FOR THE FIRST TIME in my 20-year career as a freelance writer, I’ve been asked to pick the cover art of a book I wrote.
I don’t think most people know it, but writers generally don’t get pulled into the discussion about the book title or the cover. That’s a marketing thing.
The editor will usually ask the writer if we’re okay with the title they come up with. Then we’ll get the same question once the cover gets designed.
But if everyone else has signed off on it – and that’s usually the case by the time the writer sees it – the design is a done deal regardless of what the writer thinks. That’s the way it is for most writers.
If writers raise a ruckus, the publishing team might reconsider. And they might not.
So here’s my dilemma.
I need to find somewhere between four to six images the designer can use as a backdrop, behind the title, subtitle, and byline.
What images instantly say: Genesis?
When people – even folks who aren’t Christian – see the picture, they should realize they’re looking at some of the first stories in the Bible.
I’ve ruled out pictures of the dogs in my family. I tried to rationalize that Noah probably took some dogs onto his boat. But the breed of Labrador Retriever – my dog Buddy and my son’s dog Mosby – didn’t exist until the early 1800s. That’s at least 4,000 years too late.
- I’m thinking we should have Noah’s boat.
- I’d like Eve, but she’s usually naked.
That’s a problem with most Christian publishers. They don’t like naked women.
In their books.
- Maybe a picture of Cain killing Abel or Abraham raising a knife to sacrifice Isaac.
It’s funny. Christian publishers don’t much mind pictures of murder, mayhem, and massacre. As long as there are no naked women in them.
There’s probably a medical-shrink term to describe that condition, and possibly a chill-out medication to treat it, though one might have to travel to Colorado, Oregon, or Washington to buy it if one doesn’t have a prescription.
- How about that famous painting of God’s hand reaching out to touch Adam in the Creation story?
Just a close-up, like the one illustrating this article. Adam is naked. Christian publishers don’t like naked men, either.
In their books.
What scenes am I missing?
What picture do you think says Genesis? Not just to Christians, but to non-Christians? They are the people I most want to see reading the book.
For more about Genesis
- Genesis, plain and simple
- Was Noah’s Flood just another flood myth?
- Book: A Quick Guided Tour Through the Bible, pages 11-38
- Book: Complete Guide to the Bible, pages 10-28
- Video: Noah’s Ark: Looking for a boat 3 miles above sea level
Blog subscribers who win books this week
- Georgia Walsh
- Carla Rench
I give away free books each week. It’s normally to randomly selected subscribers to my free blog and quarterly newsletter. But this time I picked two of the most recent subscribers. I’ll probably pick from the newbies for the next several weeks.
The winners will get the option of choosing my new release: A Quick Guided Tour Through the Bible – among about half a dozen other titles.