Behind the cover

“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 ...

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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!

 

 

And now… finally… the official cover of my book!

So…whaddaya think? I’ll tell you why I like it. It’s hand-painted and hand-lettered (by one of Tyndale’s fabulous designers), so that brings in the art aspect. This optical illusion—the faces and/or chalice—is one that’s featured in the book. (But you’ll have to wait until then to read the whole story behind it.) The image depicts ...

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So…whaddaya think?

I’ll tell you why I like it. It’s hand-painted and hand-lettered (by one of Tyndale’s fabulous designers), so that brings in the art aspect. This optical illusion—the faces and/or chalice—is one that’s featured in the book. (But you’ll have to wait until then to read the whole story behind it.) The image depicts either object—or both—depending on how you look at it. It feels reflective. Prayerful. Conversational. And it represents a basic theme of my book, that there’s more than one way to look at any situation, and our point of view makes all the difference in the world in how we experience it.

But there’s more to it than that. My book is about looking for God. Drawing near to Him. Talking to Him, feeling Him, seeing Him. It’s about those moments when we come face to face with Him. And when I look at this image, that’s what I feel. That kind of intimacy is what I long to find, over and over again. And what I hope—and pray—others will find in my words. Not because I want to change them. But because those moments when I’ve glimpsed God have transformed my faith, my beliefs, and my soul, and I can’t think of a better thing to wish for anyone.

I hope you like the cover. And do you want to know a secret? It’s already available for pre-order on Amazon. It will eventually be on sale in many more outlets, too, but those links aren’t live yet. If you want to be among the first to order it (even though it won’t be available until May 1), feel free to click that pre-order button! And it’s officially no longer a secret, so feel free to forward or post this anywhere you like. For some reason, the cover and description only show up with the paperback link for now, but that should be corrected soon :-).

Thank you all for following along on this journey. I’m pretty impatient, so this wait is hard for me. But I couldn’t have asked for a better publisher or better experience. I’m grateful for all of you who continue to follow along… and thankful that publication is now finally less than six months away!

P.S. Thanks to all of my new blog subscribers. Your names are in the back of my journal so I can pray for you by name.

P.P.S. The winner of the giveaway is Christy Blundy. Please email me (kellyostanley-at-me-dot-com) your choice of a hand-painted journal, hand-made sterling silver earrings, or a $15 Amazon gift card, along with your mailing address, and I’ll get that to you right away. Thanks!

Technical difficulties

Sorry for the silence the last couple of weeks. My RSS feed (an information stream created by my blog) was broken—something so abstract and technological that I was thoroughly stumped until I finally found someone to help. But it be fixed again. Yea! Since no emails went out, I thought I’d point you ...

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Sorry for the silence the last couple of weeks. My RSS feed (an information stream created by my blog) was broken—something so abstract and technological that I was thoroughly stumped until I finally found someone to help. But it [seems to] be fixed again. Yea!

Since no emails went out, I thought I’d point you to the last few posts in case you missed them. You’ll find links at the bottom of this post.

In the meantime, STAY TUNED for breaking news. On Monday, I will be revealing my book cover, right here, before I post it anywhere else.

OK, I admit, that’s probably not nearly as exciting to you as it is to me. But since it IS so exciting to me, I’m also turning this into a giveaway. Any new blog subscribers will be registered in a drawing for the prize of their choice: a hand-painted journal, sterling silver earrings hand-made by me (for yourself or to give as a gift), or a $15 Amazon gift card. If you’re reading about this in your email, you already subscribe. But if you forward this to your friends and then they subscribe, I will enter you in the drawing, too. (Just let me know first name of the person or people you referred.)

It’s easy to sign up to get blog posts in your inbox. Look on the right-hand side of this page for the turquoise banner. Underneath that, enter your name and email address—and voila! You’ll get all book updates and other posts, not to mention a chance to win one of the items mentioned above.

If you have a minute to read them, here are the posts that stayed quietly on my blog with nowhere to go…
Blessed silence
I want nothing to do with that
And my post last week at the Internet CaféWhen we refuse to see what’s right in front of us

Have a great weekend!

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