Which one would you pick up to find out more?

Publishing a book always takes so much longer than it seems it should. Alas, many hidden wheels need to mysteriously turn before the book pops out. But it is nice when it finally happens. A book announcement is coming here soon, but right now the publisher and I have to decide on cover design. Want to help?

The design company we are using is very good, as you can tell by the rich texture of the designs below. None of these will be the final cover, but they represent the directions we might go. As it was explained to me, a book cover is a play for a split-second, instinctual attraction to want to find out more. If you would like to help us, look at the six covers below and decide which one or two would make you pick up the book and turn it over (to read the back), or flip through the table of contents, etc. Then please leave your choice in the comments below. If you wouldn’t mind, also tag your choice by giving your gender and your age. You can also explain why you like that one if you wish.

I have my strong favorite already, but I could not find agreement among my family. So if many people like the same one, it might change my mind. Please leave your choice before reading others’ choices, so you are unbiased in your impressions. Ready to play the marketing game?

Scroll down…




#1: Yellow






#2: Pictured






#3: Quilted






#4: Crossed






#5: Patched






#6: Circled






Well, which is it? What do you think?


  1. Ray

    I have not read the book, but I suppose this is one case where judging a book by its cover is the ask.

    I think #1 or #3 make me the most curious about what’s inside. #6 is attractive but generic.

    Male, late 30s, married.

  2. DJarus

    Thank you for letting us participate. My first choice is #6 Circled. It’s clean and not busy. It should appeal to both men and women. The word “Discernment” is emphasized. It appears to be for the serious inquirer.
    My second choice is #2 Pictured. The photos showing relationships make it appealing. The font is on the playful side, which may (or may not) detract from the seriousness of the content.
    My impression of #1 Yellow is that the woman is telling the man about the contents. #3 Quilted may appeal to females more than to males. #4 Crossed and #5 Patched lack the couple relating in any thoughtful way with one another but have them turning from each other.
    I pray this helps!

  3. Ken

    I like #1 the most, with #6 as runner up. The one I like least is “pictured” because it looks generic, and the one I worry about most is “quilted” because only only one of the partners may read it in public 🙂

    I’m a 50yo sensitive guy… I do premarital counseling and I’d love to learn more about what’s inside the cover.

  4. Melissa Ciatto

    #1 feels like this cover gets to the point. ( first choice)
    #2. Has too much to look at
    #3 too cute-little girl like
    #4 feels like it’s in the cross hairs
    #5 too much to look at
    #6 I feel like I’ve seen a book cover like this already

    52 year old wife and mom

  5. Linda Irwin

    My first choice is #6. I think the subtitle, which is very important, is most noticeable with this design. #2 will look too dated, no pun intended, within a few years. #3 is very feminine, and makes it appear to be a book meant for women only. Congratulations, by the way. Looking forward to reading it!

  6. IronWorks Bot

    #6 is my pick followed by 5 and then 1. I feel they would appeal to both men and women. #3 is a very feminine cover, #2 makes me feel like it’s a camping survival guide (which it may be!) 🤪 I can’t wait to read this!

    #6! Followed by #1, except the little people look like restroom sign symbols having a conversation. Is it just me? Otherwise color scheme checks out as fresh and keeps the title legible. Excited for this book!


    I really like #4. The design feels really clean and reminds me of the priority quandrant.

    #6 followed by #1

    #6 followed by #4 I like the simplicity; however something about the font in #4 bothers me.



    6 then 1

    5 then 1



    5 👍🏾


    Sheridan likes #1

    6 then 1 for me. So exciting!

    6 then 4

    We tallied a group response (2 of which are male teenagers)
    2 votes for #1
    2 votes for #6
    [Excluding Craig]

    #6 then #4

    #1 then #2

    1 then 6

    6. I like the colored circles and how they overlap with each other. It reflects how separate things come together but are still individual. 1 is my second choice, however the woman is the only one with her hand out and that bothers me. It reflects only one person “reaching out”.

    I think 6 is the best! Whatever you do though, don’t pick 3! It’s creating strange feelings of making me want to burn it 😂

    I think 6 is the best! Whatever you do though, don’t pick 3! It’s creating strange
    feelings of making me want to burn it 😂
    That made me laugh!!!

    #4 & #5 have my vote!

    @SG I think it’s taking me back to the 90s when my parents used to buy me books like I kissed dating goodbye 😅

    I think 6 is the best! Whatever you do though, don’t pick 3! It’s creating strange
    feelings of making me want to burn it 😂
    I thought 3 was intriguing. “What’s this book about? Is the quilting ironic? What would people say if they saw me reading this book?”

    6 and 1
    These comments just gave me a few laughs!

    1 or 4


    6 or 5

  7. Peter Anderson

    #1 gets my vote. Minimalistically clean and contemporary look that still expresses gender through the male and female silhouette figures. From a male in his mid 60s. Who thinks he has very good taste. haha

  8. Karen Lacy

    The two that initially grabbed me (without overthinking) were Pictured and Crossed. I scrolled back again and definitely think Crossed is my choice, although I would choose a different solid color background besides pink. Maybe green?

    Pictured is my second choice, as I did like some of the photos and it personalized it a little, made me stop and look.

    The others? Yellow- a little too boring (I can’t believe I’m saying that about something titled YELLOW). Quilted- has a female feel, which is only half your audience. Patched- too busy. Circled- doesn’t stand out.

    My two cents. Thanks for asking. I look forward to seeing what you decide.

    I am 50 and female. 🙂

  9. #6 Circled
    Venn diagram implies points of relational intersection, overlap, and exclusion. Is the target audience male as well as female?
    Male, age 49.
    Also, your former editor. Looks like an important book. Nice direct approach, essential questions. Better to ask and answer them before rather than after.

  10. RG:
    I would have picked #2 if the couple were using google maps instead of getting lost using paper maps while driving. Just a safety concern for me to recommend #2 to young people who may likely end up in self driving car and not know what that maps on paper is about.

    #6 is clean , but I remember that style being used on other books.

    That said , #1 stands out. Imagery also communicates that this book is not for “mono gendered” “marriage”

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