Creating a book cover  is something many authors put on the back burner until after the book is written. The reasoning for this seems sound.

I’ll have a clearer picture of the book when it’s done.
The cover will reveal itself to me as I write.
Do one thing at a time… write first.
I must write the story before I start on cover design.
What good is a cover without a manuscript?

But the reality of the situation is you should either design the book cover before the book is written or turn your ideas over to a cover designer / graphic artist to work on while you write. Why so early? Let’s face it. It always takes longer than expected to write a book. Life gets in the way, pushing you against whatever deadlines (imagined or real) you may have. And once you have the manuscript completed, the anticipation starts to build. You want to get it edited, formatted, and published as soon as possible. There will be so many things vying for your attention and time that the creative muse you had at the beginning of this process could get stifled. It’s easier to come up with the cover design in the beginning when the idea of your book is fresh and new. If you need to make a few adjustments after you’ve finished the cover, you still can, but it’s one less hurdle to jump over when trying to publish.

Finishing the book cover early can give you the necessary time to get feedback and catch any issues with the cover that could lead to poor sales because of a design that didn’t appeal to your target audience. Early cover designs can also be used to market the book to your would-be audience through cover reveals and contests. It visual brands your book long before the release date.

Related Articles & Other Quick Tips About Book Covers

Ask the Divas: Do Book Covers Matter?

Diva Interview: Susan Hanson of Okay Creations

Quick Tips: Letting MS Word Work for You

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