Time for another tip!
Variant covers are all the rage. They have been for decades. We got away from them for a bit after the speculation bubble burst, but we’re back with them now, and we’re hopefully a little wiser.
A variant cover is simple: it’s a cover that is different from the regular cover of your book. It should be more special, because it’s more rare. More rare also means more expensive to sell.
Variant covers mean two things. First, it means you have money to spend on creating and printing the (at least) two different covers. It also means that your company is doing well enough in sales to warrant the commissioning of the different covers. (Or that you’ve sold enough of a previous title and now have the forethought to actually create variant covers.)
In order for a variant to work, though, the book it wraps should be special (either a first issue or a limited series), and the artists have to be worth enough to readers to collect. I’m not a fan of Rob Liefeld and have no hankering to work with him, but his name alone will draw sales, and getting him to do a variant cover for a book of yours might be considered a coup.
There are, of course, logistics that have to be thought of when considering a variant. What will your ratio be like? A full split down the middle? A third? A quarter? And that’s only if you have a single variant. What if you have a stable of contacts who are willing to do covers for you? How many variants can you produce? What will your ratio be then?
There will always be variables when thinking about variants. This tip isn’t meant to cover them all, just to get you thinking about them when you’re in a position to actually have them. Variants are a bonus for both you and the reader. Use them wisely.