Here It Is! The Cover of my Debut Book!

This is the official cover of my first book, The Preacher’s Bride! What do you think?! ?!

The first time I saw it, I was absolutely thrilled. More than anything I was overwhelmed to see my name, right there, on the front of a book—MY book.

In the last post, I shared in detail how the Bethany House Creative Team designed the cover. If you missed it, click here. I’ll summarize by saying this: A LOT of work went into it!

And no, I’m not taking up Amish fiction. My heroine is wearing a bonnet because she’s a young English Puritan woman, not because she’s Amish. However, I’ve been told “bonnet books” are selling well, so if someone is drawn to mine because they think it’s Amish—hey, I won’t complain!

The talented graphic designer who developed the cover took care with every single detail. The loose hairs and turned up edge of the collar show the inattention the heroine pays to her outward appearance. The tilt of her head shows her modesty as well as her uncertainty. The paper she’s hiding behind her back plays an integral role in the plot.

You may be wondering, like I did, why my cover is ready so far in advance. Even though the official release isn’t until October 1, the Bethany House sales department is already busy at work. They had a meeting last week and are gearing up to begin selling the fall books to their distributors.

The sales team will present my book as one of four historical romances that Bethany House will release at the beginning of October. They can sell my debut book to distributors much better if it’s paired with other authors with established readerships.

Thus the cover, an excerpt of my book, and information about me as the author—it’s all necessary this far ahead as part of the beginning process of getting my book into stores. But it also means my cover is “out there” now in cyberland too—available for everyone to see. Believe it or not, it's already on Amazon for pre-order.

At first, I had a few doubts. If my book cover is out so far in advance, won't it be "old" or anticlimactic when the book actually releases? Will some people see the cover and assume the book is already released? And what about doing interviews this far in advance--will that help or hurt?

I posed these questions to the head of Marketing and the summary of her wise response was this: It won't hurt anything to start some "chatter" or "buzz" now, but it's more important do the promotion closer to the release of the book.

I’m curious to know what you think about publicizing a book cover months in advance of the actual release. Do you think it can help build anticipation? Or do you think it detracts from the glory of the actual release itself?

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