The indie author in the Kindle Store has few tools at his or her disposal to generate sales. Two of them are the blurb and the cover.

Let’s start with the blurb. The word is that you’ve got five seconds to get someone’s attention. Then another five seconds to grab them. Lose them at either point and they’ll move on.

Here’s the blurb I originally posted:

Matt Bugatti has an idea that will change the world. Two world powers are fighting to control it. An unwitting pawn in an international conflict, Matt works for just two things: to make history and to find true love.When he meets the perfect woman, his life is complete. Then reality intrudes and the facade crumbles. Pursued by two nations, his life in peril, Matt must decide who he can trust in a world where no one is who they seem

I’ve changed it a dozen times. Here’s what it looks like now:

Being a genius gets you noticed – not always in a good way. Matt Bugatti has cracked the Internet’s most secure code. Chinese and American spies are racing to learn his secret. Unaware of their power struggle, Matt wants only to control his own destiny. When faced with a life-changing decision, Matt meets Gina, a woman with a secret of her own, and his choice seems clear – until the international conflict escalates and Matt finds himself threatened and alone. Then Matt discovers Gina’s secret and his world turns upside-down. Pursued by two nations, running for his life, Matt does whatever is necessary to regain control – and learns who he can trust in a world where no one is who they seem.

The only way you know if your blurb is working is if it generates more sales. So far, nothing seems to have made a difference.

Ken from the forums maintains that the blurb must have two ingredients, a premise and a promise – a story premise that intrigues the reader and a promise of good yarn. He reviewed my original blurb and pronounced it premiseful and promising. Others have not been so kind. And the tale of the tally suggests otherwise.

I’ll let the latest version cook for awhile and see what happens.

That brings me to the cover.

My original cover looked like this:

The cover I have up now looks like this:

The differences are somewhat subtle and apparently insufficient to generate sales.

Although Ken also blessed the cover design when he praised my blurb, I’ve been told that the image of the girl sends a mixed message. So I’m considering two new options:
I like both of these but neither of them looks good as a thumbnail. So I’ll keep messing with it until I get something that looks good when shrunk down and try it out.
Especially if that new blurb doesn’t work.