I'm not a writer, but I play one on TV
After a few more days, Friendly Writerman came back to check on Greene's mental state. He hadn't heard anything in a while, and he was worried that the over-eager writer to be had somehow found a way to digitize himself and was presently trapped in some agent's spam filter waiting to be let out. Oh, the horror if the agent hit delete instead...
When he opened the door, he found Greene hunched over a pad of paper scribbling furiously.
'Aha! He's figured out the next step on his own, and is working on another book to distract himself,' Friendly thought.
But, alas, this was not the case. Greene was drawing increasingly abstract stick-man armies with too many arms and various lettering options for his novel's title.
"What are you doing?" Friendly asked.
"Designing my cover art," Greene said.
"Oh!" Friendly laughed, a bit relieved. "I did that with my first book, too. Sort of a celebration of completing the thing. It was fun."
"I just want to be ready."
Greene ripped another page off and tossed it blind into the trash can. From the amount of paper, it looked like he was on his third or forth sketch pad.
"Ready for what?"
"When it gets published. When I get my agent, I want to be ready to go."
Friendly was concerned again. Greene sounded like he'd inhaled too much toner.
"I'll have the cover all ready so they won't have to wait for it after the agent sells my book."
His previous fits of laughter hadn't gone over well, so Friendly restrained himself this time.
"You think you have to do the cover?"
This wasn't what he'd done at all. His cover had just been something to blow off steam... and it still looked better than the stick dog in a cape Greene was drawing.
"Of course," Greene said. "I'm a serious writer. When the publisher makes an appointment for me to come in and design the cover, I'll have samples ready and he can pick the one he likes best."
"When the editor...." The battle to not laugh was lost. "... appointment... meeting... designed..." Whatever toner Greene was using, Friendly wanted a case.
Greene was angry that his friend didn't think he was a serious writer. He'd seen how things worked on TV. The editor calls the writer in over lunch, they sit down, and together they design the cover to make sure it's what they both want.
So he was VERY upset when Friendly told him that - not only does the publisher get to pick the cover on their own - they get to pick the title, so the one that Greene was taking such pains with might not be the final title. In fact, it was pretty well a certainty that something whose title was identical to another one on the shelves already would have to be changed. And no, it didn't matter that he had the idea for the title before the other book was published.
Greene took his sketchbooks and threw them into the trash. He was never cut out to be an artist anyway.