Which Cover Do You Like?

Posted on: 10/6/10 8:41 AM | by Jonathan McKee

I mentioned in an earlier blog that October was a month where we were going to give away some serious prizes. Here’s a chance for you to qualify. We want your two cents on my new book cover.

It’s simple. I’m going to show you four covers below, and I’d like you to comment and tell me your first and second pick. If you comment, you jump in the running for our contest this month where we are giving away a pair of Oakley’s, a bunch of my six youth ministry booksΒ and more (more details on that to come… just trust me… give us your comments).

Here’s the four cover “comps” that Standard Publishing is considering for my new parenting book, Candid Confessions of an Imperfect Parent. Tell us your favorite first and second pick by using this blog’s comment feature and answering theseΒ 3 quick questions:

Tell us who you are: are you a parent, youth worker, both?

1. Which cover captures your attention and makes you want to buy the book?

2. Is there another cover that grabs you as well?

3. What, if anything, would you change about either of those covers?

Here they are. Tell us your thoughts! And remember- we want your thoughts… so decide your favorites before you look at any other comments- we want your “unbiased” opinion!

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309 Replies to “Which Cover Do You Like?”

  1. Definitely the second one. The burnt toast captures my eyes and then I read the title. It’s funny, but engaging. I’d grab it in a heartbeat.

  2. I like #2 the best. It captures my attention much more than any of the others. The second best would probably be #4.

  3. I am totally torn between two and three. I think they both capture the theme of the book. The burnt toast strikes me in a humorous way… however cover 3 shows the reality of the obstacles that are in our way as parents who want to connect with our teens. I think either cover would catch the eyes of parents… can’t wait until it’s release…

  4. 1. Which cover captures your attention and makes you want to buy the book?
    Cover #2

    2. Is there another cover that grabs you as well?
    Cover #1

    3. What, if anything, would you change about either of those covers?
    I love the look of #1…The Red cover really draws you in. And in #2 the Burnt toast is great. I think what I would like to see is the emphasis on the word or visualization of “Imperfect” because to me just reading the title that seems like the line that would grab the most.
    I would say #1 seems to at least make “Imperfect” stand out more.
    Looking forward to this book!

  5. 1. Which cover captures your attention and makes you want to buy the book?
    Cover #2

    2. Is there another cover that grabs you as well?
    Cover #4

    3. What, if anything, would you change about either of those covers?
    The only thing I would change about Cover #4 is that I would make the printing inside the white card to be more like handwriting in black Sharpie. It makes it more personal. Cover #2 – uh…I guess I’m not much of an electric/lime green person?

  6. My vote is for #4 and #1. They seem more adult, which is good since the book is for adults. The toast cover is trying too hard for me, too tricky. #3- It seems like every talk sheet or youth ministry resource from 10 years ago has pictures of teens on the cover… so that one doesn’t draw me in, but reminds me of “old” resources”. Just my opinion. I’m also 27 yrs. old so maybe my opinion isn’t as valuable.


  7. Burnt toast is eye catching for sure! That’s my vote.
    #3 also looks pro.
    #1 looks too much like the Live curriculum.
    #4 is ok.

  8. I like #4 the best as a total package. It really illustrates the “candid” part of the title for me. I like the burnt toast on the cover of #2 but dislike the rest of the coloring and format.

  9. I like #4…I think that brings home the idea of the topic the best…holding a sign of a confession, with your head candidly removed. That’s the one that makes the most sense to me.

  10. I like #1 the most because it’s the simplest & most compelling.

    I also like #3 because it illustrates the point you’re trying to make with the title (and book, I think).

  11. I like #2 the best. The burnt toast is a great metaphor for how it sometimes feels when dealing with students or raising children – both in the sense of feeling burnt out but also in the sense of feeling like YOU as the leader or parent screwed up.

    # 2 for sure!

  12. I gotta go with #2. #3 & #4 are kind of general – picture doesn’t add a lot to what the book is about.

  13. Definitely #2. It really grabs my attention more than any other. How many books do you see with burnt toast on the cover? Makes me want to check the book out.

  14. I like cover #2, the toast actually has something to do with the subtitle.
    I also like cover #1 – I think it is classy and simple.
    I would change the color of cover #2 though.

  15. I like #4 because it drew my eyes to the smaller lettering on the bottom that gave me an idea of what was inside the book.

  16. I like #2! The burnt toast is a good visual/story image.

    #1 looks like the cover of “Do Hard Things”
    #3 looks like the cover of a lot of books I have
    #4 just doesn’t stand out as much.

  17. I personally think #3 is the best, it shows the disconnect between a parent and youth. The parent just standing there not usre what to do and the young person, in there own world.

  18. #2 and #3 are probably my favorites with #2 being the favorite. #2 is eye-catching and makes me smile as I think about all the things that are supposed to be easy that I have screwed up.

  19. #3 is my favorite. Parents will identify with the poses. #1 is a close second just because I like a clean look. #’s 2 & 4 are just a little too “youthy” and not “parenty” if that makes sense. Good luck! Looking forward to reading it no matter what cover you slap on the front. πŸ™‚

  20. I like both #2 & #3 but I believe I like the burnt toast just a little better. I also think that the title on #2 jumps out a little better. Whichever one is chosen I’m sure it could be a good read and I know a lot of parents / grandparents that are completely lost in connecting with their teenager and would love to read it and I would love to give it to them as a gift.

  21. Definitely #2. It fits the title perfectly, it has a bit of humor to it and it is graphically strong. I think it will stand out on the shelf.

  22. I like #1, but I also like #2.

    If it was mine, I would probably go with #2. #1 is cooler looking, but #2 portrays the message better…along with #3.

    #1 and #4 could be a cover for a book on anything.

  23. Love the burnt toast cover. The picture says it all – parents do make mistakes! But like burnt toast you can get another slice and try it again.

    The 1st cover is too much color, since the book will be bought by parents don’t really need the young person on the cover and the last cover is just blah.
    just my 2 cents

  24. 1. Which cover captures your attention and makes you want to buy the book? #2

    2. Is there another cover that grabs you as well? #3 (however, I REALLY like #2)

    3. What, if anything, would you change about either of those covers? I wouldn’t change anything. I like the visual of burnt toast next to the title of “…imperfect parent.”

  25. Definitely number two, although, i agree that it would look better if the word “imperfect” stood out a little more!

  26. #1 – looks more intelligent. I would give it more credibility than the covers with pictures.

    #3 – if you are going with a picture. I can image a lot of dads standing just like that being frustrate with their teen and their teen looking just like that!

    I’d drop the candid from the title, not necessary, just create a longer title for no reason.

    I like the red color in #1

    Is building relationships really a secret to connect with your teen? Buying breakfast is, but building relationship is what you want from utilizing the secrets of connecting with your teen. Sentence doesn’t make sense to me.

  27. #3 is certainly my first choice by a landslide. Showing the teen and parent just has a good feel for me. #2 would be my second choice, but just doesn’t feel as professional, although it does look imperfect!

  28. I would say #4, but doing something different with the lettering. I kind of like the idea someone else put of making it look like it’s written with a black sharpie. Something to make it more personal.

    #2 with the burnt toast makes me think more of people with younger children, not teenagers, but good concept.

    #1 was alright, but thought it was ironic how word “imperfect” looked like it was done in perfect cursive. Should’ve looked a more like it was scribbled quickly.

    #3 Agree with what a lot of others said as far as looking like a lot of other books that are out there already. It’s the clichΓ© picture of teenage/parent relationships. So another good concept, but it’s overused.

