On October 3rd I had no publisher in sight. My agent, Joelle Delbourgo and I had been searching for a publisher for a year and a half. I was beginning to think that I’d written a good and unpublishable manuscript. I had begun work on another novel. I had not read the novel we were trying to sell in two years.
Then it happened.
On October 4th two presses came forward to publish.
On October 20th I signed a book contract.
On October 30th I was asked for my ideas on cover art.
Wait, what? Cover art?
Given my nonexistent novel, on October 3rd I would have laughed at myself for thinking about what I might imagine for cover art. I would have thought it somehow presumptuous. My job was to write. What a waste of time to imagine some detail as vain as a book cover for a book that may or, more likely, may not ever exist.
On October 30th I was wholly unprepared. I had no idea. I am grateful that Joelle made a suggestion – the suggestion that I might have made had I been ready to do so.
The lesson learned is an old one – prepare for success. I’m not saying you should put hours into devising the perfect cover art or that you should commission artwork. But, give it a little thought. Be ready to respond with something.
Then get back to the work that no one else can do – writing.