Finding a good cover for the book turned out to be both easier and harder than expected. The easy part was using 99designs.com to run a contest for the book cover. The hard part was choosing from among some really great options.
In the end it came down to three choices. One was a light beige cover with balanced stones on the cover – a somewhat zen-like cover. The second had a dark blue/violet cover and showed a group of silhouetted figures climbing a stair of puzzle pieces while carrying a puzzle piece. The third was the one chosen, with largely white background and a graphic of teens jumping.
All three are great covers. The choice was ultimately influences by the reactions of the groups that we surveyed during our selection.
The beige/stones covers was well received. “Tranquil” was the word used most often to describe it. Ultimately it was discarded because tranquility wasn’t really the idea we wanted to communicate.
The blue/puzzle cover was my own favorite. The graphic did the best job communicating leadership. This cover generated the strongest feelings among those polled – both favorable and unfavorable. It was also the most popular among the teens surveyed. It’s biggest weakness was difficulty in reading the title at thumbnail size.
The cover chosen was a very close second favorite for me personally. The graphic, though it doesn’t directly convey leadership, is very positive and exciting. The book title is easy to read even in thumbnail size. But what ultimately swung the choice was the reaction of the adults surveyed (particularly the group of youth group advisors) – it was the favorite of many, and none of them disliked it.
There were quite a few great designs, and one thing is certain: I’ll be using 99designs.com for future book covers without a second thought.