My novel The Red Church, the first one I ever published and then self-published, was an easy one--it did well in paperback and has done well in ebook. The title was mine, and the publisher stuck with it, and I liked the title later, too. It was a title I could live with.
Last year, when I got back the rights to The Harvest, it was a title selected by the publisher that I didn't really like, although in retrospect I can appreciate the publisher's goal of trying to develop a brand. The title had been used for other books, was a bit ordinary and non-evocative for my tastes. In other words, the title by itself did not really declare genre, tone, or intended audience. However, I actually liked the original cover the best out of my six Kensington paperbacks, with the cool hillbilly vibe and the green glow.
However, being arrogant, I decided I could do better, so I re-imagined the book, going after a science fiction audience. Neil Jackson of Ghostwriter did the new cover and I went with my title "Forever Never Ends," which is one I'd used early on, along with "Metabolism." I thought it would expand my audience, but I think all it did was get lost in space. The cover is professional enough, but not really reflective of the story, and not a little grungy as many Scott products are.
Despite one or two surges over the past year, the book remains my poorest-selling novel. As a science-fiction, alien-infection B-movie zombie type of pulp thriller, it probably isn't as broadly appealing as my thriller and ghost stories, yet some weirdos like it best of all my work. I need to find more of those weirdos. So I went back to the original title and a new cover, shaping the new presentation with input from my peeps Vicki Tyley, Guido Henkel, Moses Siregar, Joseph Nassise, Shaun Jeffrey, and David H. Burton.
It's the age of experimentation, now more than ever. Or maybe it was a case of reinventing a wheel that was already round and rolling pretty well. But when you have nothing to lose, why not experiment?
The Harvest (under any title) is available for $2.99 at Amazon US, Amazon UK, BN.com, Kobo, and iTunes/iPad/iPhone