwood and Susanna Fraser have kindly agreed to do some occasional guest posts for me. So you can look forward to a bit of variety on Fridays, while I am looking forward to a little extra writing time to help finish my balloonist story. 🙂