  29. #1 you cannot read the imperfect with the other blobs of ink around it…

    #2 Like it, but the toast looks a little like angel food cake…

    #3 don’t like the shoes being such a focus

    #4 simple, but doesn’t jump out at me…

    I like #1 the best, just don’t like the “imperfect” font part….

  30. I like #3 the best because it captures the teenage-ness–and the shoes in the foreground are cool. #2 also captures my attention. #1 doesn’t–and the white blends in too much with “imperfect,” and #4 looks like I’ve seen it before.

    What’s I’d change… I like the idea of the subtitle, but not sure it’s perfect yet. “Building relationships” isn’t a secret to connecting with your teenager. Parents are going to buy the book wanting to know HOW to build that relationship (through things like buying breakfasts). Can you put another example along with the breakfasts that’s a solid idea?

  31. #2 would be my first choice if the graphics or wording stood out better. I like how the smoke from the burnt toast looks like it is jumping off the cover.

    #3 would be my second choice.

    If I were to change anything it would be that the wording on cover #2 stood out better.

  32. My first pick is #2, my second pick is #4. I think everyone can relate to number 2. We all make mistakes and get it wrong but we get another chance. I liked the anonymity of number 4. That could be any of us!

  33. As a graphic designer myself…..i am drawn to #2…the imagery is perfect and the smoky haze works wonders against the lime green background. Also the red and blue colors are primary so they really draw the readers eye to the important words and the font is easy to read and clean. Awesome cover design…would love to read it!

  34. I like #2 Burnt toast the best. it’s eyecatching and fun, yet still captures the seriousness of the subject matter. # 3 is the 2nd favorite. It’s more specific to the subject matter & shows right off the distance between us and our kids sometimes. Here’s where picky comes in. if i had to change something about the burnt toast cover, it would be the background color. it’s not that attractive to me personally. i don’t know if marketing has studies to show it’s a popular color or calming color but it sort of detracts from the subject matter listed. πŸ™‚

  35. #2 – the burnt toast really grabbed me. That’s my vote.

    #1 – first thing I thought of was Coke.

    #2 & #4 were not bad, but seemed very familiar. Of those two, I liked #4 the best.

    Go with #2 and send me some stuff. πŸ™‚
    Thanks for all you do for youth ministry.

  36. #2. Burnt Toast got me and totally illustrated the “idea” of the title. Some of the others were ok, however #2 stands out the most.

  37. 1. Which cover captures your attention and makes you want to buy the book?
    I like number two the best. Just sometime about that piece of toast.

    2. Is there another cover that grabs you as well? Number 1

    3. What, if anything, would you change about either of those covers? I wouldn’t change a thing on either one.

  38. Definitely #2! The burnt toast just adds to the “imperfect parent” aspect. Can’t wait to get my hands on this so I can point parents to it as a resource.

  39. with parents in mind, totally #1. #2 &#3 look like they would appeal more towards the youth worker.

    #1 is simple enough to get the point across and seems more inviting to open and get to reading~

  40. I prefer cover #2, the colors grab my attention and imply happy solutions.
    #1 would be my second choice.
    #3, for me would just remind of the frustration I was having parenting by the body language. #4 just did not like.

  41. 1. #2 grabbed my attention first. As a parent, sometimes when things arent going right, the toast burns too…just another thing.

    2. #3 my second choice because that is the attitude we see with our kids. Makes parents/adults feel that the book can relate to what they are experiencing.

    3. Not sure i’d change much on those two. Do like the bold emphasis of some of the words on cover #4. Might work on 2 and 3

  42. I like #3 best – has a picture of a sulking teenager on it, which says far more than any words! #2 is my 2nd choice; I like the burnt toast, which represents a lot of parenting mistakes. Your subtitle is grabbing, especially the “buying breakfast and other secrets of connecting with your teenager” part. Most parents forget their teens are real people too.

  43. I like #1 the most and #3 second choice. (I don’t have kids – does that make me less qualified to choose?) Regardless, those are the two I like, although I only picked #3 because I needed a second choice. I feel like #1 looks like a real book and the rest (esp #2) look like cheesy self-help books (which a lot of ppl are into) – but I’m not. So anyway, I like #1.

  44. The cover with the teenager and the man’s back is right on target. It is the top choice. The other three don’t reflect the topic, one, the book is not asian – the red color and the script leads you to that thought two, this is not a recipe book – which the burnt toast might be a great cover for an imperfect cook and four, well that poster of the boy holding it says nothing about parenting…
    Def uses the teenager in her own world with Dad’s back turned!

  45. I like the cover #2, I feel this is the most unique. I also like the look of #1 but I find it to be a bit distracting on the cover.
    On cover #1 I would change the font of imperfect so something that is a little easier to read at quick glance.
    On cover #3 this image is kind of past it’s prime. I feel like I have seen that idea/concept for a while now.

    I vote for #2!

  46. The 2nd one…that is real life isn’t? The burnt toast…all of us try but at times failing. It engages the reader….making them think there is help and they are not the only one!

  47. #1 is my favorite. I’d definitely pick it up. I love the font and colors and the attention drawn to the word imperfect.

    #2 is a close second. The burnt toast is awesome. I don’t like the font or colors though.

    I tried but couldn’t find anything to improve #1.

  48. I liked covers #2 and #4 the best. The second one in particular grabbed my attention. I loved the smoking piece of toast! I wouldn’t change a think about the second cover. The fourth cover is my next favorite, but it feels a little blank. Adding some texture or depth to the yellow background might liven it up a bit, or some more interesting font. Perhaps a different colored bar across the bottom to put the white text in would break it up a little, still keep the simplicity, but be a bit more appealing.

    But I’m not a design expert. I just liked the second cover the best! That smoking piece of toast gives the vibe that you’re trying but not perfect.

  49. Thanks for the opportunity to win some awesome prizes. I like #3 the best with the burnt toast one second. My least favorite is #1.

  50. Number 2 is the best… It seems like my household… I try as a father but sometimes it just doesn’t work out the way I planned… LOL.

  51. The TOAST!! Excellent! It popped off the page and every parent can relate to a haggard morning of trying to get the kids off to school. Totally caught the “flavour” of your book with the imperfect toast…!

  52. 1. #3 hits the nails it with the picture, its spot on with how a lot of parents of teenagers feel.

    2. I also like #4 because the man holding the placard with his confession while his face is cut out grabs my attention. It makes me think I am going to hear some content that we all can relate to but just don’t talk about.

    3. The only thing I would change is making the word breakfast bold and not buying……I think the spending time aspect is more important than the outlay of money.

  53. The best one that shows ‘imperfect’ is #2. I think you’re striking a chord that would reach into the heart of every parent. I’m not crazy about the ‘toast’, but I see the humor. I do believe the word ‘IMPERFECT’, needs to stand out more and draw parents into their reality. (or fears) I have no other suggestion besides the toast, and the only thought I have is the moving 17 Again. As a parent, that movie had a great impact in the way we look at our teen kids. I really look forward to the book. We’ve been youth Pastors for 17 years and now have our first two with us in youth group. It’s a whole new world.

  54. #2 is hands down the best. 3 & 4 are not as interesting and I don’t think they convey that connection “yeah I am a burn the toast-kinda of mom too!”

  55. I like the first cover the best: the color is strong and the title stands out. The title itself lends to the intrigue of the content. I appreciate the second cover, but its style looks too similar to a chic literature cover for me.

  56. #2…cause sometimes we feel like burnt toast…but we do our best by scrapping the dark burnt parts off and it still “taste” burnt

  57. The definition of reckless is utterly concerned about the consequences of some action…I’m a parent and I’m vulenerable (as all parents are) to recklessly raising my two sons.

