I hope the new year has been good to you so far. It is snowy and sunny here in Ontario, Canada, and it’s amazing how much that lifts the spirits.
Today I’m working on design ideas for the cover of my next romantic suspense novel, Vigilant, coming in June 2019. My publishing company has a fabulous designer, but they welcome their authors to participate in the ideas stage of the creative process. I’ve been combing through thousands of images the last couple of weeks, searching for inspiration. Hopefully I’ve come up with a few ideas that might work.
I know firsthand how difficult it is to overcome the challenge of a cover that doesn’t quite work for the book, as I experienced that with the original covers of The Seven Trilogy. Although the designer (different designer, different company) did a great job with them, they didn’t quite match up with the genre, which may have contributed to slow sales as my target market wasn’t drawn to them. The covers have since been redone, but only time will tell if that will be enough to make up for the cooler-than-hoped for response to the books when they were released.
So the pressure is on with my next set of covers, for The Night Guardian Series. Because the truth is, although we’re warned not to, as humans we really do judge books by their covers (I know I do). Very often this expression is used to warn us not to judge people by the initial impression they make, yet we have a tendency to do that as well. Which is a sobering reminder for believers. As followers of Jesus Christ, it does matter what we do and say and do, how we present to others. As Jesus put it, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). This means, if we are not living lives worthy of our calling, it not only reflects badly on us, it reflects badly on God. Whether we like it or not, our “cover” speaks volumes to the world, not only about who we are, but about the one we claim to serve.
My prayer for myself this new year is that the cover I present to the world will at all times bring glory to God. That the words I speak, the way I say them, whether or not I show love, kindness, and compassion towards others, everything I say and do will draw others to him and not push them further away.
May the covers of each of us who call ourselves Christians reflect who we truly are – humble, broken but redeemed, grateful believers in Jesus Christ. And may others see that in us this year and be blessed.
Press on, my friends.