Cover Design Evolution

You may be familiar with the saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” but that’s what buyers throughout the world do every day. Cover design is critical to selling books. A cover needs to be visually appealing, uniquely recognizable, and have the essential details visible on a small, thumbnail-size view (as you might see on Amazon).

For my new book, Story Secrets from Scripture, I experimented with a few cover design ideas.

Story Secrets from Scripture is about how to develop and deliver children’s stories for worship, vacation Bible school, and Bible study. The book covers how to find personal stories, assigned teaching points, and tell these stories live.

It Happened in the Middle (of a train accident)

Aristotle is credited with the first written definition of plot. He wrote in his book Poetics that a story needs a beginning, middle, and end. Because so much of a story occurs in the middle, my first title for the book was It Happened in the Middle. I liked the title but could not come up with any interesting ideas for the cover. My first design included two trains moving towards each other on the same track …

It Happened in the Middle (Version 2)

I quickly abandoned this idea before the design was finished. In searching for quality images, I came across a typewriter set against a bright background. I kept the title but changed the design …

During the book editing process I decided to change the title to Story Secrets from Scripture. Every word is valuable in a title and subtitle, and I realized that It Happened in the Middle did not convey any meaning. Readers might understand the title, but only after reading at least part of the book.

Story Secrets (in a pirate’s treasure chest)

“Story secrets” reminded me of hidden treasure, which led me to clip art images of a treasure chest. Having procured images of treasure and a scroll, I also searched for a font which looked reminiscent of a treasure map. This was the resulting cover …

Story Secrets from Scripture (Final Design)

After considering the design, I decided that I wanted something bright and modern. Because Story Secrets from Scripture is about the craft of storytelling for audiences of children, I searched again for clip art and found an image of children enjoying a story. I found another font and redesigned the cover …

Will this be the final cover? For now this is the published design. However, based on feedback from designers and when I make revisions, I may update or redesign the cover as well.

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