  58. Cover #2
    I think the toast catches your attention and shows that we as parents are imperfect even in the simplest of things

  59. 1. Which cover captures your attention and makes you want to buy the book? #2

    2. Is there another cover that grabs you as well? #3

    3. What, if anything, would you change about either of those covers?

    On the third one, it is not clear as to who these people are. If it is about parenting, then you may want the person standing up to look more like a parent…He looks like a student currently.

  60. #3 called my attention first, I guess because that is how I feel when I am trying to talk to my teenage son and jumps out as a parenting book. My second choice would be #4 because I think that as a man pictured it would appeal to the dads out there.

  61. 1. Which cover captures your attention and makes you want to buy the book?
    Cover #3 is superb! The text is very clear and the image is terrific. A picture is worth a thousand words and this goes a long to articulating the importance of the book. It is an image I am confident that will resonate with many parents and concerned adults.

    2. Is there another cover that grabs you as well?
    #2 burned toast = imperfection or perhaps its just been in the toaster too long cuz that parent and teen were having way too good a chat πŸ˜‰
    Seriously though its a cool cover, like the colour scheme and the text is clear.

    3. What, if anything, would you change about either of those covers?
    Not a thing! #3 does edge ahead though!

  62. I like #2 the best because, just like with breakfast, we try to be good parents but, hey..we mess up. My second choice would be #3 because of the way the teen is portrayed as not interested even though we know they are when parents are around as the cover shows. As far as what could be changed on either, a catchier font could be used as an “eye-grabber.”

  63. Jonathan,
    I am the person who gets caught flying past the directions to answer the questions. It happens almost every time that when i go back over the directions I feel embarrassed because i did not take the time to read everything. So now on to answering those three questions…
    1. Which cover captures your attention and makes you want to buy the book?

    #3 cover captures my attention and starts my wallet to tingle with anticipation of its release.

    2. Is there another cover that grabs you as well?

    I liked number cover #2 almost as well.

    3. What, if anything, would you change about either of those covers?

    I have nothing to add to cover #3 I like it just as it is.

  64. Definitely #3…it communicates what happens today in many relationships with students and parents. Oh, and #2 looks like books I find in markdown bins and in book warehouse stores

  65. #1. I like the second cover because it would make the book stand out from others that would have covers similar to the other 3, (which seems to be a pretty common look these days.) It also reflects the look of some of your other books like “Do they run when they see you coming.”
    #2. Cover #3 would be the next best cover for the title of the book.
    #3. Number 2 is perfect. Number 3 might look better if the image portrayed of a teen not listening to the parent was a little more highlighted, perhaps if you could see the parents face or more of the shot. That would capture the idea better.
    That is my two cents worth.

  66. Cover #1. The reason is because speaking on a sociological standpoint, the red will grab the persons eyes and cause them to read the cover. The “imperfect” portion of the cover is in different writing as well, and this would cause me to want to read a few pages to see if I am interested.

    I also like #2 because it is different than all the rest. It shows the imperfection in the toast.
    #’s 3 and 4 are something I would expect from a book like this. If you really want to grab the attention, use 1 or 2. The others are very generic, kind of 1990’s honestly. I would see that on any book and it is really overused.

  67. I would say #2 captures my attention the most with the burnt toast capturing the imperfect idea, and it definitely would stand out from other books.

    I also like #1 as a runner-up. The red color and lettering of ‘imperfect’ really pop.

    I wouldn’t change either of these two.

  68. The third cover down with the girl listening to her MP3 player is the one that would make me want to buy the book. None of the other covers really jump out at me. I don’t know what to do to make it more appealing, but what is appealing is the obvious distance between the child and the parent – and I know most parents want to close that gap.

  69. I like #2 the best. I love the burnt toast illustration. Sometimes, no matter what we do as parents, it comes out as burnt toast to our children. Parents need God’s help to model a Christ-centered lifestyle, admit when they’re wrong, and ask for a re-do when they make “burnt toast.” Ways to strengthen relationships which builds respect.
    I really like #3 and #4, but I believe I prefer #3. Both, the parent and the child, are showing their frustration in two different, distinct ways. Very appropriate illustration.
    I wouldn’t change anything about either cover.

  70. I vote 1 & 2:

    I like to boldness of the red on 1 – I have “seen” (or noticed) several books in red and orange over the past few weeks that caught my attention because of the bold color… I am not always fond of tricky font offsets, like the term “imperfect” – though this one is not bad, I wonder if a little more color to that text would help it pop a little more.

    I like 2 as my second choice… I think it’s engaging, funny, and relateable. the only reason that I put this as my second choice, and not my first, is that I think it relates a non-serious tone, to what I assume will be a fairly serious text.

    Don’t care for 3 — IVP and Group use this look a bunch.

    4 is overdone.

    Regardless of cover, can’t wait to read it! πŸ™‚

  71. 1. Which cover captures your attention and makes you want to buy the book?
    #1 It is the most professional looking cover. Your target audience is adults and this is the most mature one…

    2. Is there another cover that grabs you as well? #4 is okay…

    3. What, if anything, would you change about either of those covers?
    Is it just me or are the guys finger nails dirty in #4?

  72. I like choices two and three the best. The burnt toast is funny…I actually chuckled at it. Been there done that! Number three seemed to get a little more to the heart of the pain of not being able to communicate to your teenager, with the girl in her own world and the parent turned away from her. Number one seemed too generic to me. Number four is okay, but didn’t really strike me. So, two and three are my favs. Maybe number two trumps three for me because of it’s simplicity.

  73. 1. Which cover captures your attention and makes you want to buy the book?
    Cover #2 was my number one choice. The smoke from the toast was the clincher.

    2. Is there another cover that grabs you as well?
    Cover #4

    3. What, if anything, would you change about either of those covers?
    Re #2: maybe make the green color a little warmer.

  74. 1. I like the simplicity and straightforwardness of the first cover.

    2. I also like the 4th cover. not sure why, it’s just the one that grabbed my attention most after the first one.

    3. What would I change? On the fourth one, maybe taking the emphasis off ‘parent’ and leaving it on confessions and imperfect. But it’s not a big deal either way.

  75. I love number 3 because I believe it captures the frustration of a parent that is trying to do all that they can to train up their child but some things just don’t seem to be working or add up. I believe this cover will compete and stand out in any book stand display. As a parent, I would be more apt to picking up this book with that cover because of the visual of parenting teenagers that the cover displays! Remember, if the audience is parents go with 3. If the audience is a youth worker go with number 2.

  76. Cover three is my favorite followed by cover #2. I love the distance between the parent and teen in cover three…they are not on the same level.

  77. Cover number two jumps out as me and grabs my attention being imperfect. I like it the best. Three would be my second pick, but it kinda feels like its been done before as does cover number 4, cover one is too text heavy

  78. #2—the burnt toast is awesome…attention getting and fits well with the concept of imperfection and your subtitle of buying breakfast

    #1—like the colors…very bold…wouldn’t really change anything with either choice

  79. 2 hands down. Three and four look like the books I push out of the way when looking for youth ministry books πŸ™‚ So I guess 1 would be second.

  80. I think I am in the minority . . . but I liked #1. It is bright and eye catching. The burnt toast reminds me of breakfast at my house and the other two as a parent I would pass up if I looked quickly as I would think they were for kids.

  81. I personally like cover #3. This cover speaks to me about imperfect parent (facing the other way) and the student paying more attention to their electronics; how to connect back with your teen.
    Cover 2 and 4 were also in the running, maybe combine them in some way? I can see the confessions part of # 4 not the imperfect part.

  82. Definitely #2. It shows that we as parents are trying but sometimes we mess up. Everyone is doing too much & sometimes things happen like burnt toast. My mom would always scrap off the burnt part & give it to us anyway. I appreciated the fact that she tried to make me toast so that I didnt’ have to do it.

