We need a bangin' book cover! We're writing our first book that is tied very directly to a presentation we're doing at a national HR conference in the fall. The title is "HR's Seat at the Table: How to Lead the Conversations and Deliver the Talent That Drives Strategic Results."
Our names as authors will obviously also be on the cover, in this order: Jack H. Cage, PhD, and Laura E. Larson.
HR people are stereotypically stuck in processes and transactional stuff--like taking employee data for health care benefits. This book is practical in telling them (nicely) ways to think at a higher level by engaging in more business-talk with their counterparts in other departments, like Finance, Operations, Sales. In many companies, HR people are sort of "outsider looking in" in terms of not being involved in key decision making. They're often asked to do things later in the process. This theme should come up in the design somehow--a chair markedly set off from the others, a sense of exclusion with the promise of inclusion--that sort of idea.
Obviously the target audience is HR executives. 3/4 of HR people are women, but we prefer a gender-neutral cover: no pinks or pastels. We don't want the standard HR "diverse workforce" image of a woman, an white-haired guy, a Latino, and a black woman...if you know what I mean. In fact, no photos or other distinctive image of humans at all would be best.
The title obviously opens up a clear visual: e.g., chairs around a conference table. Here's a book with a similar title whose cover we like VERY much (we like the blue as a dominant background color, and the red type to get attention): http://www.amazon.com/Seat-at-Table…320847/ref
Without looking "scary" (too "dark"--hitting *too* hard on the exclusion theme) or off-putting, this cover gets at that idea of a single chair--HR's seat at the table--clearly separate from the others.
Other ideas might be a door partially open, leading into a conference room. Something--and it does not need to be a photo treatment--that indicates that a once-outsider is now shifting to a different role and higher stature in the organization. This expression "a seat at the table" comes up all the time in describing HR people's desire to be held in higher esteem and more involved in big decisions. So a visual that indicates this positive shift would be cool, but, again, no "corny" HR images (e.g., an overly earnest, smiley woman stepping boldly into a conference room or something like that). We don't want to perpetuate that stereotype.
We also need the spine and back cover, please. I'm not sure the whole title can fit on the spine, but maybe? Our last names as authors should be on the spine. And logo for our self-publishing business will also be at the bottom of the spine.
The back cover can be pretty simple since much of it will be text. I will be writing back cover copy and purchasing the bar code with the ISBN to plop into place and the EAN code. The category line in the upper corner should be "Human Resources." The lower-left corner can cite on 3 lines "Leap for Words, A business of Antigua Partners, Inc., http://www.Leap4words.com. We're hopeful to have an endorsement or two to throw on the back cover, too. Maybe a reduced version of whatever visual appears on the cover could appear on the back cover? I don't know!