If you don’t get a great cover for your book, you’re wasting all the time you spent crafting it.
The reality is that people judge a book by its cover all the time. If you think about it, we wouldn’t have a saying encouraging people not to judge books by their covers if people didn’t judge books by their covers every single day.
The democratization of publishing is a great thing. It means that people whose stories aren’t valued by New York publishing are able to find an audience. It means that more and more, people are able to make a living wage doing something they love. It means readers have a greater variety of stories at their fingertips than at any other time in human history.
And it means that if you’re publishing something, you have to take steps to let readers know you’re not one to the random schmucks who finishes NaNoWriMo and puts their novel up on Dec. 1. You have to take steps to let readers know that you’re not just another chump. You have to let them know that even though they have never heard of you, you’re serious about this and that one day—soon—you’re going to be a big shot.
“That’s fine,” I hear you saying, “once they read my story, they’ll know I’m legit.”
Yeah, no. You have to convince them you’re legit before they read your blurb, let alone your novel. Fact is, if you don’t have a great cover, almost nobody will ever give your book a chance and it won’t matter a whit what kind of promotion you do.
You can’t just be good. You have to be outstanding just to get noticed.