Thanks once again to South Carolina Writers’ Workshop for having me as a guest. I saw my cover for the first time on June 14th. Weeeellll, not really. Hill Country Holdup has a TERRIFIC, MOST EXCELLENT cover, and yes, I saw it posted on for the first time on Monday, June 14th. But it wasn’t the first time I’d “seen” or developed a cover for See Jane Run (working title).

Many moons ago when I began attending local chapter meetings on writing, a speaker asked this question and I hope you’ll do the same: Close your eyes and picture your book. Where is it? What does it look like? Do you have that picture? NOW–Did you picture the book as a hardcover or paperback? Who are the authors you saw next to you on the bookshelf.

Did you have that image? Did you create a cover? Or did you leave those unbound pages wrapped in a rubber-band and stuck high on a closet shelf? Have you gone to the bookstore to see exactly WHERE your book will be when you sell?

Why do writers write? We want to tell stories. Lots of us are great storytellers, but we WRITE those stories as books. And in the publishing industry you can’t tell a story unless someone READS it. I wanted my family and friends to take me seriously. I wanted to prove that I could tell a story in an interesting way. So years ago, I printed my manuscripts, three-hole punched them, and bought a binder with a see-through plastic sleeve. I included: dedications, published by, a back cover blurb, a peak at the next book. AND I designed book covers.

Each of my books had a place on my shelf. Copies of my books were loaned to friends and their friends. I went to the book store and pointed to my daughter, “That’s where my book will be.” And more importantly, I got to know several bookstore managers. I went to signings and watched. I learned. But most importantly, I ALWAYS knew what my book looked like.

My question for you: Tell me and be honest. Before reading this article, HOW did you picture your book?

This week’s lesson learned: Visualization, positive thinking, meditation, prayer, whichever path you choose…YOU have to believe in yourself. *I* have to believe in myself before others can have confidence in me too.

‘Til next time,


Some upcoming topics of discussion:
-An On-Going Behind the Scene Look at Getting Ready for Publication
(promotion, character sheets, log-lines, bios, etc.)
– My Hero Has Brown Hair?
– Targeting Your Book & Choosing Your Market

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  1. Like you said, Angi, if you want to be an author you have to believe in yourself. That doesn't stop once you do get published, either. 😉

    I saw my first cover in September 2009. It was posted at an online book store and one of my of friends posted that she'd seen it. I'm sure my whoops of joy could be heard in China. lol It was actually better than I expected. The artist made my hero almost as handsome as the image I'd carried around of him in my head for so long. The background was a perfect, beautiful representation of ancient Rome. For me, it was love at first sight. 🙂

  2. B. A. Binns says:

    Congratulations on your great cover. I'm glad you're happy with it.

    I admit I never could visualize a cover for mine. So in a way I'm glad the Editor never asked for my opinion. I wouldn't want to sound uninterested by saying uhhh. I didn't need to. Because WestSide's art department came up with something I consider awesome, and totally fitting my theme. Angsty and thoughtful. It's like they read my innermost thoughts, not just my words.

    I know I'm lucky. I've met authors who hate their covers. But my editor, Evelyn Fascio, is a dream. She swears that if I had hated the cover she would have changed it. Fortunatly, it's a cover that made me look twice, and I'm hoping book buyers will feel the same way this fall.

  3. Angi Morgan says:

    Carla, your cover is beautiful. I actually think covers have been getting better for the past couple of years.


  4. Angi Morgan says:

    B.A. ~~ What an editor you have ! She does sound like a dream.


  5. Angi Morgan says:

    Hope, you too have a terrific cover. And congratulations my fellow GH finalist on your four-book contract.


  6. Angi,
    Intriguing cover and goes so well with the title.
    Enjoyed your blog too. Yes, I agree on the visualization, positive thinking, all of that. I kept telling my family, “I can do this,” every time they wondered what I was doing. 😉

    Jeanmarie Hamilton

  7. Angi Morgan says:

    I hope they understand now. LOL

    My daughter who still lived at home, was and is very supportive and GREAT at craking a whip over my head. Friend's texting: R U WRTNG keeps me on track.


