Welcome to a Sunday Special edition of CentreStage!
Today, it is my tremendous joy to present you the amazing Michelle Betham as she’s touring to introduce the world to the new cover for her sexy football romance, Striker. There’s a great story here about the importance of book covers and the trials and tribulations an author goes through to make it JUST PERFECT. Thank you for sharing, Michelle, and take it away…
Striker re-launches with a
brand new cover!
To mark the imminent release of Extra Time, book two in my sexy soccer trilogy, I’ve decided to re-launch Striker – book one in the series – but this time, with a brand new cover! Why? Well, I have my reasons…
As one of many indie authors out there right now, I’m not lucky enough to be able to sell books on my name alone. And, as my writing journey has continued over the past couple of years, I’ve also begun to realise that covers really are one of the most important things to think about when writing a book. That old adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover” – well, that’s actually what people do when they’re looking at what to read next. The first thing they see is the cover for that book, and if that doesn’t grab them then it’s probably highly unlikely they’ll even look at the blurb or take any time to see if the story is something that interests them.
So, is that the reason I decided to change the cover for my sexy soccer romance Striker? Sort of. Because it wasn’t actually my idea. I liked the original cover, you see. And I thought it was doing the job it was supposed to do. It reminded me of those Jilly Cooper novels I sued to love (and still do love) reading – Polo, Riders, Rivals, you know the kind of thing. But then, as my husband pointed out one night when we were talking about this, Jilly Cooper could stick a lawnmower on the cover of a book and it’d still sell. He also went on to point out that I’m no Jilly Cooper (a fact I was already acutely aware of), and that I should probably think about changing the cover for Striker. And when I’d listened to his reasons as to why he thought I should do this, I realised he might actually have a point.
The first thing that hits you in the face when you look at the original cover is the image of a football/soccer ball. And that in itself could be enough to make people avoid the book without even giving it a chance. That football may have been giving people completely the wrong idea of what Striker is actually about.
Women and football don’t always mix, there’s no secret about that – and, let’s face it, my books are aimed mainly at women. Yes, there are plenty of women out there who do love the sport (I’m one of them), but there are also a great many who loathe it. And some of those women could quite possibly be potential readers of mine. But, if they really dislike the sport that much, then the sight of a football on the cover of a book isn’t going to do much to attract them to the story, is it? Even though the book has very, very little to do with football itself. But it has a lot to do with the lives of the people who just happen to work within the sport.
Some readers who’ve already read the book have admitted that they don’t like football – some have even said they hate the sport. But they loved Striker. And what better comments could I have had than that? Proof that you don’t have to like football to enjoy the book. And that’s what I needed to get across to new, potential readers. I’ve playfully dubbed the trilogy “Fifty Shades of Football”, so that tells you something about the content, right there.
When all is said and done, Striker is a romance. A racy, edgy, sometimes very steamy romance, but it’s a romance nonetheless. And I needed to get that across on the cover. Which is why the book now sports something a little sexier, something that, I hope, gets the feel of the book across a lot more than the original cover did. Because Striker is definitely a book which is more about the sex than the soccer. More Footballers’ Wives than Match of the Day.
So, if it’s a book about football you’re looking for, you won’t find it with Striker, but if it’s a slice of sexy escapism you want, then I can guarantee you’ll find all of that, and more…