Selling to blokes

mancoverPhil: I was chatting to friends about The Book a few days ago and was keen to find out why they hadn’t bought a copy, even though I’d been banging on about it on Facebook and Twitter for over 48 hours.

The problem, it transpired, is the cover.

A big red high-heel shoe appeals to women and a small number of men. For blokey blokes who drink brown beer and posses a full set of spanners in both metric and imperial sizes, it’s a turn off. They thought it wasn’t for them.

When I explained the contents – commenting that there was a lot of Tom Sharpe style humour (this was very popular) and buckets of cynicism about modern work, they were a lot more interested.

Fortunately, if you read the e-book version (available for a bargain £1.99), the cover is on the screen for a few seconds before you delve into the contents. Since your e-book reader is probably fitted in a manly camouflage colour case, no-one will know what you are reading.

But the print edition is still an issue. A similar one that the Harry Potter series suffered. Adults might like to read children’s books, just not ones that look like they came from the junior library.

The publishers solved it by simply issuing adult and children’s versions of the cover. On that basis, all I’ve done is produce a suitably macho version featuring elements of the story that will appear to the hairier gender.

OK, it’s not as good as Kari’s version but I think I’m getting there. All my ideas were stolen inspired by best selling man-books.

  • Explosion – Check
  • Roarty macho vehicle – Check
  • Pretty lady – Check
  • Macho lettering – Check

I’d have put some guns it it expect we don’t have any of those in the story, you’ll have to wait for Book 2 for this, and my search for “Brussel Sprout hand grenade” has so far defeated Google.

So, if you need to read your book in public and want it to bland in with your Andy McNabb collection, just print out the picture above and stick it over the cover. Camouflage – that’s the trick!

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Filed under Books, Phil, Publishing

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