Saturday, August 22, 2009

Having Fun With Your Cover

People think that designing a book cover and a spine before or during your novel-writing process is putting the cart before the horse. However, I have also found that designing my cover is fun to do: it’s a good way to step away from the book for a moment and to relax; it’s also a good way to exercise other creative parts of my brain that don’t require me to use words or construct sentences.

If you’re feeling down and out, and if you’re getting that strange sensation of “I can’t write anymore!” then you might want to try, sit down, and think about your book cover. For one, it can inspire you to keep on going because you have a visualized goal ahead of you. Your book has a cover! Now all you need to do is write the content.

Second, it can be a test of how well you know your novel. A book cover should encapsulate the theme and content of your book, and summarizing your story visually could be a good exercise that will show you how well formed your novel already is.

There are several ways for you to design your cover. First, you can sketch it. Have colored pencils ready for a better novel-cover-design experience. You might want to browse the shelves of your local bookstore or library to see what cover designs are appropriate, especially for novels that have the same plots or are in the same genre as yours.

Second, you can use a graphics design program on your computer. This way, you can also add the summary text to the back of your book, design your book’s spine, and even cook up your own blurbs! You can write little reviews of your work! How’s that for encouragement from your imagination?

Don’t overdo the design process, though. Be sure that you have some time for fun with your cover, and a lot of time for your writing, too. Remember, you may have the best cover in the world, but your novel has to be written well so that people can go beyond the cover and truly remember you as the author.

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