  8. Angi Morgan says:

    I'M INTERSTED TO SEE IF ANYONE CLOSED THIER EYES and visualized the cover of their current manuscript. OR if you've created a mock cover while you're writing.


  9. Beth says:

    Love your cover, Angi!

    While I did picture having my name on a book cover and having that book in stores, I never visualized my cover and I don't think about them when I'm writing. I guess I like to keep the story completely in my head 🙂

  10. Great cover, Angi!

  11. Hope Ramsay says:


    I've told you before that I love your cover. And yes, I did visualize my covers. In fact I created covers for them for my webpage. They were pretty good covers, too, but my real cover, which I saw in draft in Mid-May, is sooooo much better.

    Congratulations on your first sale.

  12. Angi Morgan says:

    Hi Beth,
    Most of the story stays in my head too. AFTER you finish your story, play around and see if you can't come up with a cover for a printed version a friend can read. It'll be fun.


  13. Angi Morgan says:

    HI REGINA !!!
    (waving at my critique partner!)


  14. Kim Quinton says:

    Awesome Cover!
    I haven't done this visualization yet- Will have to try it.
    I have a quote that I stole from a speaker at one of my first NTRWA meetings posted on my computer- Two actually
    “Editors Love to Read What I Write”
    “Writing Is Easy and Fun For Me”

    I use those to kick off visualization about how I feel about writing, me sitting down and writing and the words flowing, sending in complete manuscripts because *Of Course* everyone I pitch to wants to read them etc. 🙂
    THis will add a new dimension!

  15. Angi Morgan says:

    Hi Kim (another CP of mine!)

    Have you tried a visualization board/poster? Where you cut things out of magazines that may fit into your story. Brightly colored objects, or pictures of your hero and heroine?

    In November 2008, at the NT retreat, we did this. I pulled a real estate FOR SALE sign and pasted it into the right top corner. I found the word sold and pasted it across the for sale sign.

    I looked at that poster every day (has to be within eye sight). It stimulates the ideas for your story. But the better part of my story is that one year and one week later, I received the call.


  16. I picture my books as movies, Angi. Covers are hard for me, though I do know I don't like the characters on them. I'd rather let the readers imagine how the characters look. I've been lucky to have cover artists who ask what elements I want and put an astounding cover together. I'll stick to writing and leave the cover art work to the experts, thanks! Enjoyed your post. Great cover!

  17. Angi Morgan says:

    Hi Pat,
    I picture my books as movies while I write them. And I totally understand about picturing the hero and heroine BEFORE the art department. As a reader, I've been disappointed that the cover didn't match the story's description. BUT, the picture I made in my head for the hero probably didn't match that description either. LOL

    Funny story: When my mom read Hill Country Holdup for the first time she asked what Steve looked like. Gave her the general description. “No. I mean what movie star does he look like. I need a picture.” Again I described him and said, mom it's in the book, just choose someone you like. “I like Tom Selleck, but Steve doesn't have a mustache.”

    I asked several other non-writers over the years and about half of them just use the image on the cover. No image, they look at another cover.

    Strange thing: my mother is an artist…you'd think she'd have a vivid imagination.


  18. I didn't have a vision of my first book covers, though I love them. For my upcoming series, I have a complete vision, but it's very much aligned with how cozy mysteries are usually presented, so probably pretty in line with what it'll actually look like.

    Funny that you mention vision boards, Angi! I'm teaching a vision boarding or dream boarding online class with Savvy Authors this month!!! LOVE vision boards.

    ~ Misa

  19. Angi Morgan says:

    I'm sold on vision boards. I love looking at mine while I'm writing. I'm hoping it helps when I haveto work on more than one book at a time –or work on a series.


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