I really wondered what direction the publisher would go for this cover, and once again, the design team at AMACOM Books did me proud.
Every cover design process gives me hives. So far they’ve all turned out really well: The non-praying mother-child hands of Parenting Beyond Belief, the curious kid on Raising Freethinkers, the solo questioner on Voices of Unbelief, and the nautilus on Atheism For Dummies… So many ways to go wrong on these topics, and every time they’ve gotten it right.
But for this one, I didn’t even know what to recommend to them. How do you capture the religious side of the topic without evoking a specific religion? How do you depict the nonreligious side? I didn’t want any cheese-bag thing like one person standing outside of a church, holding hands with someone inside. I wanted something that included people without being heteronormative. Racial diversity. Positive. Interesting. Something that evoked warmth and affection and normalcy without being boring. Some reference to parenting would be good, since so many of the issues relate to that.
I gathered my notes over the course of several weeks. Then suddenly my editor sent the cover you see here, saying, “Here’s the jacket. I hope you like it!”
Wha…here’s the jacket?! My heart sank. I steeled myself to roll back a creative process that had already run its course without me.
I clicked on the attachment…and fell in love.
Crafty buggers. They skirted the questions about depicting religion by not depicting religion, or irreligion. You don’t have to — it’s in the title! It never would have occurred to me to do that, which is why design is best left to designers.
It’s interesting, fun, warm, informal, personal, affectionate. The anonymity is awesome. Didn’t get racial diversity, but it’s at least deniably heteronormative.
I’m happy. Onward.