  83. The burnt toast cover is great. Humurous and pointed that Parents are imperfect and that most of us parents ahve actually burnt the taost. Cover #2 is great. The other one that grabbed me is Cover #1. The red for Jesus’ blood, our saving. grace. A great message to portray.

  84. I like cover number 1. Reason: I just don’t like number 2 (not sure why) and feel like 3 & 4 have been used. However, I’d still buy the book whichever cover you choose.

  85. My top choice is #2. The toast not only connects to the “breakfast” part of your tag line, but, more importantly, it’s a heavy symbol on how we parent: We do our best, but sometimes we burn the toast. Not the end of the world, but there are problems and mess-ups. Not of the other covers even interest me, though the red cover does grab the attention.

  86. I like #3 (it look like a book youth pastors would buy – I am one of them :))
    However, #4 is a very serious candidate.
    I would make sure it grabs the parents attention not the youth attention. maybe the word “parents” or “for parents” should stand out a little more. All the best!

  87. 1. I like cover #3 the best.
    2. #2 would be my second choice.
    3. for #3, what if you put the teen on their bed in their room and the parent knocking on the door; maybe too complicated but just a thought.

  88. #3 is my favorite – A great snapshot of life with teens. #2 is my second choice – Who can’t relate to burnt toast?

  89. I would choose #2. Its offers the most unique perspective as the burnt toast plays well with the title. Cover #3 and #4 are overdone.

  90. 1. Number 1 captures my attention, perhaps because of the bold red.

    2. I love the burnt toast on #2, but the green background is bland, and turns my attention towards the other books

    3. Change the green background from #2 to the Red from #1!!!

  91. I am a parent and a former youth worker

    1. Cover 2 does it for me…i’d buy it flat out!

    2. Cover 1 does as well…

    3. with cover 1, i would change the script of the “imperfect”…it looks too nice…i’d make it look more imperfect..

  92. I like #2. The burnt toast jumps out at me & gives the impression of messing up even the simpler things.

  93. I like cover #2! Burned toast is a symbol all parents can relate too. Trying but won’t be perfect!

  94. I’m going to say #2. Sometimes we burn the toast. Sometimes we feel like burnt toast. It covers both angles. And it fits with the “buys breakfast” thought in the subtitle.

  95. # 3 Got my attention first. The photography grabbed me. My # 2 would be # 2…the toast is fun.

    As for changing them…there’s something about #2 even though the toast is fun that is a little bland…idk, maybe the font. I thought maybe the colors but I’d have to see it different colors b/c green and orange are my favorites and that is weird. Maybe the placement of the toast and title. If you spiced up #2 it has the potential to surpass #3.

  96. First of all Jonathan, as you know, I’m a youth leader and an adoptive parent of a 24 year old.

    The burnt toast is TOTALLY the one! All the others just look kinda ‘blah’.

    If I would change anything about the others, I would put burnt toast on them. πŸ˜‰ LOL!

  97. I like # 3. I know it seems typical to the topic but it seems to grab the subtile and put it into a context that most parents feel. I think adults would identify with the cover.

    A second choice is #4 it is simple easy to read to the point.

  98. I’m a parent and youth worker and my favorite cover, hands-down is #2. I don’t think there’s a parent out there that can’t identify with it. Like a few others have said, the toast grabs your attention, then it’s really funny once you read the title.

  99. I’m a youth worker, but not a parent. I think that the best cover by far is cover #2. It definitely grabs my attention, makes me laugh and would make me want to check it out. The other cover I like is #3, although not nearly as much as #2. I think both covers are put together well, and I wouldn’t really change anything about them, I just like the concept of #2 better.

  100. Hi there! Mom and Youth Leader/Minister in MICHIGAN!! WHOOT WHOOTT!
    To tell you the truth I looked at all four covers and immeditaley threw # 2 and #3 out the windw. Not because they aren’t eye cathcing or a visual grab but because the seem to be something that would just not be original….they seem similar to other covers I have seen time and time again.
    I loved cover # one
    THe RED popped! I love the simplicity and I love how it is almost perfect, then..oops! Little mess ups around the edges. This reminded me of myself…not so much the “perfectness” but I like to tell my self I have it put together sometimes or at least look like I do!!! But the reality of it is that I don’t and I have little mess ups, sometime huge ones!! So that cover spoke to me.
    I also liked cover # 3. I can’t tell if the man standing is an adult, but for the purpose of my thought I m going to say “Yeah, that’s the dad” It’s kind of one of those covers that has the silent but crying out teen and the “there” but “not there” parent. We all do this sometimes I think….I really try not to do the ” I see you but can you get out of the way” thing to my sons. I have failed misserably at this time and time again.
    Hahahahaha, just a thought…wouldn’t it be fun if you combined #2 with # 3 and add the burnt toast to the parent’s hand on your cover wit hthe smoke heavy at the top of the page. That would make me giggle!
    Many blessings, I enjoy reading all your articles and pray you will be given above what you hope for through your ministry by Christ.

  101. Cover 2 hands down is the best…Someone commented that 3 and 4 have feels like they have been seen before and I agree…1 feels like it is too plain…Hope this helps

  102. First choice: #3
    Second choice: #4

    I’m a youth worker.

    Cover 3 shows a disconnect between parent and teen, and that’s why parents would want to buy the book. A burnt toast is too humorous, and cover 1 is too plain for parents, in my opinion. As a text book, or for youth workers, cover 1 would actually be great, but for parents, cover 3 is IT!

    Cover 4 is simple, anonymous, and also pretty good. But cover 3 is just way better.

  103. Ranked in order from favorite to least favorite…2,1,4,3. 2 grabbed my attention and was funny. 3 is basically the same cover I’ve seen on a dozen or so teen books.

  104. #2-the shiny green color grabs my attention and I believe #4 communicates the essense of the book (from the title at least).

  105. Cover 2 I like the whole look of cover 2. The burnt toast is something that many parents might do accidentally but not detrimentally–therefore, an imperfect parent.

  106. Nr. 2 and 4 are good if you want to sell it to parents. Nr. 3 looks like a cover addressed to youth and I don’t think that Nr. 1 is really an option. πŸ™‚

    But, actually I like Nr. 2 the most!

  107. I love # 2….. i am no super cook at my Son he still tells people if it wasn’t for me throwing meat in a crockpot occasionally he would have starved, lol we all have those times we try so hard but the toast burns anyways

  108. Number two grabbed my attention the best. I think number three is good but two is much more inviting and has a great picture with the burnt toast. Who hasn’t done that?!

  109. I like the very first cover – the red color attracts the eye, and the different font/color for the word “imperfect” really captures my attention more than the other covers (on which the photos are interesting, but not as meaningful for me in conveying the title of the book).

  110. For parents of teens, #3 nails it. #2 is too little kiddish for my taste. The others don’t have enough “oomph.” Definitely #3.

  111. Youth director and teen parent.

    I like #2. Shows that we strive to provide everything we need (Biblical overtone of sharing bread – bread of life is also a stepping off point) and we sometimes mess up the delivery. The subtitle in white is difficult to see on the lime green background. I would change either the background to something darker or darken the subtitle lettering.

    I also like #1 but would change the font of “imperfect” as it is too difficult to read. Maybe change it into more of a ransom note type print (cut out letters of various types) or sloppily painted and/or misspelled.

    Hope that helps, thanks for all you do. Hope to hear you in person someday but have not yet had the chance.


  112. As a parent of teens and a youth volunteer I’d say Cover 2, burnt toast tells it all. Sometimes in life you just forget and the toast gets burnt or you just go too far. Burnt toast is a reflection of imperfection which we are all guilty of.

