How we made an extra 3.6k dollars in a month just by changing a book cover
In this post, I’ll break down the process and lessons from changing three book covers successfully.
I’ll share with you the process I used to identify the right cover style that allowed me to sell more books without increasing the marketing budget.
You’ll learn if changing your cover is suitable for you or not based on where you’re at.
I own a marketing agency, and I work with a few six and multiple seven figures authors in different niches. I am NOT taking on any clients at the moment, so please don’t ask this in the comments.
My goal with these posts is to add value to the group.
It all started with one book that was doing poorly compared to other books we were advertising for a client.
I tried anything I could think of in terms of Facebook and Amazon ads, and nothing seemed to get the book back. It seemed like it was slowly dying with no signs of coming back.
The only thing left to try was to change the book cover and see if that would have any impact.
I knew that if we changed the cover, I would have to make it similar to books that sold many copies so that when people saw the cover, it would have a familiarity effect. They would buy because they would associate the new cover with what they loved reading.
I used a process to identify the best cover style that would fit the book to look familiar with the best-selling series in the client’s genre.
You’ll find the step-by-step process at the end of the post.👇
We got the new cover from the designer, and we changed it.
The book went from making $84/day to averaging $100/day, a 13% increase in revenue. An extra $16/day.
For this series, $16/day in book one revenue would mean $2.4k in total revenue generated once read-thru is complete in a 30-day period. At the time, this was an 8-book series.
Nothing crazy, but still an improvement.
Later something interesting happened that spiked book one in revenue even higher.
The client had a launch in the series. And that got a lot of attention to book one.
Book one made $160/day and stayed consistent around the same rank and revenue. We tested this back in May 2022, and yesterday (Aug 25, 2022), the book made $150, so the revenue is still quite consistent.
You might say that it’s normal to get an increase in revenue at every launch.
But the reality is the previous launch, a few months ago, did not affect book one’s revenue—no spike in sales. Everything stayed the same.
🧠 So far, my conclusion was that when we change a book cover, a push or a spike in sales is needed for Amazon to notice the change and push the book to better ranks.
Now I know that we need a push or a spike to make amazon notice the difference and push our book higher.
We didn’t have any new launches coming up, so all I did is I refresh all the ads on our Facebook ads campaigns. With the goal to improve them and tap into a different pool of people in our audiences.
Before the cover change, book one averaged $160/day; after the cover change and the ads refresh, the average revenue on book one went up to $185/day.
25$/ day means 3.6k in extra profit in 30 days once the read-thru is complete.
Once the new test was successful, I tested it a 3rd time on a different series.
I used the same process of identifying the cover style. ( find it at the end of the post 👇 )
I got a new cover from the designer and changed it.
I also refreshed the Facebook ads, and the book went from making $143/day to $176/day without increasing our marketing spending.
In all of the three tests, we changed the covers to match the style of a bestselling series, similar to our clients’ series.
Once Amazon picked up that the readers of that best-selling series started reading the client’s series, Amazon began to push the book to those people.
I’m now testing scaling the budgets after we change the covers to see if we can push books to new heights and remain consistent.
The same way I tested three cover changes to get a conclusion, I usually test multiple times until I get the same outcome repeatedly.
Then I know I can rely on my findings and apply them to other clients and expect them to work.
💰This is the process I used to identify the cover style that allowed me to sell more books by having the same marketing budget.
There are two approaches. I recommend using both.
They are pretty straightforward.
👉 The first approach:
I go on my series page; I scroll down to the section “Customers who bought from this series also bought“
Here Amazon will show similar series to the client’s series that her readers are also reading.
I go on all the series pages Amazon recommends, and I want to find the series that contains the book with the most reviews.
Some series have books with 5k reviews, and some have 20k reviews. I want to look at the ones with 20k.
Because if there are a lot of reviews, the book likely sells the most copies, and a big audience is familiar with this type of cover.
I want my new covers to look very similar to the best-selling book in that series.
If there is a silhouette on the cover, I would also have a silhouette on my cover; if there is a landscape, I’ll have a landscape; if the predominant color is blue, I’ll make my cover blue. I also use very similar fonts, if not the same fonts.
The cover should not be original. I don’t want new; I want instant recognition. I want to fit in so that it’s easier for people to understand that it’s a book similar to what they love reading.
👉 The second approach:
I go on the amazon author page, on the left side below the about section, look at “Customers Also Bought Items By,” open all the authors there and find the books with the most reviews that are similar to your book.
Pick one and make my new book cover similar to that.
You don’t need to change all books in the series; changing only book one is enough. Don’t worry that book two’s style won’t match the new cover.
Based on my experience, I always change book one cover before deciding if I should change the other books in the series. And sometimes the only cover I change is book one, and the rest stay the same.
How do you know if changing the cover is the right move?
I know it might be tempting to blame all the bad results on the cover, but the reality is you can make ads work well without changing your book cover.
I’m saying this because if you run ads and you are not making money, changing the cover on ads that don’t work still won’t make you any money.
I think it’s important to have ads that work first and then see if the cover improves the results even more.
Here are my lessons from those tests:
- If a book stops performing over time, changing the cover can get it back on track.
- The new cover should be very similar to the best-selling book/series amazon recommends, so people associate it with what they love reading.
- It’s not enough to change the cover; you need a push.
- Ways to get a push:
- Refresh ads or increase the spend
- Time your cover changes with a launch in the series
- Try a 99c promo
- Email your newsletter.
*Refreshing the ads:
Here’s what I mean by refreshing the ads.
I had one campaign running to the book. My CPC and CTR were good, so I wanted to keep the same ads.
So I took the same ads and showed them to other people.
What I did was create a new campaign and only change my audience.
I mainly stopped using lookalikes and focused only on interests I knew were performing well in the past.
I started the new campaign and stopped the old one. I gave it three days, and then the revenue started climbing.