Theologizin' Bigger Has a Cover
It's getting realer by the day!
I’ve been having a lot of fun with this book process lately.
To run down the timeline, in April of 2022, I thought about writing a book. I’d heard from a few publishers who thought I could. do it. I even spoke to a couple of agents. But I wasn’t confident in the concept I had at that point, andI wasn’t sure I was willing to put in that kind of work for the little payoff a writer of my standing could reasonably expect.
I decided to get serious about writing a book in January of this year. I started shopping a concept, outline, and sample chapter in February. I entered a publishing agreement that same month. It was a publishing agreement I felt would reward me for the work I planned on putting in.
On June 26, I submitted a 57,928 word manuscript. I’d written my first book. I thought I was done with the hard part.
I was not.
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I hadn’t really considered all of the work that goes into turning a bunch of words into an actual book. I knew about revisions. That part was relatively easy.
It’s all the other stuff. The interior design. Thinking through endorsers.
And the cover.
My goodness. The cover.
It was a bit of an agonizing decision. Until one evening, I saw it as clear as day. My wife and I had a conversation, and I saw what my cover looked like.
But before we get there… I’ll show you what it almost looked like.
This is not the cover of Theologizin’ Bigger. I’ll keep it close by in case I ever write a book about the end of the world. Or a sci-fi novel about an alien invasion.
This cover felt artsy. It conveys a level of abstractness and reflection that are largely representative of the work I do in Theologizin’ Bigger. More importantly, this cover is safe. As far as book covers go, it’s the safest of any of the options we ever seriously considered. And, for that reason, it almost ended up being the cover of my debut book. If I’d gone with a more traditional publishing arrangement, this might have been the cover of my first book.
But I’m not really known for exercising creative caution. And this isn’t what I saw in my head that night I had that conversation with my wife.
We talked about how I tend to approach talking about God. We talked about how this book came together. Down to the type of music I listened to while writing most of these chapters. As we talked about those things, we saw the cover of Theologizin’ Bigger. And this is what we saw in our heads.
The cover is intentionally cluttered and chaotic. That’s what theologizin’ looks like for me a lot of times. I theologize with a Bible in front of me. But there are also other inputs. Books. Poems. Histories. Commentaries. Stories. News. Real-time inputs. Random thoughts. All of these shape the way I see and understand God. And I wanted the fullness of that represented every time people look at this book.
When I think about Theologizin’ Bigger, this is what it looks like. So no, it wasn’t the safest or most cautious option. But nothing I’ve done so far has been about taking the most cautious route. It’s often about choosing the boldest or most liberating route. I wasn’t prepared to change up when I chose the book cover.
Also, when you get the chance to read the book, you may notice that the cover captures the outline of the book.
The book is divided into four sections:
B.I.B.L.E. Books Inspired by Life’s Experiences (represented by the Bible on the cover)
The White Man’s Religion (represented by the formal looking books on the wall)
A State of Confusion (represented by the chaotic spread on the desk with it’s multitude of inputs)
Faith that Shapes Tomorrow (represented by a rising sun showing through a window far larger than any of the other elements)
In short, this cover does exactly what I’d hoped it would. It’s an extension of the book I wrote.
There was one element in this cover I didn’t see in my head when my wife and I talked about it that night. There’s a crown in the image.
When I saw it, I wasn’t sure what it was there for.
But now I know. It’s for you. You can keep it. You can give it to someone else. You can reflect on who (or what) is worthy of such a crown. It’s up to you. When you’re Theologizin’ Bigger, you get to decide where the crown goes.
I can’t wait to share this book with y’all.