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!

 

 

To explore strange new worlds…

Today I’m discussing a topic of great eternal importance, although it might surprise you to read about the Starship Enterprise on my blog about prayer. When they were developing plans for the Starship Enterprise, the designers made a model and hung it from a string. When Gene Roddenberry picked it up, the model flipped upside ...

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Image from http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Constitution_class_model_(original)?file=Constitution_class_chosen_design_elements_finetuning.jpg

Today I’m discussing a topic of great eternal importance, although it might surprise you to read about the Starship Enterprise on my blog about prayer.

When they were developing plans for the Starship Enterprise, the designers made a model and hung it from a string. When Gene Roddenberry picked it up, the model flipped upside down because of the imbalance in weight between the materials used to model the saucer and the rails. But he liked it and approved it anyway, as it was — the opposite of the way it was intended. Some of the sources I found online when I researched this story say it was approved upside down and kept that way, and others say that the designers were (eventually) able to convince Roddenberry to use it right side up, even though he preferred the design when it was turned upside down.

Either way, the thing to remember is that whether something is right side up or upside down is all in the eye of the beholder.

In our world, the phrase “upside down” implies that something isn’t right. That it’s backwards. The opposite of what is intended. We impose a kind of value judgment when talk about something being upside down.

But if there’s anything I’ve learned as I’ve written my book, it’s that — in God’s world — nearly every convention is flipped on its head. Nothing is as expected. The first shall be the last. Pray in private, not in public. The least shall be the greatest. Give up all your wealth now for a treasure that lasts. The King shall be the servant.

His ways may often be upside down — but they are, without a doubt, perfectly right.

So when things in my life seem a little topsy-turvy — when my hard-working husband loses his job with no warning; when the most nurturing, faithful woman I know spends years unable to conceive; when children die and tumors thrive and what was once firm becomes shaky — I try to remember the Enterprise.

Our travels may take us to strange new worlds. To places we never imagined. We may find utopian worlds or have to fight epic battles. But in the process, we will likely discover things we never expected to find. And we will see that maybe, just maybe, upside down will turn out to be right side up.

For good.

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