About the project

Making a splash with a standout brand

Client

Rachel Hargrove

Year

2018

Rachel, an accomplished author, was changing genres and writing her debut psychological thriller under a new pen name. Her brand needed to effectively target this new audience, with a cover design that stood out in the ultra-competitive Amazon store. Rachel planned to launch two books back-to-back and cultivate a strong social media presence.

My mission was to develop a personal brand to help Rachel build a new fanbase, and create a comprehensive design solution to ensure her book launches were a success.

Process

Characters on the edge

Psychological thrillers focus on unreliable narrators under extreme stress, who's twisted perceptions and paranoia are central to the story. I pitched a design theme where characters were symbolically drowning, which we carried across all the branding & promotional collateral.

We prepared PPC and social campaigns for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google, and Bookbub. These ads tested dozens of different visual and copy combinations, targeting the strongest converting styles to each audience. I also created a series of short video ads, a low cost ad placement with little competition at the time. Ahead of the official launch, I designed a website and teasers to help Rachel build a mailing list of advance-review readers.

"

Kill the wife. Take her place."

Ideas for thrilling cover designThe process to create the Sick Girl coverThe process to create the cover for My Sistsers Ashes

Compositing work included illustrated water effect and distortion, smoke and ash effects, frequency separation, color correction, a range of text effects, and more.

The workspace for an effective cover design workflow

An automated exporting process for generating an ebook cover, paperback cover, audiobook cover, social media banners, and dozens of display ads.

Results

The must-read thriller of 2018

#4

Debut rank in genre

#76

Debut rank in entire Amazon Kindle store

4900

Ratings left by readers

Sick Girl debuted as an Amazon bestseller with more than 20,000 copies sold and outstanding reviews. It was followed soon after by My Sister’s Lies, then hit audiobook launches for both titles. Sick Girl was later optioned by Yes, Normal Productions for film/television.

Rachel Hargrove's cpc adsRachel Hargrove's cpc ads

A small sampling of the ads Rachel used to promote the series

Rachel's ads with many likes and engagements

Rachel's high-engagement social campaigns

Rachel's website

Landing page to drive preorders and advance-review copies

Let's talk about how design can help your author brand standout.

Learn more about me, or contact me about opportunities to work together.

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