Out with the old, in with the new?

Got a question for you, fellow booklovers.

I write this series of books called the Cutthroat Business mysteries, right?

They’re pretty good books, if I do say so myself, but they’re hard to categorize. Not sweet enough for cozies, not enough sex for romantic suspense. Plus there’s that pesky first person POV.

When I had the covers done for the series, I went with cute. Black silhouettes on brightly colored backgrounds. Like these:

However, I’ve been wondering if more people would pick up the books if they had different covers. Something less cute. More sexy.

So with that in mind, I spent a few hours this morning playing with GIMP. (Nice little photo manipulation program. Free. I haven’t figured out how to do much with it yet, but I’ve grasped the basics.)

Here’s what I came up with. Just two so far – it’s hard to find more than a couple workable photographs with the same woman. I have one more, where she’s holding a gun, but I’m saving it for a special occasion. Maybe book 3, Contract Pending. Lots of guns in that book. Savannah doesn’t have any of them, but that’s poetic license, right?

Like the silhouettes, these are brightly colored, but otherwise they’re not really sweet at all. Nothing cozy about these. I like them, though. I’m just not sure anyone else will.

So what do you think, peeps? Stay with the old covers or make a few more new ones and go with those? If you were picking these up for the first time, which would grab your attention first?

And if you’ve read the books – and I hope some of you have – which do you think do the best job of visually capturing the feel of the series?

Inquiring minds want to know. 🙂

19 thoughts on “Out with the old, in with the new?”

  1. I will probably be zero help – I like them both!

    I would probably be more inclined to pick up the old cover. Have not had an opportunity to read any yet (my list of “to reads” gets longer all the time). But that’s not to say I dislike the new cover. I just find the black on bright color very striking.

    And I don’t know that I’d classify them as “cute” – at least not my definition of “cute.”

  2. Having read them all (loved the story arc – especially the ending!), I think you’ve captured the spirit of Savannah w/ the new ones. The silhouettes were clever and eye-catching (contrasts & clean lines drew my attention). But on the new ones, the style is really clear– makes the title and author ‘pop’. And the overall look still has a great “retro” aura (or is that just my take?). Anyway, my ‘vote’ is for the new cover!

  3. While I do love the older covers, they make me think sweetheart romance novel. The newer covers seem to go with the books a bit better. I do like both old and new, but for mystery, I like the new ones better.

  4. I love the old covers. They shout entertaining mystery to me, and the covers are what drew me to read the books.

    The new ones aren’t as eye-catching – to me anyway. I doubt that I would pick one up, while I snapped up the others. But that’s just me.

    L. j.

  5. I really like the old covers. Highly stylized. Distinctive. And they clearly communicate the style and type of story. The new covers look to “me too”, and girl friend, you are not a me too kinda gal!

  6. I look at the covers from two directions, one as someone with an interior design degree and two as an author. I LOVE the first ones as a designer, but I think the newer covers say mystery where the others have more of a chick-lit flavor.

  7. Ditto what Marie Nicole said–and not just because she’s a designer. Those first set of covers really catch my eye and I’d pick them up and read the blurb at least. Plus the style is really unifying.
    Stephanie Queen

  8. The old covers remind me of pre-teen romance books of old, while the newer covers give a sense of more adult “sexiness” (not to say ADULT SEX). I guess it just should be based on who your audiance is: Pre-Teen Young Ladies or those who are more adult.

  9. I like the silhouettes the best. I really don’t like pictures of people on the cover because I like to form my own vision of what the characters look like.

  10. Thanks for all the help, y’all! I decided to go with the new covers for a while. We’ll see how it goes. If I don’t like it, I can always change back. I appreciate all the input. 🙂

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