Monday, October 13, 2008

Book Cover Coaching: When Should You Start Your Book Cover

When Should You Start Your Book Cover?
Or, Why Your Book is Like an iPhone

By Susan Kendrick

Which comes first, the book or the book cover? This seems like a simple chronological question. You write a book and then you cover it, right?

But to really answer this question, first think about your book cover as the packaging for this great, new product. Just like you saw and heard about the iPhone, for example, long before you could get one, you can use your book cover to create a demand for your book before it ever hits the streets. The good news is, your job is even easier--you don't have to appeal to the world, just your target market.

Your book cover is where you describe and show your book to your target market in such mouth-watering detail that they can't wait to get their hands on it. It is the beginning of all your branding and marketing efforts. Start your book cover as soon as possible, today, to give your book "the iPhone advantage."

Start your book cover while you're writing your book ...
or as soon as you get an idea for a book!

We end up working with a lot more authors and experts these days who are ready to start their book covers during the book writing process. They already know the advantages; they come to us to help make it happen. Credit for so many educated authors should be given, in part, to Dan Poynter, creator of the bestselling book The Self Publishing Manual for being an advocate of this get-started-early approach to book covers.

An Important Note:
Please be aware that you can create your book cover while you are writing your manuscript, but you don't have to finalize your cover until your manuscript is complete and it is time to go to print. This lets you use your cover to market and accept pre-orders for your book and to get support and endorsements. But, it also gives you the flexibility to make final adjustments to the cover--like adding a great endorsement--before your book goes to print.

What To Do in What Order

1.) Book Title
and Subtitle
As soon as you confirm your title and subtitle, you can mention and promote your "forthcoming" book on your website, blog, in speaking engagements, articles, interviews, newsletters, ads, and more. This is also the time to establish your book series name and brand if you will be writing more than one book.

2.) Book Cover Design
Enlist the help of a good book cover designer to create your cover design as soon as you have confirmed your title and subtitle. With your front cover design in place, you can not only mention the title and subtitle, you can show people your new book. Post your fully designed front cover on your website, your blog, speaker One Sheet, even on amazon and other online booksellers. On amazon, look around at the books that say, "Pre-order this item today." Those are books that typically exist only as a front covers and are not yet completed and/or printed. On your own website, offer incentive for pre-ordering your "forthcoming" book.

What's so important about having the completed front cover--writing and design? It makes your book real and therefore credible, especially in the eyes of those you would like to align with as potential partners and affiliates, as well as those you want to approach for endorsements.

3.) Book Back Cover Copy
Your back cover is that all-important "elevator speech" for your book--the pitch to your readers and marketing partners. Note: Have your book cover designer start working on the front cover design as soon as you finalize your title and subtitle. It's a great feeling to be working on your back cover copy, knowing that your cover designer is busy developing book cover design concepts for you.

The sooner you create your book's back cover positioning and sales copy, the sooner you can start marketing and pre-selling your book. Having that back cover copy in front you also makes it easier to write your book. It gives focus to your manuscript writing process. You told readers what the book will do for them on the back cover. Now you can build your book to deliver on that promise.

It's Just Good Marketing

Starting your brand development and packaging while you're still writing your book, or even as soon as you get an idea for a book--or any product--is simply good marketing. What better way to release your new book than to have people waiting for it!

To get your book cover off to the right start--Title, Subtitle, Series Name, Cover Design--purchase a copy of Cover That Book: Insider Secrets to Writing and Designing a Bestselling Book Cover, with an Introduction by Dan Poynter. Go to Book Cover Quick Start to order this double-CD set and free 20-minute coaching session with either me or Graham.

NEXT: In my next post, you'll get five reasons to create your book's back cover copy while you're writing your book. For now, get a copy of our free report, "From Back Cover to Best Seller" to see what to put on your back cover and why.

Happy Publishing!

© Copyright 2008, Susan Kendrick, Write to Your Market, Inc.All Rights Reserved. 715-634-4120