Judging a book’s cover

Though it’s said you can’t judge a book by its cover, people do anyway.

I’m working on an exciting new project with an author who wanted a new design for the second edition of her book, “Letters From Mom: A Daughter’s Journal of Healing.”

I met author Joyce Madeline Kocinski at a recent library talk about “Writing About Challenging Life Events.” Joyce had already accomplished the hardest part — the writing. Hers is a daughter’s story of grappling with the death of a mother and how faith and her mother’s own words comforted her in her bereavement. It’s really quite beautiful and a moving tribute to her mother.

Joyce published the book a couple of years ago. When we met, she was interested in refreshing it inside and out and offering an e-version as well as a printed one.

original cover

The original cover is functional but not very eye-catching and would be difficult to decipher in the thumbnail for an ebook. Joyce is not only a writer but an artist, too, and she was interested in using one of her own paintings as part of the cover design. I think her work is stunning. Those flowers make you want to sniff the canvas.


We’ve been volleying cover options back and forth all week, and we rejected one option with a “button” on the cover that noted “Second Edition”; we decided that notation didn’t need to be part of the cover. Now we’re interested in the opinions of potential readers: Which font do you like better for the main title?

Here’s one option …

Option 1 features "Letters From Mom" in all-caps Tempus, a font described by some as "punk Roman."

Option 1 features “Letters From Mom” in all-caps Tempus, a font described by some as “punk Roman.”


And here’s another option:

Option 2 features "Letters From Mom" in bold italics Garamond, a well-known font noted for its elegance and readability.

Option 2 features “Letters From Mom” in bold italics Garamond, a well-known font noted for its elegance and readability.


Which one has va va voom for you? Please vote and help Joyce decide.


By the way, if you’re interested in reading Joyce’s book, stay tuned here and I’ll let you know as soon as it’s available.


One comment on “Judging a book’s cover

  1. […] is available as a paperback or on Kindle. You read a little about Joyce’s story here a few weeks ago when we were collecting opinions on cover design. Her book about how she dealt with […]

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