Prayer, Creativity & Faith

Behind the cover

PUD cover with drop shadow

“So, did you design your book cover?”

I hear that a lot. The answer is no.

“But you’re a graphic designer!”

I know that. But people say this often enough that I thought I’d briefly explain.

If you self-publish, you can design your own cover. And from what I’ve seen, sometimes with smaller publishers, the author can choose a designer. But the more traditional publishers have whole teams dedicated to marketing and design. And although I’m a professional marketer, I’m not a professional book marketer or designer.

I’ll be honest with you. I’ve put so much into this book. I’ve poured out my heart. I’ve written and rewritten and edited and struggled over word choices and theology. I’ve reached out to everyone I know, begging for favors and help. If I’d had to design the cover, too, I think it would have been too much for me to handle.

As a designer, too, I know that the hardest person to design for is yourself.

Because Tyndale is an amazingly awesome publisher, they gave me a lot of input into my cover, though. They had me fill out a survey and provide samples of other covers I liked and why. They asked about visual metaphors for the book’s content. And then they came back to me with a presentation of four possible cover directions.

I was blown away at the conceptual thinking behind it. They had me at “rationale.”

Believe it or not, this cover is not the one I picked at first. But my team felt strongly about it—strongly enough to put it in front of me when I met with them in person and explain why they thought it best represented the book. And they were completely right. I was hung up on one small detail and hadn’t wanted to be difficult so I’d picked a different direction—but when I got up the guts to ask for that change, they readily complied and I felt silly for worrying about it.

The more I look at it, the more I like it. I love the colors. I love that the fabulous designer, Nicole Grimes, hand-painted the image and hand-drew the type. I love that the image representing the whole book shows that there are two different ways to view the same thing, because it’s something I say over and over. I LOVE that I have a blurb from the amazing Elizabeth Berg on the front. How cool is that?

But most of all? I love the idea of the two faces for a book on prayer. The book is about drawing near to God—coming face to face with the Almighty. And when we do, the cup of His purpose is poured out between us. But I say it better in my book. Check out chapter 6… in just a few more days!



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