New Saint Justice cover!! – 2020 Writing Week 41

Mike GristWeekly Writing Update, Writing Leave a Comment

I’ve been mummering on about the genre of Saint Justice and my Christopher Wren series for bleeding ages, so finally the time has come for me to announce the new, please-to-God-be-right cover. Feast your eyes:

What do you think?

I did a lot of testing to get here. I shared it alongside another, more standard vigilante thriller cover that the excellent designers at Damonza produced (for $500), with a range of different audiences:

  • My ARC team – they came up pretty much split on this and another
  • My writer’s marketing group – they preferred this one
  • FB ads via the Experiments tab, marketed to thriller readers – they clicked on this image for 13c in droves, cheaper than the current cover at 18c and the alt cover at 16c.

So this is the one! It definitely signals dark. It looks closer to a Stieg Larsson or Barry Eisler thriller than the old Jack Reacher male romance audience I was attracting before (who didn’t like the darkness).

I can already report it’s appealing to a different audience. Here’s the old cover:

This one received an even split of men/women clicking via FB ads, approx 18c per click, almost entirely 65+ readers.

The new one is getting far more men, approx 13c per click, with an even breakdown of 45+ readers, including a handful of younger. This looks positive to me. I don’t about the lack of women, but the broader range of ages seems to bode well. Younger folks like an edgier tale, is my thinking.

The previous cover was getting a sad 20% readthrough to book 2. The whole goal here is that this cover will bring the right readers who then want to read more dark adventures in book 2. Kind of exciting, feels like a second launch.

Tasks yet to do

  • Remake all subsequent covers – possibly change titles. I’m liking ‘Blue Fairy’ for book 2 now. With the new cover design, I think it’ll come off spooky, as it should. Old cover style, I thought it’d just look silly.
  • Get another promo round in
  • Test the Amazon blurb – the old Jack Reacher blurb may not pair best with this cover – I may go with a darker version

What else?

I’m up to 42,000 on Wren book 5. Just finished a sweet little self-contained flashback story. More insight into the Apex. Good fun and horror. Will push on and work on it this weekend.

Japan Writer’s conference is this weekend. I’ll surely attend a couple of sessions.

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