‘The exciting first stage in getting the book out there is finalising a cover design,’ the publishers told me. I was excited. I could picture it in my head; could see just how my book would look displayed on the book shop shelves. I shared my thoughts and ideas with them and then waited in great anticipation for the design to arrive. How would my darling appear dressed, I wondered? I felt sure it would look just as I had imagined.
When the first design appeared it was so unlike what I had imagined, it was a shock. It was like I had sent my daughter off to the hairdressers, with her long golden curls, and she had come back with her hair cropped stylishly short and dyed pink! But despite the shock I realised that if she had done that, then a hairstyle change would not change the fact that she was still my daughter (thankfully my daughter never did that to me!) She might look a bit different, but maybe her look needed to be different? So I put myself back into the hands of the hairdressers – sorry – publishers again. With a little negotiation, and a lot of patience on the designer’s part, the cover began to look a little more like the book I had imagined, but not completely: the hair had grown out and the pink faded slightly, but it was a more modern and grown up look than what I had pictured in my mind, and it was good. Of course my book has nothing to do with hairstyles, unless you include monk’s tonsures! It is a historical tale set in medieval times, but it still had to appeal to a modern market. The more I looked at that cover, and the more I used the image, the more I loved it. It is the right look for my book, the right feel, and beautifully designed. It reflects what is going to be inside that cover, and I have had many, many positive comments. I can’t imagine my book looking any different now… which is just as well!
I was learning more and more that the publishing process was an exercise in relinquishing control, in being prepared to put my trust in those who knew better than I did, those who had the knowledge and experience that I didn’t have. I guess that is a life lesson we all need to take on board, daily. That actually if we trust the ONE who knows better than we do, and are prepared to relinquish our control, to give Him our dreams and plans, then He will unfailingly reward us with better than we could ever think or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)