Help Us Choose a Cover for Our New Book

Posted on by Dan

We need your help choosing a cover for our next Ruka Press book. The book is now called Eat Local for Less, and it’s in the later stages of editing. We’ve narrowed down the cover choices to two, but we need your help choosing the final cover.

Eat Local for Less by Julie Castillo is a guide to choosing delicious, healthy, environmentally friendly, affordable food for your family. The antidote to overpriced, boutique “natural” foods on the one hand and unhealthy processed food products on the other, this book is a guide to transforming your relationship with food from routine to blissful. It shows readers how to buy local, organic, and sustainably grown food for less than they pay at the supermarket. It’s not written to persuade but to inform, with the goal of helping people act on the choice they’ve already made to eat purposefully and buy responsibly.

The two covers are below. Please cast your vote and leave any constructive criticisms in the comments. (Legal disclaimer: results of vote are nonbinding.) To sweeten the deal, we’ll send a free book to a randomly selected commenter. We’ll let you know who won, and when the book is available, in a future edition of our newsletter (and on Twitter, Facebook…). Thanks!


Option 1

Option 1

Option 2

Option 2

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32 Responses to Help Us Choose a Cover for Our New Book

Elissa Cogan says: August 20, 2014 at 3:17 pm

I like option 2 better because the red-orange text on the light blue (“the ultimate guide…”) is easier to read than the white or light yellow text on the greenish background. Also, the person is more interesting than the barn! They both have nice retro looks but I prefer option 2.

sam avery says: August 20, 2014 at 3:19 pm

No, Garrett, not the blue one. She looks like something out of the Hitler youth brigade.
Option 1, obviously.

Lynn Hildebrandt says: August 20, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Definitely Option 1. It is bright, cheery, and fits the “blissful” look you’re going for. Option 2 appears more gender specific and “harder” – thus less likely to draw a reader in or to instill that optimism you’re looking for.

Betsy Rubinstein says: August 20, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Really like both of them. But lean toward the one on the left. It conveys nostalgia for our pre-industrial agricultural system without being as dominated as the other by that idea. Which seems to me to be more appropriate, since I would assume that opting out today is a quite different story from what it was a couple of generations ago. Nice work!

Mike Henry says: August 20, 2014 at 3:41 pm

Definitely option 2, although (and I hate to be that kind of “client”!) I like the arthead on option 1 better. It’s a bit more dynamic. Maybe apply it to option 2 in some way? (sorry).
I think the artwork on option 2 instantly recalls a simpler, more idealistic time when people actually did grow their own food. It makes me think of the Victory Gardens of WW1, although I know that’s an earlier period than the style shown.
Option 1 makes me think of a big farm (tractors, cows, pigs, multiple farm hands), for which I have no real frame of personal reference. The individual who has grown his/her own veggies and carries them in a basket back to the dinner table feels more imaginable for the target audience, in my opinion.
Both are great, though! Hope that helps…

Barbara Davidson says: August 20, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Option 1, as it brings to mind the importance of the small local farm and the importance of the soil, and does not specify female adult as does option 2…I believe our food is best when it is fostered by all ages, male and female, and is a community as well as an individual endeavor. Also, this book is pertinent to now, not only to the past. Option 2 looks vintage whereas option 1, also a traditional look, could possibly be today.

Danielle says: August 20, 2014 at 3:56 pm

They both has strengths but i prefer option one. Something too Rosie the Riveter about number two that just feels too… specific? (with little to do with food, aside from what’s been added in). Retro/trendy but not in a good way.

Tony Fredericks (author of "Horseshoe Crab") says: August 20, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Option 1 is my choice. The illustration is eye-catching and more inclusive (natural food straight from the farm). The second option is gender-specific and reminiscent of food rationing posters of an earlier era. It also seems to indicate a historical perspective on food, rather than an emphasis on making informed choices from local sources.

Marc Harkness says: August 20, 2014 at 4:47 pm

I prefer #2 on account of its being better executed. Although #1 appears to be more true to the concept, I’d like to see it have its lettering more crafted, and possibly some increased contrast for the sub-head / sub-title.

