Book Cover: What Would You Choose?

The publisher of the forthcoming Walks With Sam—John Hunt Publishing, UK—(which was also my publisher for October Song)—has asked me for ideas to pass on to the graphic designers who will work on the cover. It’s a long way to publication, but it’s fun to think about this. JHP will make the final decision based on marketing, etc., but many traditional publishers don’t always ask their authors for input on covers. JHP does. October Song’s cover was a popular one. I was very pleased with the design. So, I’m certain they’l do well with this one.



We need a “dog book” cover and here’s my dilemma: I don’t really like most “dog book” covers. And frankly, Walks With Sam, unlike most popular books in this approach, is not really a “dog book.” Not in the Marley and Me sense. It’s more a book about mindfulness and living in the present. Sam is the sherpa, the constant, and the continuity. So, I’m trying to find a balance between the “dog appeal” and the mindfulness sensibility. Publisher has already suggested it “must have a dog pic on the cover.” But what kind of dog pic? And how does that square with the other themes in the book?



As an experiment, I have four prototypes here. These are my thoughts, and mine alone, and let’s be clear, I am not a professional designer. These are simply rough ideas I’ve developed after playing around in the shed on Canva—a web-based designing tool.  Vote.



Remember, colors can change, image size can change, be filtered. Don’t see it as only what it is but what it can be. Have fun with it. What jumps out at you? What stirs your senses? Maybe none of them. That’s okay, too. What would you like to see on the cover? Vote. Really, thoughts are welcome.



I’m asking for your input. And I’m aware none of you has read the manuscript, so that makes it more difficult. Still, think walking, awareness, mindfulness, dogs, hikes, and opinion on the world and relationships. Or you could read the initial posts on the newly resurrected blog Walks With Sam for help. Or you can do none of this and simply go with your gut

Vote. And thanks.

1, 2, 3, or 4? A combination or something completely different?

6 thoughts on “Book Cover: What Would You Choose?

    1. That comes up a lot. But it’s that echo thing. Do you want the title to say exactly what the photo says? I kind of want some other deeper message going on. Do you know what I mean?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hmm, I enjoy puzzles like this one. You may be sorry you asked. I have taken dozens of photos of walks with my dog, where I try to capture the Zen of the walk. After reading all of your blog posts (in the past) about your walks with Sam, one of my photos in particular came to mind. I don’t know if they just want a dog on the cover, but a man & dog on a walk might be nice. Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting my photo(s). These are just ideas. If you like any of these ideas, maybe you or your publisher can find something similar. Here is the first one that came to my mind.

    Here are a couple more.

    I also have a few photos of just my dog where I captured that in-the-moment Zen look if you’d like more ideas.

    Good luck. I look forward to hearing about the book when it comes out.


    1. Very thoughtful post! Thank you, Lori. I always struggle with what I call “echoes” in a book cover. Designers talk about this — it’s when the photo says exactly what the title says. THE SETTING SUN gets a photo of — yep, a setting sun. I heard a book designer say once at a conference that she likes to think of her covers as haikus of the story. I find that interesting. Again, thanks for the input. Much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

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