Imagination is of major importance when writing a novel, especially in the initial stages when you are envisioning the ‘world’ of your novel and the characters that will inhabit this world. But now that I am thinking about the cover design of my book I am also having to imagine what my finished novel will actually look like.


Here are some pointers:


Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, right? But we all do. If we are browsing book shops and not looking for a particular book by a particular author we scan the book covers on display and more often that not our eyes will be drawn to certain covers. If you are thinking about the book design for your writing project, stop for a moment and step out of your author role and into that of a potential reader. What book covers draw your attention? Your cover and title will convey your entire story to the reader and decide for them whether they will take the next step and actually pick up your book and read the blurb on the jacket. Or on Kindle, click on the link to read more about the book. Kindle counts for a whopping percentage of book sales so it is important that you plan to sell your book in this format.


Is your book moody? Gothic? Whimsical? How will this be portrayed? How can you condense your novel into a few sentences or a paragraph?


I have a rough idea of how I want the cover to look and this includes an image of my main protagonist. I have given a brief to the designers and it really was brief because I have had a stream of questions back asking the character’s eye colour, build, age etc. Be as specific as you can. Luckily, when I began planning my novel almost a year ago, I had a very definite vision of my characters, and I ‘cast’ actors and models who I would love to play the roles if my novel was ever made into a film. In fact, my love of films came in handy, as I often day-dreamed how scenes would translate to film, and I even created a ‘soundtrack’ of songs (I know many writers do this now but I have always done this with writing projects, even as a kid).


Try and imagine the finished product as vividly as possible. Imagine your book there in the recommended section of your local bookshop and library, top of the Amazon list, the film poster, seeing someone reading a copy on the bus. Dare to dream!


I have several designers working on a cover and then I will choose the winner. I am so excited to see what they come up with and can’t wait to actually hold my book in my hands. I am very naive to this whole publishing lark. Growing up, I read a zillion books about how to get published; write a synopsis and send three chapters etc etc, but Kindle has changed everything and so I’m going straight to the self-publishing route. I will add more posts as I go through this process. I’m considering doing an Audible version as well. Do plenty of research into all avenues of publishing so you know what to expect.

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