Do You Judge a Book By Its Cover? I Do. Check Out My New Cover!

I’m thrilled to reveal the cover of my next book: Outer Order, Inner Calm. Ta-da!

I have to say, I love this cover.

But it wasn’t an easy process.

Danielle Deschenes is the super-talented art director who created it (she also created the cover of The Four Tendencies), and she must have done fifty or sixty covers before hitting on this one.

It’s funny—we looked at cover after cover after cover, and some were good but not great.

For instance, one proposed cover was gorgeous (below), but just too much like the cover of Marie Kondo’s blockbuster bestseller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

And another cover was calm, but seemed…too calm.

And I couldn’t decide if I liked this cover (below) or really didn’t like it at all. For one thing, I worried that so much yellow was harsh.

In describing my own ideas for the cover, I’d said that I hoped it could:

  • incorporate the blue and yellow colors used in many of my other jackets and on my site
  • have a calm but energetic vibe, and not look like a book about meditation
  • make use of circles (I think that circles really draw the eye to a book jacket, see The Four Tendencies)
  • be eye-catching both on a bookstore shelf and in an online thumbnail

We’d reviewed image after image, and time was passing, and at the very last moment, when we had to choose an image for the galley by the next day—even if had to be a temporary, placeholder image—she sent around a version very close to the final jacket. And everyone agreed: This is it.

Take a look at what a masterful job Danielle Deschenes did at incorporating all of the suggested elements!

And more than that, she suggested nature.

This, to me, was the brilliant stroke. I love this suggestion of the sky, moon, and sunrise. This fits the book perfectly, too. The book’s epigraph is from Alexander Pope: “Order is Heaven’s first law,” and the theme of nature runs throughout.

For instance, I quote one of my favorite passages from Jules Renard:

“Oh! Old rubbish! Old letters, old clothes, old objects that one does not want to throw away. How well nature has understood that, every year, she must change her leaves, her flowers, her fruit and her vegetables, and make manure out of the mementos of her year!” – The Journal of Jules Renard

And, given my current obsession with color, I love the way she uses color to suggest time unfolding and the serene energy of the natural world.

I’m thrilled with it.

Please note: If you don’t like the jacket,…

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