Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Don't let your book cover seem out-of-date

I previously pointed out some errors in Penny C. Sansevieri's mostly fine Red Hot Internet Publicity. I read the book several years ago, but recently saw that it has been revised. Amazon shows a publication date of 2/23/13. I don't know if Penny corrected the errors I pointed out, but a banner on the corner of the book proclaims "NEWLY UPDATED EDITION."

That's very smart.

The cover below shows my own Independent Self-Publishing: the complete guide. The updated edition was published on 3/1/11 and the cover proclaims "Updated for 2011."

That's very stupid.

Announcing that a book was updated for 2011 may be effective marketing in 2010, 2011, or maybe in 2012 -- but by 2013, the book seems outdated (however, at least 95% of it is still useful). Maybe the book would sell better now if I eliminate the date.

I was smarter with the updated version of my Stories I'd Tell My Children) but maybe not until they're adults). A banner at the top proclaims "New Updated Edition." The book cover is dateless, and I think the book is timeless.

That's much smarter.

As much of the USA prepares to "fall back" from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time (Sunday, November 3), think about how your books can appear to be right-on-time -- or behind the times.

  • Unless you plan to publish updated versions every year or two, don't put a date on the cover.
  • And, as with copyright dates, if you publish in the last quarter of the year, put the following year's date on the cover. 

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