And the Winner Is….

Actually there is no winner. Over three hundred of you offered your thoughts and suggestions to me through Facebook, email, and blog comments to my recent post about book cover designs for The Phenomenon of the Dones. Thank you all for your help. It is greatly appreciated. My artist on this project commented how amazing it was to have so many readers care so deeply about the cover and offer us their input. Some even sent their own cover designs. It is incredibly inspiring to see so many people offer their input and ideas.

So which direction are we going? That was tough. The problem for me was not that there are good covers and bad covers, but that all of them resonated with me for different reasons, and all of had things about them I’d want to tweak. That’s what comps are for, to begin the process and find a cover that is both attractive, inviting, and conveys the heart of what’s inside.

Option 3, the staircase climbing out of the basement, had significantly more votes than the other two options. Though I love that cover, it is a bit more “institutional-looking” than I like, and way more formal. I can see how it really speaks to the journey of someone coming out of a more institutional environment and into greater light, life, and freedom. What I didn’t like about it was that it made the journey of the “Dones” more preferable than those who are still in more traditional congregations growing in the same life, freedom and passions as those who are no longer there.

I loved the mystery of the second one, but not the overly sinister look of it. Some compared it to a Stephen King feature. What I liked was the open door outward, which really gets to the issue of the so-called “Dones” and the feel of those inside who are missing their friends and relatives who no longer attend. As I said, I hope this e-book will encourage a conversation among all God’s children whether they go or not about what God seems to be doing with the breakdown we’re all experiencing with the traditional congregation no longer being the soul source of community, discipleship, and engagement with the world.

So we have reworked Option #2 to a softer image. You can see a larger version of it below.


The danger of course of letting others give input is that some won’t like it or will have other ideas. In the end, of course, there is no right answer, obviously. Book covers like book reading is a matter of preference and there really isn’t a right or wrong.

Now I’ve got to get to writing the rest of it!

17 thoughts on “And the Winner Is….”

  1. Yes, the door is more representative of: ‘The church…is more like wildflowers strewn across an alpine meadow than a walled garden with manicured hedges’. Wayne Jacobsen in ‘Finding Church’. I always found this an exciting simile of what should be ‘the church’.

  2. Yep…that’ll do!
    “I have struggled so much with the pronunciation of “Dones” rhyming with “stones” that I have finally got your funny American take on it!
    Can’t wait to read it now.

  3. I actually love this one! Better than all three of the earlier ones— excellent!

    Can’t wait to read it!

  4. I love your finally choice and it is totally okay, well I love the number 2 cause I am a twin and with the number I know something great will or is already happening, I believe that in Christ no matter the heights we attain all of us still have a lot of learning to do, so the door will open up to what Father is all about in the change that is happening

  5. When I stated my preference for #2, I was also going to add that maybe a different door might improve it – but decided not to. And then a new door version shows up. Much better and improves the feel of it. I am happy. Not that my happiness has anything to do with your choice on the book cover. LOL.

  6. I can’t wait to read this book!!!
    I would love to meet with you at a coffee shop and just chat especially over your books I have read “So you don’t want to go to church anymore” and “The naked church”
    Loved them!
    And I live in Cali

    1. Hi Susan. Where in California do you live? If you get near Thousand Oaks let me know and we can see what Sara and me can work out if I’m around. We try to connect with folks as we can…

      1. Hello! I live in Bakersfield, but can travel…. lol That would be awesome to meet you and your wife. I read the first book, “So you dont want to go to church anymore” and bought about 6-9 or more passed them out, kept saying “I want to meet these two and shake their hands or hug them and pick their brains….”
        I have transition thru so much in the these last couple years I felt like a lone caged bird if that makes any sense, I tried to stay and make a difference in the building, but could not any longer……….
        I would love to meet you both…..
        I hope I get the chance and sit down over coffee and or tea and discuss the simplicity of God.

        1. Well, if you find yourself down our way in Ventura County sometime, let us know and we’ll see what we can do. Or if you want to head that way sometime. I always have to slot that stuff in around my travel, but can often get it done. I was in Bakersfield last year for a few days. Sorry we missed… Let’s see what God might the up the road….

  7. you picked the right one this time…you muffed the last one…should have chosen the canadian geese for finding church..heh heh

  8. Actually, this is exactly what I suggested in my feedback, so I’ll be expecting my royalty checks soon. Hahaha! Looks great! Love it!

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