When to Start Your Book Cover Copy

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, think about your book cover like you would the marketing message for any 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.

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

The sooner you create the marketing message for your book, the sooner you can get the word out and build a following. That marketing message starts right on your cover. Your back cover especially, is the at-a-glance billboard and elevator speech for your book. Done well, it becomes the tightly positioned foundation for all your marketing copy. It helps you generate pre-orders for your book, get endorsements, line up partner support, even get a foot in the door with the media, and more.

Keep in mind that you can create your book cover copy while you are writing your manuscript, but you don’t have to finalize your cover copy until your manuscript is complete and it is time to go to print. This flexibility means you can add a great endorsement or tweak headlines based on market testing.

6 Reasons to Start Your Book Cover Copy Early
Your book cover impacts all parts of your book marketing process. Here are just the first six reasons to dive in now.

1. It makes it easier to write and/or finish your book. The front and back covers make it completely clear what the book is going to offer, to whom, how that helps them, and why you’re the go-to expert on this topic. In other words, your cover copy promises specific benefits to the reader; you can now write the book to deliver on those promises.

2. You have a powerful start for your book proposal, which needs to instantly hook agents and publishers.

3. You have your sales copy in hand to start marketing and pre-selling your book on your website, blog, partner sites, etc., before it’s even released.

4. You’re more likely to get those high-end endorsements you’ve been fantasizing about when you start that process early and have a powerful marketing message to share with those you approach.

5. You have instant, branding-building website copy ready to go.

6. You can easily turn your cover copy into a speaker one-sheet and be ready to promote your expertise to meeting planners, industry associations, and speaker’s bureaus.

To get all the details on how to give your book cover off to the right start-writing, design, production, printing, and more-order your copy of Cover That Book: Insider Secrets to Writing and Designing a Bestselling Book Cover, with an Introduction by Dan Poynter. This special package includes two bonuses, a free 20-minute coaching session, and free shipping. Click here for more info and to order.


2 responses to “When to Start Your Book Cover Copy

  1. Hi,
    Thanks for continuing to put together these valuable tips. I worked on my cover and back copy at a fairly early stage of writing the book and have found it helpful as well as an inspirational point when the writing slows or just want to get pumped a little. Makes it all seem a bit more real and imminent as opposed to eons down the road before a real book magically appears.
    If you’re ever down in South Florida give me heads up. I played competition tennis and on the pro tour for a while. Plenty of sun and courts. However, somebody the other day said I’m not 28 any more. What a shocking revelation! Thanks again.
    Troy Michael

  2. Oh, I wish I had learned this a few months ago, but now I know for the 2-6 books that I’ll be writing.

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