  113. I’m a parent of 3 adult children and a Youth Pastor.

    Cover #2 totally captured my attention, it was hands down my favorite. I felt like I could totally relate to it from a parent’s perspective as well as a Youth Pastor. I often feel like I’ve burnt the toast.

    2. I’m torn between #1 and #3 as the second choice. I thought #3 looked like the cover a youth worker would relate to, until I looked at it in depth. I really liked #1 except the red seems negative to me. If it’s meant for parents I think it needs to be something less “stressful”.

    3. I wouldn’t change the cover of #2 at all. As mentioned, I would change the color of #1.

  114. I did not like #1 then when i scrolled down and saw #2, I thought that was the one, then #3 with actual people on the cover makes it more relational and that was the one for me. So there is my 1 1/2 cents

  115. #3 relates better and as a parent and youth director i believe more parents will like #3 better while most teens will like #2 better.


  116. I am a youth volunteer and a parent of two young kids. I am also an experienced teacher and coach of teens in public schools. I like covers two and three the best. The burned toast is a good image of the challenge of building relationships. Cover three with the sneaker bottom is also very eye catching and gives a feel for the obstacles between adult and teen. I like the red of cover one although it lacks something with no photo images. Cover four looks to familiar and is not as eye catching.

  117. FIRST, I must say you ROCK, and I so appreciate all you do to help all of us, your brothers and sisters in Christ to bring young people into relationship with Jesus.
    SECOND, I would have to say my first choice is #3, because I feel most parents are really focused on their children more than themselves. The picture on #3 will make them think about their own children while reading a book that is really focused on the parent.
    THIRD, I would have to say #4 is okay, because it seems more age appropriate. As a man, #4 probably appeals almost as much or more then #3, but I would still say that #3 is best for both men and women.
    FOURTH, in addition, as a man, I am not interested in #1 or #2, as they don’t seem to be respectable or mature enough. #1 and #2 give off a feel of trying to get a cover to grab attention, but it reminds me of so many books that do that and the guts of the book are weak; which we all know your book will not be. πŸ™‚
    THANK YOU again for all you do. Keep up the good work. God is using you!!

  118. I’m both a parent and youth worker.

    I like two – the toast one, but 4 (the sign one) stands out too. 4 seems “personal” like, “I’ve got some good advice that will help you, let me tell you about it.”

  119. I believe number 1 would definitely be most appealing to your target audience . . . parents.
    The others look like Youth Minister handbooks.
    Also in #2 & #3, you have to search for the full title. They look like Confessions Imperfect Parent.
    Number 1 all the way . . .

  120. My favorite is number two. Lime green – you can’t go wrong with that! I love the burnt toast… what says frazzled parent more than that. πŸ™‚ My second pick would be number one.

  121. I’m a youth pastor and a parent of 4–none are teenagers yet, thank God :). I vote for #5 (the picture of you at the top). Seriously, though, #2 made me laugh out loud, so I vote for that one. #3 is my second favorite, though not as original and a bit depressing. I think it’d be cool to somehow make the word “Imperfect” imperfect itself–like have a crack through it or have a letter or two dangling from it.

  122. I liked cover #3 the Best, followed by cover #4.The only thing I could think of to change in cover #3 is that you might want to put more of the things that pull kids attention away from the parents (i.e. cell phones and video games) and I would also make the parent at face not just a body.

  123. I like #4. the “burnt toast” cover looks like something for kids and youth pastors, not parents.

  124. cover #2 is the most attention-getting to me. Cover #3 is very intriguing as well. This cover depicts a loud visual of tension and gap between a parent and their teen. that might hit home for some parents and make them more likey to pick up the book.
    The only thing i would add would be a note at the bottom: “With foreward by…” and then have a youth expert write the forward. yeah it’s name dropping but it adds legitimacy (as if jonathan needed any!)

  125. Youth worker…Deffintly number 2, it makes the book look more friendly/ practical and not like you are about to get a serving of guilt, it also makes a personal connection with the viewer. It catches your attention and makes you want to look further into it, even for someone who isnt a parent, i would take a closer look…it makes it real life…im not sure about a second choice…

  126. i think for me, a youth pastor, my favorite cover is #2 and my second favorite is #3.

    if i were to change anything about #3 it would be the person standing with their back to the teenager. At first glance, i thought it was another student. Maybe put the person in a dress slack or something more adult looking? Of for humor sake, put them in black socks and sandals (like my grandpa wore).

    thanks for asking our opinion.

  127. Coach–Let’s go COVER 2–COVER 2. It’s eye catching and it’s the only one that speaks to the tag line about buying breakfasts. COVER 2 is the PLAY I would call. READY BREAK!

  128. I am a youth pastor in Southwest Missouri. I have been working with students for 30 years. I really like cover #2 because of the burnt toast. That communicates “overlooking” something that needs our attention, ie our relationships with our children.

    Cover #3 is good, but from where we live we don’t have a ton of students that are so disconnected that we cannot win in restoring the relationships.

    Personally, I will buy the book for my parents because of the title more than anything else.

  129. i’m both.

    I like #4 best, second would be #1

    #2 – seems more like one of those cheesy “games” books
    #3 – is that suppose to be the Dad with his back to the daughter? seems more like two teenagers relaxing.
    #1 – the “imperfect” looks too perfect – maybe same black block lettering – make it look like a propaganda book
    I’m thinking #4 – but as a mug shot of JM all discombobulated πŸ™‚

  130. Definitely #1…the covers with the clothes turned me off (those clothes aren’t “trendy” where we live) #1 was personable without looking trite

  131. cover #2!!!!!
    It ties in with the breakfast line and let’s face it- your day is going to be one of those days when it starts off with burnt breakfast.

    I am a volunteer youth leader with 3 wonderful PK’s.

  132. Tell us who you are: are you a parent, youth worker, both?
    Both parent and youth worker

    1. Which cover captures your attention and makes you want to buy the book?
    #2 is my first choice followed by #3

    2. Is there another cover that grabs you as well?
    No, I really like the toast on #2. Made we want to read the title.

    3. What, if anything, would you change about either of those covers?
    The angle of the tennis shoes could be more to the side. So not in your face, but otherwise it’s fine.

  133. #2 As a parent so many times I felt like burnt toast, as a grandfather trying to communicate with my precious grandchildren, yep burnt toast, and working with youth at 60 in lay ministry i sometimes feel like burnt up toast! Thanks

  134. 1. Close tie between #2 and #3. As a yet-to-be parent I think both images on the covers speak louder than words the impressions I get of current parents of how they may feel at times about parenting.
    2. #1 grabs me as well. The cover significantly portrays candidness.
    3. With #1 maybe have a faded image similar to the cover of #3 behind the Title. A faded image of maybe a girl with an ipod.

  135. You know, I like cover #1 the best, it is to the point, simple, and I know exactly what the book is about. However, cover #3 catches my eye immediatly. It really doesn’t matter i will buy the book anyhow, because it is relevent to my life and ministry.

  136. #2 & #3 capture the most attention, but #3 by far communicates the message of your book much more succinctly. Number 4 also captures attention but communicates even less than #2.

    For #3 I think the text treatment and the girl with the ipod are the right touch but what I would change about #3 is to have the guy in the background look more like a “parent.” He looks like he could be close in age to the girl. It might be because the slippers aren’t distinct enough to know they are slippers. Also, since the focus of the book is on the parent, maybe make the parent more of the focal point of the picture. Have him in the foreground, or even you with an expression on your face that helps give the essence of the book.

  137. I’m a youth pastor and an imperfect parent of two high schoolers.
    I like #2 with the burnt toast followed by the 3rd. Just jumps out to me.

