Here’s the autopsy from the book marketing coroner.

You know there’s trouble when the doctor says, “This is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you.”

My book cover and subtitle were sick. It turns out it was a case of “Self-Inflicted Marketing & Design Syndrome.”

We just thought it would be OK.

Things weren’t OK.

It was time to call in the book cover surgeon. Here’s the full report.

“Doc, just give it to me straight. What’s the prognosis? I can handle it,” whimpered the shivering author in the light blue paper gown.

“There’s good news and there’s bad news,” Dr. Murphy folded his arms and tried to keep a poker face.

“Should I bring my publicist in?”

“You have a publicist?”

“Well, no,” he shrugged. He was nervous. He was making stuff up. He was trying to sound in better shape than he was. This was his baby they were talking about.

“You’re going to need surgery.”

“I knew it was bad,” he dropped his head into his hands.

“You can keep the title,” the doctor tried to console him.

“Oh good. So that’s good? We should keep that?”

“Well, technically, it’s not great, but once you publish, Amazon won’t let you change it.”

“Oh” the writer slumped back on the plastic bed. He looked up in hope for a future, a resurrection in the rankings, at least a few high download free days, maybe just a few more Kindle Unlimited page reads.

“What’s the good news?” the author asked, again hopeful.

“That was the good news.”

“It’s over,” the writer shook his head. “My baby is gone, finished, banished to the million-plus ranking abyss. I might as well just put it up on Google Play.”

“The bad news is that we’re going to have to start from scratch. We’re going to dig deep and figure out what the benefits of your book are for the readers. We’ll choose a symbol that resonates with readers, something that connects them either with a pain point they have that you’re going to help them with or a positive goal that they can achieve or at least strive towards.”

“Is it going to hurt?” the author squinted and turned away.

“Let me just scrub in, get my tools, and we’ll get started right away,” he took one last look at the patient. “Have you been writing?”

“Every Single Day, doc.”

“Good. That’s good. I think we can make this work.”

Below is the corpse of the what-the-author-thought-was-great cover and subtitle whereas the right is the new and improved, shiny new cover.

Autopsy of a book cover and subtitle … and magical resurrection from the dead.

Autopsy of a book cover and subtitle … and magical resurrection from the dead.