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Dear Extra Squeeze Team, Can I Keep My Cover, Please?

September 30, 2020 by in category The Extra Squeeze by The Extra Squeeze Team tagged as , ,
title with pictures of all four members of the extra squeeze group

Dear Extra Squeeze Team, I am an indie writer with an old book that I want to re-release…should I try to keep the cover the same as the original edition?

Robin Blakely | The Extra Squeeze Team | A Slice of Orange

Robin Blakely

PR/Business Development coach for writers and artists; CEO, Creative Center of America; member, Forbes Coaches Council.

Probably not, unless the book is an iconic bestseller with the kind of visual recognition status that makes it identifiable by sight to the masses. In most cases, an old book will need a fresh opportunity in the modern marketplace. That fresh opportunity will likely mean that you need to get a new cover and a new author photo. Give the work a fresh new start. That new start will also likely mean brushing up the description of the book with an eye toward why it is important for today’s readers. It could also include some current endorsements from people who resonate with the readers of the current year. That is not to say bury or drop old endorsements but be aware that younger readers may not know who past icons are, especially if those icons are no longer active or no longer living. Leverage everything you have available to make the cover stand out on digital platforms. Look at the product with new eyes and new expectations.

Rebecca Forster | Extra Squeeze

Rebecca Forster 

USA Today Bestselling author of 35 books, including the Witness series and the new Finn O’Brien series.


I love makeovers! Not only do I have forty books on my backlist, and all have had cover makeovers, but the author has too. Nope, I didn’t go under the knife, I just changed and grew with the times. Fashions change, the way books are viewed has changed, delivery methods have changed. Today your covers need to pop as thumbnails online in an ever-more crowded field, so give your work every advantage. Embrace marketplace changes. Have fun. Enjoy the process. If there are elements of the original covers you love keep them, but make them fresh (are you even sure you have the rights to the artwork?) I say go for it. I say go for it!

Jenny Jensen | A Slice of Orange

Jenny Jensen

Developmental editor who has worked for twenty plus years with new and established authors of both fiction and non-fiction, traditional and indie.


I’m going to assume (yikes! Danger Will Rogers) that by “old” you mean the book was first released at least 3 years ago. Yes, refresh, re-boot, revise, re-work that cover.


We’ve all been told not to judge a book by its cover. I think that is a cosmic fallacy right up there with ‘one size fits all’. An enticing cover draws me in — at least enough to read the blurb. With an Indie release a good cover says something about the author. It speaks of quality and suggests a promising story. In fact, I bought my two most favorite novels on the basis of the cover.


Take a good look at the covers of books in your genre and the ratings each has received. That will give you an idea of what sort of imagery is selling. Is it a literal graphic depiction or more impressionistic? Consider what is selling. Go from there.


If the original release was highly successful and you feel the cover was a part of that, you could simply update the original look. Covers are like fashion — ever changing and then rolling around to a previous era, only with a ‘modern’ sensibility. One has only to look at the original Agatha Christie covers and those on offer today to see that.


Give your cover design the attention it deserves

H. O. Charles | A Slice of Orange

H.O. Charles

Cover designer and author of the fantasy series, The Fireblade Array

It depends on the rights and cover quality. If the publisher paid for the cover, then they likely own the rights. Sometimes the artist will withhold the right to re-sell certain designs or use them as they see fit. It really depends on the deal originally made. If the cover is very good, this is worth pursuing. If it’s even half-average, I’d plump for a new cover to be safe. Just so happens I know a designer…

The Extra Squeeze | A Slice of Orange

Ever wonder what industry professionals think about the issues that can really impact our careers? Each month The Extra Squeeze features a fresh topic related to books and publishing.

Amazon mover and shaker Rebecca Forster and her handpicked team of book professionals offer frank responses from the POV of each of their specialties — Writing, Editing, PR/Biz Development, and Cover Design.

Ask them a question.

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