Tom Ogren says: August 20, 2014 at 4:56 pm

My first though was to vote for # 2, because to me it looks like someone who might have grown the food themselves, in their own backyard.
But reading the above comments, many of them do make great sense…perhaps lose that military-looking cap on the lady?
My only problem with #1 is that it doesn’t look “local” enough to me…but I could be wrong about that. My feeling is both of these look great….don’t think you could miss with either one of them.
Tom Ogren, from Allergy-free Gardening

Brian says: August 20, 2014 at 7:52 pm

Option 1 is more universally inviting, and appeals to both genders. Its warm, bucolic setting attracted me and seemed like less propaganda than Option 2.

Paul foster says: August 20, 2014 at 10:24 pm

Definitely 2 for me. Just like the color. The home front uniform conveys a little protective militancy. One seems boring and too focused on the farm.

Wendy Tiefenbacher says: August 21, 2014 at 10:46 am

I think the girl in Option #2 is a little off-putting. Her hat and scarf and pose just have overtones of another political era. Feels like history and not the future.

Option #1 is slightly better but the words on the lawn get lost. The author’s name is almost as big as the title which feels like a mistake graphically. Is the title Julie Castillo or Eat Local? The words “ultimate guide to opting out” get lost. So does” our broken industrial food system”. The author’s name needs to be smaller. The subhead needs to be bigger and bolder.

I like the yellow infused sunshine overall and I like the peach pit but the farm scene itself looks a little dated. What about an image of someone eating a gorgeous harvest?

Is there any other image just as pretty that says “local” and “for less”? What’s the emphasis? Eating local? Or doing it for less money? Or this is the ULTIMATE guide? Or that the industrial food system is broken?

If these are my only choices…then I’d go with Option # 1. But fix the type on the subhead and make the author’s name slightly smaller.

Carol Mergen says: August 21, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Option 1. The image here delivers a simple message promoting the local farm. Perhaps it is a bit bucolic and romantic but that’s OK.

On the other hand Option 2 is a reminder of wartime victory farms. It is a negative image, strident, gender specific. No on this one.

Jabin says: August 21, 2014 at 2:57 pm

I like Option 1 the best, but it needs a little work. It’s too hard to read. Can you change the color of the font, or soften the brightness of the sun in the back. I fear that “as is” may not attract customers to buy the book, but slight improvements will make the book cover more attractive.

Robina Brown says: August 21, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Option 1: I like the emphasis on sunlight because that is the source of all food. The picture perfectly and simply evokes a farm, which is where I am buying my food more and more often.

Linda Nestor says: August 21, 2014 at 9:27 pm

I like number one but I wished for a blue sky – more of a natural feel. Number two made me think about WW2 and war feels so anti – environment, anti-food. Congrats Julie on the book and please note I took all the forms of ‘to be’ out! You did learn me something. I look forward to reading the book!

Amanda says: August 22, 2014 at 8:23 am

Option 1 looks inviting and wholesome. Somewhere that inspires good clean eating. Option 2 catches your eye, but feels too “we are gearing up for industry” to me. Interesting concept – look forward to reading.

Rhonda says: August 22, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Option 2 I believe it looks more like a “guide” and Option 1 looks more like a “reading book”, if that makes sense.

Gigi Frias says: August 22, 2014 at 2:20 pm

I vote for option 1. The farm and the lighting effect emulating bright sunlight create a calm and positive mood that invites the reader to opt-in/participate at their leisure. This seems to me to be more in line with the description you gave of the book, specifically when you mention that the book is meant to educate and not persuade. In contrast, the second one creates a sense of urgency (maybe it’s the wartime undertones) while also making me feel that I don’t quite have a choice in the matter—as if it’s a new mandate I’m required to adhere to—which I again attribute to the wartime feel as well as the propaganda reference.

I do agree that the subtitle is difficult to read in option 1 now. I’d consider using the same treatment from the other one or changing the color to increase the contrast with the background.

Really like both of these, can’t wait to see the final product!

Fran Stewart says: August 22, 2014 at 8:53 pm

I vote for #1, although I wish you’d darken the print on the subtitle. I really like the way the title swings upward. It looks positive and happy to me.

Option two looks like something out of a world war two movie.

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