Cover Me!

Cover choice #1

I would like your feedback.

Hopefully, in February or March of 2019, I will publish A Companion for the Hospice Journey. It includes essays I’ve written over the years about hospice care along with material created specifically for the book.

Right now, illustrator and design artist Tami Boyce is working on the cover. She has provided me with two choices. At this stage of her process, I need to provide input about changes and also decide which cover theme to use.

I have posted both covers. One obviously at the top, the other at the bottom. Which one do you prefer? Why? Any suggested changes in wording or colors or . . . well, I’ll leave any and all comments up to you!

As you ponder the “best” cover, my hope is that Companion will interest these potential readers:

  • Individuals or families making decisions about hospice, in particular those that are reluctant towards, ignorant about, or resistant to “comfort care.”
  • Professional hospice/health care staff that would use Companion as a resource for potential or current hospice patients/clients.
  • Patients and families currently in a hospice’s care who seek understanding and/or information.

One of the many cliché used is, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

But we do, don’t we?

I am not a famous or infamous celebrity and my name recognition won’t cause many folks to buy or share Companion. I’ve had several wonderful people read a draft of the manuscript and they are willing to provide blurbs—give a recommendation—to encourage readers to check out Companion. I am confident that some may buy this book because a Dr. Porter Storey, Armen Bacon, Elaine Mansfield, or Nancy Hinds said it was worthwhile. (Those four listed have generously and thoughtfully read a draft of the book and will recommend it.)

And so, for an unknown guy like me, covers do matter! I look forward to what you might suggest. Thanks for any help you can give to my efforts . . .

Speaking of thanks, I hope you are able to have a Happy, Happy Thanksgiving 2018! Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for many. All religious traditions can comfortably participate. Those without any religious interests can find meaning in its emphasis on gratitude. A focus on gathering friends and family around a table highlights the powerful simplicity of sharing and caring.

But Thanksgiving is also—especially for those in hospice care, for those grieving a beloved’s death—one of the toughest holidays. An empty chair is heartbreaking. A table with fewer place settings means more tears.

I am grateful for you, for each reader, for being my companion on this journey.

Cover choice #2

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  1. You have a great designer. Both are very well done, and yet, not sure right for the job. If these are your only choices, go with the top, going toward the light is more appealing than a desolate road with no ending. That said, consider something different entirely. You want people to find solace by reading this, right? An image showing connection, comfort, companionship, support, community… and you want them to read. I would totally drop the line …no one wants to read–and say something that suggests it’s the book everyone needs to read, instead. I’m a hospice communications professional. I know what you want to do. I suggest showing something that illustrates the companion and the need to read. And don’t forget to set a place at the table for those who have gone before…

  2. Hmmmm… Both are beautiful. I find #1 compelling. It pulls me into the Mystery where I’m naturally drawn, but maybe more mystery isn’t what’s needed or desirable. Your book unveils the Mystery and brings it into the light, so I’ll go with #2 which has a lighter touch and feeling. I find the letters pale and hard to read, but that’s easy to change. I like the hands. Congratulations on a great and much needed book.

  3. For some reason I like @#1 better. It’s a gut thing, but I liked it before ever seeing the second one. The second one is good, but to me, the first is compelling.

  4. I immediately preferred #2. There is a lightness and hopefulness that I was drawn to in that image. And, the road seems to convey the journey we all must take, but don’t have the knowledge of WHERE it takes us. So many unknowns and unanswered questions for many facing that last journey or helping someone along that path. I’m certain this book will not only be informational, but a great comfort. (Not to mention a big hit)! Oh, and I like the hands too.

  5. I think #2 although they are both beautiful. With #1 I really had to look at it to figure out it is light at the end of a path— now I see it clearly each time I look at it. I think with #2 you see the “companion”—the feel of it is lighter to me, I like one hand holding another. #2 has a softer look and feel. But— they’re both great!

  6. They’re both good but I’d go for number 2. The image of the lonely uphill road accurately portrays the road of grief for many. I particularly like the grey sky.
    Agree with Karen that you may want to think again about the sub- title.
    I look forward to getting my hands on a copy next year

  7. I like them both. They’re both beautiful. But #1 feels more appropriate for all ages to read, whereas #2 appears for be for only elderly due to the photo of the hands. That’s just my gut reaction. But again, they’re both lovely and I sure will do well. Congrats!

  8. Of the two choices, I would go with #1, but I would change the back cover color to perhaps grey so as not to have such a preponderance of blackness. I am not sure it needs to be a winter tree scene as there is much life and living during the days of hospice, but it could be a row of darkened summer or autumn trees. I understand the light as hope at the end of the journey towards which we walk. In Spirituality and Health magazine, November/December 2018 issue, on page46, there is a curiously similar photo of #1.

    With #2, I would go with one image or the other, either the hands or the pathway, but not both on the same cover. I think the hands image is a little over used these days. I like the double pathway which speaks of walking along side someone as the title implies with companion. I too would delete the words: The book no one wants to read … as this is an invitation not to read it! I don’t think those words add anything to an already delicate subject matter. Perhaps the pathway, tree and a setting sun?

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