Posts Tagged The Gauntlet Assassin

New Cover, New Opportunities

The Gauntlet Assassin
After changing the name of my futuristic thriller to The Gauntlet Assassin and seeing the uptick in sales, I decided a new title needed a new cover. It took me a long time to find an image I liked. I wanted to represent Lara and the competition, but there’s nothing appropriate out there. I considered paying an artist to create an image, but I realized that the title focused on the antagonist and so should the cover. So here’s what I came up with.

As soon as the new ebook is back from the formatter, I’ll do a giveaway on Amazon and see if I can push sales to a new level. This novel has garnered some of my best reviews.

In other news, I’m struggling to find an affordable Spanish translator for my Jackson series. I thought I had one, but when I had the work evaluated, I decided not to continue with that translator. I haven’t given up, but the search is time-consuming, and I’m way behind on my newest Jackson story. But I’m still hoping to have it published before July.

Another update is that I’ve submitted four of my scripts to Amazon Studios for consideration. Three are comedies, and it would be so much fun to see Addictions or Lost in Hollywood come to life on the screen. It was fun just reading back through the stories.

I also submitted a script for The Baby Thief, which is currently a bestseller on Kindle, ranking at #3 on the medical thriller list. That story was the first publishable novel I wrote, and I worked on it for years. I also landed a major agent for it, then failed to sell it. So it’s gratifying to final have thousands of readers enjoying the story.

Since you folks write to me everyday, asking when my next Jackson story will be available, I’d better get back to work.

PS: Do you like the new cover? Do you know an inexpensive translator?

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?

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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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