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Don't spin your wheels: The best time to design your cover

authors cycle marketing publish women's circle writing Feb 07, 2022

So you are at that part of the book process: 

  • You have committed & figured out what you have to say, 
  • you have written a draft, but know it needs more attention. 
  • your sort of stalling: either not attending to it or pouring energy into your draft but it is not progressing. You are spinning your wheels. 

It is usually at this stage that many women will divert their attention and say, "I think now is the time to work on the cover design." 


I say, yes, BUT:

The power of starting your cover design, even before you have written anything creates a mental shift. It's like, this is real. As soon as you can see it, it's real. Don't wait until you are looking for an excuse when the process gets hard. 


PIC- upcoming covers

It feels weird to be showing you the covers of books that haven't been written yet. But these are the next two books that are coming. I  wanted to see what it looked like and hold it. When you do that you could do this it gives you this whole a different sensation. Again, forgive the baby metaphor all the ways a book is like a baby: it's like The first ultrasound, It's real. It's not just In my imagination anymore. 


For TWO reasons I don't recommend waiting until this stage... 

1. Cover design is very powerful done early on in the writing process: to work with a designer you need to clarify the core elements of your successful book: title, subtitle, genre, target audience, etc. 

It is really important for the designer & author to be very aware of all these fundamental elements. Working with a designer helps an author to solidify the book concept, and once the mockups are available you can really see YOUR BOOK. This is incredibly motivating (and helps with early marketing too).

2. When you are in the creation process and get stuck in a stage, editing or drafting, for example, we either spin your wheels or divert our attention & lose the momentum we had created. 

I never advocate ineffectual creation. that is going to exhaust you.

Example: With my second book, I had worked with two different editors over as many years. It was close, but not done. in the month or two before publishing, I edited it 27 more times. rereading it and making the most insignificant changes.  I have no idea how many hours that was, but too many. Don't make the same mistakes I made. At that point hire a great proofreader & get a few friends to beta read it. Fresh eyes and a professional will catch all the errors (and more than you can) in far less time. 

The alternate frequent choice I watch women make is jumping from one project to another. Like doing the cover design instead of finishing the manuscript. Or even worse, launch a blog or other big project. (if the cover design is done already you can't get as easily distracted. It is why it is among the first things we do with our authors.)

But there is definitely a time when you need to be done editing and hand it off.

We recommend a community of Beta readers & then a professional editor. Read the blog that details that specifically.



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