  138. I like the second one because as a mom, let’s face it – we’ve all burnt something at one point or another! Relates to me not being perfect – I also do really like the first one – I’ve worked in youth min – the second one grabs my heartstrings by the looks of it – but as a parent (no teens yet) the first one gets me b/c it’s sorta ‘more grown up’ if you will. Plus, I like red – i know, that helps a lot, right? lol – the script of ‘imperfect’ & the messy blotches is cool – which of course, enhances the imperfect part.

  139. Well, I was going to say #1…smooth, inviting…but after quickly perusing feedback, #2 seems very popular..but the green makes me feel like I want to puke..but do see the draw of the burnt toast. Personally, I’d combine the 2 somehow. I am a parent and youth leader..old but hip =)

  140. I like #4 its like a sign for one of those AA or one of those anounomous therapy groups… It makes me laugh.

  141. I’m a youth pastor and a parent, but my oldest is only 5 so I’m not sure if that counts for these purposes…

    I’d go with #3, no question. As a second pick, i’d go with #4, which is also good. It looks professional, relevant, and credible (if we’re judging a book by it’s cover).

    Again, first impression, I’d pass on the book if I was looking in the store and saw the first two covers:
    #1 just doesn’t really seem to cut it. For some reason, it makes me feel like I’m going to read a Beth Moore book.
    #2 looks good if I’m picking up a book of games for youth workers. Good cover, doesn’t fit what I understand the book to be about.

  142. I am a parent and youth worker.
    I liked number two best b/c it so sums up the struggle we face. Trying to be all for our kids and yet we fail, just like the burnt toast.

    Number 3 is my second favorite. I like the faceless teenagers for some reason.

    The only thing I’d change in number 3 is lose the kid standing up in the jeans. Unnecessary. I get the gist with the girl..ipod and shoes.

  143. I really like cover #2 & #3 for different reasons. #2 gets the message of the book across in a very simple yet humorous way. #3 is more serious and may relate to the struggle that many parents face with their teens. Not having read the book and knowing it’s tone, I would suggest that if the book is more serious then go with #3 and if it contains a good amount of humor then go with #2. I hope this helps.

  144. I like covers 3 and 1. In that order.

    I like the photo of the toast but don’t like the yellow/green cover.

    #3 is my favorite.

  145. I like 1 & 4 the best with 1 probably just edging out 4. From my perspective 2 & 3 are definitely out. Thanks for all you do.

  146. Not sure the buying breakfast would get me any points with my own kids…sleep is their joy…brunch would go over bettter. Some of the other covers look like some of your other books.

  147. I am a parent and a Youth minister.
    I like the 2nd one with the burned toast. The green cover attracts attention and is a friendly cover. The words are also clear.

    The 4th one would be my 2nd choice. Wording is clear and has a parent friendly cover.

    I’m not sure what I would change about the covers, I would have to look carefully with a creative eye to look for changes that could be made, but for the most part, they seem like good designs.

  148. Both
    1. Cover #3
    2. Cover #4
    3. Maybe include a female/mom type figure on #4 as well, make it less “male” – thinking that’s for a wider audience really; anyone who knows you or the site will be fine with the guy figure and it’s resemblance to you!

  149. I’m a youth worker in China (working with english-speaking expat kids, high percentage American)

    #1 grabs my attention the most, but until reading it I expect it to be a novel set in ancient China or something, so maybe not the best fit. The word “imperfect” is also hard to make out. But it’s pretty!

    #2 looks like a book for kids rather than a book for parents

    #3 looks like a book for youth workers rather than a book for parents

    #4 is the one I think most fitting to the topic of the book

  150. I am a youth worker and parent

    I like #2 because it looks like a Youth leader type of book

    I like #3 because I think it would appeal to parents more as a parenting resource.

  151. Parent and youth worker
    1. Number 3
    2. Number 2
    3. Show the teen texting on a cell and listening to the mp3 player in #3 and it would look like many teens.

    Really like the offset font on #2 & #3.

  152. Number 2 would be my choice. The burnt toast is something each of us can identify with. We’ve all done it. Makes me think you, as the author, can relate to my reality.

    Number 1 would be my next choice. Red cover grabs your attention, and I like the script on “imperfect”.

    No changes to recommend here.

  153. I like # 2 the best as the colors and the burnt toast definitely capture one’s attention. I can relate to the toast cause i hadn’t always done things with my kids so that things turned out just right but have left that charred affect… and has shown my imperfection in parenting.
    # 3 would be my second choice.
    P.S. I am a youth leader and a parent. Both my sons are in their 30’s now.

  154. I like #1 and #2
    #1 the red catches the eye really well
    #2 the burnt toast is a good illestration of imporfection

  155. Cover 1 and cover 4, then number 2 — there, I gave you an extra one πŸ™‚
    Regardless of the cover I greatly anticipate the book, Jonathan, and its content and then buying copies to give to my parents!

  156. I like #2 the most. The metaphor is easy to understand, but strong. I would hi-lite the words candid or confessions and imperfect or parent in gold or something – and sort of raise it from the page, let it stand out more.

    #3 could work – but let the parent put on payama slippers. I know that is one of the things kids would hate: parents picking them up, in jeans and payama slippers.

    Thx for your blog and website – it really helps.

  157. As a parent, my favorite cover is #3 it is a great visual with the people being blurred and the parent in the background – showing we will stick around as long as it takes…the thing I might change is making the letters of the word ImPeFeCt different sizes….for two reasons … the kids write /text like that so it draws attention to being respectful of the balance between parent/child and with the letters not being perfect it is a visual of being imperfect. My second cover choice is #2 – the burnt toast cover … shows our humanness .. and that we are willing to work through our mistakes … I can hardly wait to see the final product!

  158. The burnt toast is a perfect picture of an imperfect parent. To me 1 and 4 are kind of boring and 3 looks more like a cover for “Dealing with your rebellious, apathetic, disconnected, to tight jeaned, jerk of a teenager.

  159. I am a parent and a youth worker

    Cover 2 definitely stands out as the one that got my attention…wondering about the burnt toast, and then reading the subtitle makes me want to pick it up and try it out.

    #3 would be second, but I feel is like too many other youth ministry book covers.

    For #2, maybe put an adult across from a student with burnt toast? Something to show parent/child…I like it how it is though…

  160. I like cover #2. The burnt toast gives a good representation of how parents aren’t perfect either, I think.

  161. I am both a youth worker and a parent. My pick is # 2. The burnt toast to me shows right off how a parent can be imperfect at even the simplest of things. # 3 would be my second choice showing the disconnection between the parent and youth.

  162. I’m a parent & a youth worker… and I like the toast!! If I were going to change anything about it, I think the green background is a bit too neon for my taste! But I’m still drawn to it!

  163. I’m a parent & an associate pastor.
    #2 is my favorite. Burnt toast=imperfection.
    #3 would be my second choice.
    I really like the changing font sizes in both 2 & 3. Can’t think of anything I’d change on either.

  164. I like the burnt toast in #2 but you can definitely see the distance between parent and child in #3. So #3

  165. Number 2 and then number 3. Both grab put the reader in the shoes of the imperfect parent and show an image of something that most if not all of us have done as an imperfect parent. Any reason the punctuation is different on # 3?

  166. I liked cover #2 the most also (#1 seemed pretty “Blah,” and #4 seemed like it should be a parent holding the sign with the title, not a teen holding it). Cover #3 was a close second for me…

  167. I like #1 (best design) and #4 (probably more eye catching, and the anonymous placard-holding dad thing is strong)

    The only one I don’t care for is #3, it’s a little too strong on the “neglectful parent” vibe.

