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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My books have similar covers (yet different) in an attempt to brand them as mine at first look.

I've now had Azon pull two from Select because they say I have them also on B&N, which I don't (I do have a couple on B&N, but not the same ones as in Select and completely different stories). Apparently their bots can't tell the difference based on title alone. Emails to Azon have resuted in nothing but canned responses and there appears to be no one there listening. They've now pulled them from Select and when I try to relist them, they won't let me.

I'm about ready to pull all my books from Select because of this nonsense. So be careful not to make your books similar is the lesson here.
 

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I'm not sure what technology a bot would have for it to recognize an image unless the image itself was tagged with keywords that are identical.
Surely, the bots used by Amazon are searching through text. Zon ain't Getty.

Possibly a real human may then look at the cover and make a determination based on that. If they did only see a tiny thumbnail, I can see how they may not see the distinction, as it's pretty slight at that size.
 

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Yes, bots recognise images. I've been trying to keep my print versions and ebook versions separate by uploading different cover images for each, but Amazon bots have decreed that for one of them the covers are too similar and have merged the two version anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think I may end up putting up all new covers.

Or not. Azon is very frustrating when you can't get ahold of a real person. I've even sent emails asking if there was anyone alive over there and still had no response.

I'm actually thinking of a new career and giving up writing. I know everything has its frustrations, but at least you usually get to talk to real human beings.
 

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Rusty Bigfoot said:
I think I may end up putting up all new covers.
Branding doesn't mean all your covers should look almost identical...a certain part of it can be the same but there should be some major differences too...make them each a different colour or something. To me all your books look the same - I wouldn't think that they were different books and I'd probably skip over the others once I have bought one.

Melody
 

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I sympathize with your dilemma!

However, both the images and the titles of your books are extremely similar. In the olden days of browsing books on a bookstore shelf, I wouldn't have known if I'd bought one of them before or not, and I'd end up passing on new books that I hadn't read.

Branding doesn't mean "they all look the same." Branding is like the Travis McGee series, where every book title involved a color (from The Deep Blue Good-by to The Lonely Silver Rain or the Kinsey Millhone "alphabet" series (from A is for Alibi to V is for Vengeance.) Or a similar style of cover, as when they issue a series of James Bond novels.

You're at the mercy of bots and horribly overworked and fallible human beings! You have to meet them halfway!
 

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Rusty Bigfoot said:
I think I may end up putting up all new covers.

Or not. Azon is very frustrating when you can't get ahold of a real person. I've even sent emails asking if there was anyone alive over there and still had no response.

I'm actually thinking of a new career and giving up writing. I know everything has its frustrations, but at least you usually get to talk to real human beings.
I can understand your frustration, but making a few changes would probably also help your readers. When I glance at your covers, I have no idea what's what. I guess each compilation has completely new stories that aren't in any of the other compilations? It's hard to tell.

Even if you just added a big #1 and #2 to them, I think that would help both yourself and your readers. An extra line saying "Collection #1" and so on.

You have a specific niche, and you're well-placed for that niche. You're exactly the type of author that makes self-publishing great! Don't quit because of a bit of automation. The automation is what keeps the costs down and our commissions decent. Find a way to work within the system in place. And hang in there!

I had some Select problems a month ago, but I got them sorted out with patience and perseverance.
 

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Well...  My advice would be to drop select if they insist on being unresponsive.  If they are not going to play by their own rules, why should you continue to promote their services.  However I do not know how well select is working for you on borrows and free promotions.  You will have to decide on how you choose to move forward.  Also just note that it is the holiday season.  When I worked for Dell, you were lucky to find anyone other than sales reps working from Dec 20 to Jan 2.  It's quite possible there isn't anyone there but one or two people to man the bat phone in case something blows up.
 

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Rusty Bigfoot said:
I think I may end up putting up all new covers...
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What software are you using to make your covers? Is it easy for you to make changes? Take a trip over to thebookdesigner.com and see the cover competition archives and read the good/bad comments by the blog owner before you make changes to get some ideas. Look at the amazon top 10 lists for all genres too.
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Eyeball the sigs of the commenters on this thread and see how fonts can make covers stand out. A lot of cover discussions focus on images but fonts are very important to give that professional distinction. Pick a font for your author name and make that the brand. Use a different font for the title of the book than the author font. Then mark the combo packs clearly with numbers that show up at thumbnail. For an extreme, look at James Patterson's titles - I read an interview of him where he talked about a lot of research on covers and he started using big bold text (his original career was in marketing outside of books) so readers could find his books from a hundred feet away at the airport book stores. Blake Crouch's "Pines" cover font might be a good model for you. The spacing between characters (kerning) and their height relative to width can be important to the look.
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If your bigfoot glowing eyes are an overlay image you have, given the remainder of your cover images, it might be fun to have the sets of eyes match the number of stories inside (vary the sizes and placement if a larger group, as if a pack is peering from the bushes outside the fire). You'll want to still put a big bold text number on the cover so it's easy for readers to read, but just an added interest factor if six sets of eyes match the contents of six stories inside.
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Too many eyes might make for a pretty messy thumbnail, in my opinion.

You might want to change up the actual image and have those Bigfoot eyes peeking out from a different setting on each volume. A mountain Bigfoot, a valley Bigfoot, a Bigfoot in a grass skirt on a tropical island...

Also - I'd suggest having volume numbers.

BIGFOOT CAMPFIRE STORIES - Bigfoot Stories Volume 1.
MORE BIGFOOT CAMPFIRE STORIES - Bigfoot Stories Volume 2.
SIX SHORT BIGFOOT CAMPFIRE STORIES - Bigfoot Stories Volume 3.

It is a LOT easier to remember - "Oh, I bought Volume 4 last week. I still need volume 5 and volume 6. Better buy them."

It has the double-benefit of tickling that "collector-virus" that lurks in a lot of readers.

"I need every volume. I cannot live if I don't collect EVERY volume."

Not having the volume numbers leaves you with the predicament of coming up with sillier and sillier sounding titles - "Even more Bigfoot Campfire Stories, Only These Ones Are So Scary You Ought To Bring Along a Box of Adult Diapers Before You Start Reading Them, I Swear..."
;D :D ;)

 
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