How To Be Happy (Or At Least Less Sad) - Cover Process

Revealing the cover of a new book never feels all that momentous to me, even though it is a huge milestone in the process. The thing about designing the cover for your own book is that you stare at every little detail of it — for weeks and weeks, and weeks. I think that’s why the Big Reveal loses some of it’s shine for me. Showing people the cover for the first time tends to feel less “look at this, how exciting” and more “thank fuck that’s over”.

But, in last week’s newsletter I revealed the cover for my new book How To Be Happy (Or At Least Less Sad), and I genuinely love it. If you’re signed up to the newsletter you’ll know what it looks like already. If you’re not signed up, it looks like this…

I had the original idea when the working title for the book — Have You Tried Being Less Sad? — was rejected by the publisher. The idea was to show a representation of the process of choosing a new title. But in the end, those crossed out “title ideas” were replaced with things you definitely shouldn’t say to someone who is feeling sad. Here’s a look at the 6 original sketches I presented to the publisher. Their chosen idea was actually my favourite too, which very rarely happens.

As I said, I love the final cover, but I really didn’t for a lot of the process. It was one of those projects where I got frustrated because the original idea I had was so clear, and it wasn’t coming together in the way I imagined. At one point I even tried to abandon this idea completely and do something that looked a bit like this…

I’m glad the team at Penguin wanted me to stick with the original concept in the end. I was really stubborn about this idea at times, because the book is so personal to me and I wanted the cover to reflect that too. I think I’ve ended up with a cover that strikes the perfect balance between everything I wanted and everything Penguin knew would work. Here’s a gif of the cover from sketch to final. People still love gifs, right?

The book will be released on May 5th 2015, which seems like a long way away. But it's probably not. I'll write some more about the book and the pre-order closer to the time. But you can actually pre-order it now, if you really want. Find out more on my books page.