  168. #1 – My strong favorite. Eye catching, easy to read, not kitchy. Adult-oid. Would definitely buy the book with this title and cover.

    #2 – Makes me think of mommyhood, bottles, diapers, etc. Not youth. Judging by this cover, I would NOT buy the book.

    #3 – Second choice because it conveys the feelings I have had as a parent.

    #4 – Not bad, third choice but could be my second with some graphics changes. Maybe make the guy look a bit older, bigger, more parent sized.

    I am 50 years old, mother of three who are in college. I teach Sunday school, 11th and 12th grades for the last 5 years, before that 7th grade for five years. Avid reader of books on the subject of youth work as well as books on college kids and their faith.

  169. i like #3 , i have seen this many times from my own kids, they appear to be completely ignoring you when in fact they are listening to everything you say , kids are so used to multi tasking that i do not believe they can just sit and listen to a parent give a long boring lecture, you know what i mean?

  170. Being a someone who works with middle schoolers and the mother of 5 the #2 book cover is somethng that would catch my eye. I might change the white word to a darker color, but it definetly stands out more than the rest. It brings a smile to your face and makes you nod your head in agreement. Book cover #1 looks more like a grown up book but also catches the eye. The other two covers look like most of the parenting books out there.

  171. I am a youth worker
    I like Number 4
    I also Like Number 1
    The only thing that seems off to me is that in #4 the torso seems off proportioned. Like maybe they photo shopped it and extended the torso so that the wording would fall on his shirt. That being said, it is still my fav.

  172. # 3 grabs my attention because the picture is saying what the book is going to say – I am assuming. The Dad’s back to the girl on the ipod – great. It shows what many parents are feeling. Might be the best at getting parents attention.

    # 2 – grabs my attention as well because I was trying to figure out the purpose of the burnt toast. But I like it bc you are saying that parents aren’t perfect, make mistakes, etc.

    I’ll buy the book no matter what you put on the cover. It looks great and if it’s like your other stuff Jonathan it’ll be packed with great advice. Thanks for all you do. Your research, openness and honesty about the struggles with your own family have made my job as a YP and parent of a pre-teen easier. Keep up the great work man!

  173. 1. #3 is my pick.

    2. #1 might be my 2nd pick

    3. #2 suggests an imperfect mum while #4 an imperfect dad. the key word in the title is “confessions”. #3 cover tells a relational story, #2 is a cook-book story, #4 looks more like a protest and #1 looks academic – and so may pass any test. why not try parent- parent picture or parent-child picture since we are in a visual world.

  174. #2… I love the burnt toast concept. I haven’t see it used before and I like the color scheme, I think it draws your attention more. My second choice would be #3, but for some reason the color scheme and lettering reminds me of “Do They Run When They See You Coming?”.

    I’m a father of two teenagers and a yp of several hundred more… and quite imperfect in both. I look forward to reading it!

  175. Really like #2 it is fun. For me it speaks to the fact that we have all blown it with our kids at one time or another and burned the toast so to speak. It is the one that makes me want to buy the book.

    I also like #3 the teenager is consuming media and the parent is either frustrated or trying to figure out a way to break through the noise. Looks like you’ll end up with great cover no matter what you choose.

    Parent and youth worker

  176. It easy to see beauty or what is good is skewed by many aspects of who we are where we are from. I don’t think any of the covers are bad. I don’t buy any book for the cover. I buy because a friend or colleague recommendeds them or I already know the author. I am a 40 year old dad and a youth pastor, that being said I like number 2 and 3.

  177. I’m a youth worker – and avid reader of your blog. I’m looking forward to another book by you!

    I really like #2. It’s a bright, catchy cover that would stand out on any shelf. I love the burnt toast picture and the font that’s used. Don’t change it!
    I also like #3 – very representative of what the teenage culture tends to look like. I think that photo would resonate with many parents of teens. The only thing I would change on that one is maybe making the parent person look more like a parent. It almost looks like it’s two teens on the cover ignoring each other.

  178. I like #1 the most because it is timeless, nothing on it will become outdated. And red always catches attention.

    I also like #3 because it is also timeless and hints at the target audience.

  179. #1 is my favorite.
    The others remind me of youth ministry books, which this is not.
    This is a parenting book. I love the way the word “imperfect” stands out. Simple, eye catching, i want to pick this up to read it.

    P.S. i bought a bunch of your “Connect book & never got them autographed like you promised… I forgive you.

  180. Hey Jonathan!

    I’m a parent of 5 kids, 15-20. They all came to us through adoption at 2,3,4,7 and later at 14. I’m also a full time youth pastor.

    My favorite cover is number 1 followed by number 4. Honestly, the tag line is what makes me want to read the book, so increasing its prominence would really help.

  181. Cover #2 most definitely! The burnt toast is a perfect symbol for all of us imperfect parents! Cover #3 would do in a pinch, but the other two are just not very interesting…..

  182. I am a youth worker and a parent…
    I like cover #2 the best. It really captures my attention..

    Cover #3 is also good.

    I don’t think there is much to change about them.

  183. I am a pastor and I like #2 the best. I believe it captures the frustration and reality of an imperfect parent. I saw the picture and instantly said, “Yep. Been there.” The burnt toast says it all.

  184. I’m a full time youth worker and a parent.
    Fav: #4, close is #3.
    Changes for #3 – the parent in the background doesn’t look very “parental”…he needs some khakis.
    Changes for #4: authors name should be at the bottom….just a thought!

  185. Jonathan, number 2 and 3 captured my eyes and made me want to know more. They also connected with me as a parent. I am looking forward to the new book!

  186. My favorite cover is #2 because it is funny (and true that I burn toast and am an imperfect parent) but for the purpose of your book I think #3 is best as it shows how some parents and teens feel in their relationships with each other. Would not change a thing about the covers! Thanks for all you do!

  187. Cover 2 says it all. 4…too much of a “Love Actually” moment. The smoking, burned grilled cheese, it tells me how hard we try to make things perfect for our kids, but that perfection is not the goal. 1 is too “cutesy” and I always shy away from books that have those kind of pictures on the cover. I am a parent and a youth worker.

  188. I like the second one cuz it has some humor to it with the toast I think will grab peoples attention even more than title alone. Its identifiable.

  189. I think #2 grabs my attention, but I would change the lettering (make it all one size), to seem less juvenile, especially in the name.

  190. #1 is hands down my favorite.

    People seem to like number 2 but it reminds of something I’d find in the bargain bin of the Christian book store.

    You utilize the burnt toast graphic by adjusting it someway to fit better with the color scheme and design of #1. Like, it could be a monotone graphic that is much smaller, or something like that.

    But #1 looks to be taken the most seriously as a book on parenting.

  191. I Like #4, but #3 also stands out. Depending on who you are trying to reach, I think it ranks as follows:

    Young parents – #2,#3,#4,#1
    Parents age 25-35 – #3,#4,#2,#1
    Parents 30+ #1,#3,#4,#2.

    Just depends on who you want to reach specifically. I personally am not a parent yet, but from my point of view, I vote #4

  192. I’m a parent and a youth pastor.
    I like Cover #4 the best, with Cover #1 as my second choice. I think these two would connect better with a parent, whereas the other two look geared more towards youth.

  193. #2 definitely catches my attention. The others are attractive, but I feel like a lot of books have covers similar to the other ones. Also, this cover portrays your style of communication the best; your humor and encouraging way of communicating truth.

  194. # 2 is my first choice; I love the burnt toast, it lets me know as a reader that it would have humor and truth. # 3 would be my second choice.

  195. I would definately pick up #2. Like the color and the burnt toast…only thing I’d change is maybe the word ImPerFecT.
    For my 2nd choice I’d go with 3.
    I think #1 was boring.
    I am a parent as well as a teen volunteer. Thanks for what you do..

