Posts Tagged The Arranger

The Importance of a Title

The numbers don’t lie. When my thriller was called The Arranger: A Futuristic Thriller, I couldn’t give the book away. After three days on Amazon’s free list (through the Select program), The Arranger managed a mere 1535 downloads, despite a 4.5-start rating and rave reviews. I’d already given away two books that racked up 55,000 downloads between them ,so I understood just how pathetic that number was, and I instinctively knew the problem was the title.

I originally came up with the title because it fit the antagonist, Paul. When I bounced it off my husband, he loved it and pushed for it. I keep thinking about The Gauntlet and he kept saying, “No, it’s been done.” So I put the book out as The Arranger, and that was clearly a mistake, especially when you consider I spent more on promotion for that book than any I’d ever done. <Sigh>

But the giveaway taught me that I needed a new name. And with your help, we came up with one: The Gauntlet Assassin. I made the changes, waited for the ebook to be reformatted with the new cover, and reloaded it to Amazon. Fortunately, I’d saved two days of the five-day giveaway, so I was able to list The Gauntlet Assassin for free for two days. In that time, it had nearly 15,000 downloads, and is now selling well.

Same cover, same description, same great reviews. But clearly the new name appealed to people in a way the original had not. I purposely took “A Futuristic Thriller” out of the title. I think the word future turned a lot of people off and made them think sci-fi or dystopian novel. The book is neither and set only 13 years from now.

The lesson here is that being independent allows me to makes changes and correct my mistakes.

In other news, an established production company saw a review of The Arranger and contacted me about film/TV rights. They’re reading the manuscript now. Wouldn’t it be amazing if this strange little story were made into a blockbuster film? My husband is  counting on it. 🙂

Writers: Have you changed a story’s title or cover to make it marketable?
Readers: How do you feel when writers make such changes?

What’s Wrong With The Arranger?

These last two weeks have been an eye-opener. I did Amazon-sponsored giveaways of The Suicide Effect and The Sex Club, and the response was terrific. Between the two, I gave away more than 55,000 ebooks, and they both have been selling really well since.

So I thought I’d repeat the effort with The Arranger, a book with nearly all 5-star reviews that has never gained any traction. After two days, I’ve only had about 2500 downloads. I can’t even give this book away!

Not everyone likes futuristic thrillers, but right now The Hunger Games is at the top of many bestseller lists, so there is an audience for this genre. And I think the cover is compelling. I’ve come to believe the problem is the name. The Arranger just doesn’t have enough intrigue or power.

So I plan to change it. I had once considered calling it The Gauntlet, and I’m leaning hard in that direction. But if any of you who have read The Arranger have a better title in mind, please let me know. I’ll gladly give you print or ebooks as a reward.

So what do you think? Change the title? And to what?

Update: The consensus seems to be for The Gauntlet Assassin, so I’m posting the new cover. I have one more reader who plans to weigh in soon, and if he gives me something brilliant, I’ll go with it. For now, this is the new cover.

Blog Book Tour

For the next few weeks, I’ll have blog posts and Q&As with bloggers around the world. The tour is to promote my new release The Arranger, but there’s lots of great information about a variety of subjects and an opportunity to win print and e-books. I hope you’ll stop in at a few.

The Arranger: A Futuristic Thriller

What do you do when a minor character is so much fun you can’t let her go? You plot a novel just for her. That story became The Arranger, a futuristic thriller involving two wildly different concepts: a software technician who devolves into a killer and a national endurance competition called the Gauntlet. This unusual story developed from several ideas that came together for me: Read more

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LATEST REVIEWS

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The characters were compelling, the procedural work was dead-on, and the story was enthralling. Definitely recommended.”
~Michelle Gagnon, author of Boneyard
The author expertly intertwines multiple story lines, presents readers with fully realized characters that readers will feel they know, and keeps the action and suspense levels high. That’s a lot to expect from an author but L. J. Sellers delivers.” ~OverMyDeadBody
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