By L.J. Sellers, author of provocative mysteries & thrillers
I rarely use this forum to talk about my books, but recently I made a decision about my series that involves the broader topics of branding and reader perception.
The first book on my Jackson list used to be The Sex Club, a title I've come to believe turns away as many readers as it draws in. The story has served me well, and thousands of readers have loved it. It will always be a favorite, and I'll continue to sell it. When I only had a few books on the market, it was an important part of my work.
But now that I'm about to launch my 10th book, and I'm poised to reach a huge new audience, I've decided I don't want The Sex Club to be the first thing new readers see about me. I don't want to be defined—and possibly rejected—by this title.
I considered simply changing the name, but thousands of people have read it—and loved it—and I'm not willing to annoy my faithful readers who might buy the story again with a new title, not realizing they've already read it. And a new title wouldn’t alter the content, which is equally disturbing to some conservative readers.
In simple terms, this is a very competitive market with ebooks selling for $.99 and $2.99, and I can’t afford to alienate thousands of potential readers with one little word.
This has been a huge undertaking. I'm not only creating a whole new website, I also had to make a change in my "titles list" and republish each of my ebooks. I've also had to redo my bio everywhere it's posted online! And I'm sure I haven't found them all yet.
But with millions of new people joining the e-reading revolution, I think this move makes sense. What do think of this re-branding decision? Brilliant or cowardly? Worthwhile or waste of time?