Nonbeliever Nation is David Niose's book about secular families and individuals in the United States. The challenge of representing that topic visually fell to the folks at Macmillan, and David's here to talk about how they got it right on the first try: "I had no cover ideas at the start of the process. [My publisher] invited early input, but I replied by telling them that I had no strong concepts for the cover, and that I would prefer to see what ideas their professionals came up with.
"When I first saw the cover, I thought it was excellent. A bit provocative, but in a good way. It captures the theme of the book, which emphasizes that nonreligious people are like everyone else, that America's seculars shouldn't be marginalized or seen as outsiders. Once the first draft of the cover art was done, it was never substantially changed. I think we all knew that we had a great cover.
"The only notable change [from the first version] was that we added an endorsement from Richard Dawkins. The art otherwise didn't change in any significant way.
"I think it's a great cover. It captures the theme of the book very well. It forces the viewer to think about the idea of atheists and agnostics as being ordinary people who raise families and love their children like everyone else. As I show in the book, the emergence of the secular demographic is a serious challenge to the immense political power of the fundamentalist Christian right. This is why even religious Americans - at least those who want rational public policy - should welcome and support the modern secular movement. If we could remove the stigma that is often associated with secularity, we could see lots of good things happen in this country."
Thanks, David! I think the cover is fantastic. It definitely presents the notion of a loving family, and the font colors give us a nice sense of patriotism too.
What do you guys think of this cover?
Melissa Walker is the author of six Young Adult novels, the latest of which is Unbreak My Heart (pictured). Her author blog, where Cover Stories originated, is melissacwalker.com. Follow her on Twitter @melissacwalker.
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