Should I Suggest a Cover?

Many of you have read my story about how my publisher wanted me to use a cover for my Weddings and Courtships book that I thought was really not that great -



I instead hired a graphic designer to create my own cover, which was much more professional looking -



Some authors have therefore written me asking if they should submit their own cover when they submit their chapters to a publishing house.

The answer is most definitely NO NO NO.

The publisher is getting innundated with books. They get maybe hundreds to thousands a week. The very first thing they check is if the submissions are done properly. They ask for certain things. Three chapters. Double spaced. One side of the paper only. Name at the top of every page. Whatever their rules are, they want to see if you can follow them. After all, if you can't even follow their simple rules in submitting your initial manuscript, then they figure you will be a royal pain to actually work with as an author. They need to know you're someone who understands instructions, can follow them properly and can be prompt and timely.

So if you start adding extra junk into the mix, for many publishers that immediately gets you tossed into the trash can. They don't want to wade through extra graphics or covers or anything else. Their only interest at the beginning of this process is if you can WRITE. They don't care if you can do graphic design. They already have graphic designers. They are evaluating you solely on your writing skill.

It's not like they are going to read your words, think they are inadequate, but then look at the cover and say 'Oh look, this cover is decent. Let's take these words we don't like just because we have a cover to go with it." That will never happen.

What's far more likely is that they'll see you tossed in extra graphic files to either slow down their mail system or fill up their inbox with unwanted junk, think "this person didn't even bother to read our submission requirements" and chuck the entire submission. So adding random things to your submission can easily cause your words NEVER to be even looked at.

The final verdict - Stick to their guidelines. The #1 and only thing that will get you looked at is high quality writing. Make sure your writing is as perfect as it possibly can be, and let those words speak for themselves.

It is only AFTER you have actually been taken on as a writer that you can start to legitimately discuss details with them.

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