  196. I like #2 for sure and this is NO close second for me. The burnt toast says it all. #1 is too plain, I don’t care for #3 and #4 is okay. I am a parent and a youth group leader (volunteer of course).

  197. I am a parent and a youth worker, I like one the best, then four,.. I didnt like two because the burnt toast seemed over bearing.

  198. Tell us who you are:

    1. Which cover captures your attention and makes you want to buy the book?
    #3 definitely captures the rift between parent and teen which would make a person in that situation visualize what is happening in their life and see this book as pertaining to their situation.

    2. Is there another cover that grabs you as well?
    #2 everyone likes the burnt toast photo to visualize the word “imperfect”

    #1 makes the word “imperfect” really stand out.

    3. What, if anything, would you change about either of those covers?
    Change the imperfect font on #2 and 3; and it would depend on whether you were going for the humorous or the serious to draw in the reader.

  199. Parent and Youth Worker –
    #3 is my first choice. The sneaker catches your eye and for the audience that you are trying to capture to buy the book, it represents a parents everyday world with their kids.
    #1 is straightforward, clear, softens the “imperfect” by the change in font but is not eye catching enough.
    #2 emphasizes the imperfect by the burnt toast so it carries with it a more negative vibe. The angst of a parent thinking they are imperfect in dealing with their kids would rise to the surface and they might not buy the book as a defense against their parenting pain.
    #4 – I feel like I’ve seen a lot of books that have a similar cover and it’s probably just the way it copied but one of his fingernails looks dirty.

  200. I am a Mom, Gramma, and a Youth Leader. All of which I enjoy thoroughly, but still have much to learn! My favorite cover is #2 with the burnt toast. My second would have to be #4.

  201. I am a parent of 5 (4boys 1 girl) and a youth leader.
    I really like how #3 accentuates the lack of communication between the parent and the teen.
    I also like how #2 puts a little humor to the whole scenario. (Humor makes reading so much more enjoyable to me)
    I also like how #1 is bold and to the point!
    Personally, I wouldn’t change anything.

  202. #2 is pretty much your style! So far outside the box that it is in the box perfectly!

    It communicates what the book is about! Things go wrong because we are imperfect! Please use #2!

    With graphics, it communicates with our hearts the same way your words do!

  203. I’m Chris, a parent and former youth pastor.

    I like the second cover the best (the burnt toast is a nice touch)

    Second pick would have to be the first cover for its simplicity.

    I’d work a little on the smoke on the second cover, because it looks a little fake. Other than that, it’s awesome.

  204. I’m Connie, a parent and youth worker.

    I like the first cover for its simplicity & then #2, they others seem to be some sort of ‘remakes’ of your other book covers.

  205. I think I like #1 or #4 the best. I’m a youth worker but not yet a parent. #1 looks modern and appealing, but #4 looks more like the title of the book.

  206. I am a parent and a youth worker.

    Cover #3, then #2.
    1~The toast one grabs my attention, but the one with the parent and teen on the cover says it all.
    2~I think the 1st and 4th ones are kind of bland.
    3~I like the burned out look of the toast, the parent and teen one could maybe show the teen texting along with the ipod.

  207. Cover #1 first of all–I think it looks nice and professional and it grabbed me.

    I also like Cover #3–I’ve seen that attitude with kids–and most parents will relate to the frustration of trying to engage them when they are raptly engaging with their 40 BFFs on Facebook.

  208. I like one and two. I’m a parent and youth worker and for me the red background and burnt toast on those two covers are striking.

    I think it’s a bit hard to read the “imperfect” part on cover #1 though.

    Why would I buy the book? Well because it gets straight to the heart – I don’t think there’s a parent out there that doesn’t beleive deep down that they are failing as a parent and don’t know how to fix it. Your book gives me a glimpse of someone else who might be able to connect with me and makes me want to grab it and read it immediately so I can get some needed help.

  209. I am a mother and a church youth director. In my opininon cover 3 grabs my attention. Cover 4 also works, but I prefer cover 3. I actually wouldn’t change anything about cover 3, it speaks to well to the issues of parenting and youth today. However on Cover 4 I would have a youth in the background texting or something basically disconnected from the parent holding the sign.

  210. I liked #1 because of the way “imperfect” jumps out at you. #4 is a great cover as well. I don’t know if I would change the covers.

  211. Love #2 the best….even perfect parents like me can burn toast – haha.
    #3 is my second fav with the teen with the hand on the hip and the other with her ipod..texting on a cell phone would portray my own kids more

  212. I am a parent and a junior high youth worker. I really like cover #3 much better than any of the other 3. It shows me right away that is a book about relationships. The burnt toast a cute analogy, but I think the cover with the actual people on it gets the point across much better of what the book is about.

  213. #1 immediately got me. i like the color, balance, off-type, and the look was highly professional to me–and I am a parent (i think the one you are marketing to!) Would like to see it in American Blue… or Forest Green?

    #3 was my 2nd choice but creativity can be trendy and photos of people can give way over time to a “old look” quickly (redundant statements there);

    being a parent AND a youth worker, i always default to things like this as the parent within me–my bigger response. Anyway,, best of blessings to you bro! Get the truth out there…

  214. I like number two the best. I tgink it relates to the insignificant issues which can seem so important they cause trouble between me and the kids.
    I think number thre is my second choce because it shows the type of situation many parents find themselves in with their children way too often.

  215. I’m a parent. I like #2 the best. It caught my attention and then it made me laugh. It’s the little things like trying to make a healthy breakfast for the kids and you end up burning the toast and feeling like a horrible parent πŸ™‚ I think I would lose the smoke though, it’s a little distracting and I don’t think it’s necessary.

    My second choice would be #4, it’s simple. I like it.

    #3 stresses me out for some reason. All you can see are her feet and the dad’s legs, but I feel the tension and lack of communication. It sounds weird, but it bothers me for some reason.

  216. I think that Cover 1 is the best. I like the simplicity of it. It also will be a timeless cover, so that in 4 or 5 years the book will still appear relevant. Too many youth ministry books do covers that are trendy and make the topic inside seem like it isn’t relevant in 4 or 5 years.
    I like cover 3 as a second option. It does illustrate the point I think you are trying to make. I think the cover shows that it is hard to connect with your children, because of all the distractions, so you have to be intentional about it.
    I really don’t feel a need to change either cover.

  217. I like them all- the pictures in 2-4 are eye catching. But one is my all time favorite, because I like to put books out on my table for my friends to see, ask about and then want to read… I think this looks the most adult. Any way you could change the word imperfect to be even more eye catching?

  218. I like 4 and then 2…more of an elimination of 1 (kind of boring) and 3 (didn’t like that the parent was turned away, they are disengaged-realizing that the book is suppose to help with that). Looking forward to reading it and using it in our ministry with parents.

  219. First choice would be #2. I often burn the toast and cheese sandwiches in our house and have thought of that as a metaphor for the dumbe things I have done as a parent.

    I also like #4 because it reminds me of a mug shot, but without the face here. Imperfect parent? Guilty as charged!

    Can’t say I have any suggestions for changing the cover art as set forth here. Looking forward to reading this when it is published!

  220. I’m both a youth worker and a parent (but not of teens yet!)

    Cover #3 grabbed my attention the most- the pictures of the teen and parent help convey that the book is meant for parents of teens and also that it’s about connecting with those teens.

    Cover #4 is my second choice- again- a picture of a person helps to focus on relationship, and also “imperfect parent” and “teenager” are both emphasized in the type.

    sorry- I don’t have any suggestions for improving either of the covers.

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