The Balance Point: A Missing Link in Human Consciousness, 2nd edition, by Joseph Jenkins
Book redesign is tricky…especially for books with an established and growing following. Stories are eternal no matter how you package them, but updated packaging (book design) offers a way to introduce a story to new readers and new generations.
Originally published in 2000, Joseph Jenkins’ The Balance Point was very well received and gained a large and loyal following. That’s not surprising, as the story provides can’t-put-it-down entertainment while also delivering an important message.
Now 18 years later, much has changed in our world and Joe wanted to republish a second edition of the book with updated information. In that process, he decided to get the book design updated as well.
The book needed something more modern—something that would speak to a new generation as the audience—and yet, something that would still convey the original message that spoke so successfully to the audience 18 years earlier.
Fact or fiction?
There are certain design trends that categorize a book as either fiction or nonfiction. Designing a cover for this book was a challenge because it’s a mixture of both!
The Balance Point is written as creative nonfiction. It is based on the author’s real experiences and adventures, but some details, chronologies, and names were changed in such a way that the book reads like fiction.
Which parts are fact and which are fiction? I can’t give that away in this article—you’d need to read the book. All I can say is this: the back matter resources are fact, but the actual story line is a mix between real and imaginary. Regardless of how fictionalized the story may be, the message is very real and affects everyone on this planet (including the bear on the redesigned cover).
So, while most book covers clearly define a book as either fiction or nonfiction, the new cover for The Balance Point needed to hint at both simultaneously.
Before we get into the design, here’s some more information about the book…
About the Book
(Excerpt from the Amazon detail page)
The Balance Point is a story of a search for something so mysterious that the main character doesn’t even know what it is, or how to recognize it if he finds it. It touches on science, mathematics, economics, religion, and spirituality, in a manner that is both illuminating and disturbing.
Based on actual occurrences and factual scientific and environmental information, The Balance Point weaves a compelling adventure story into an ominous tapestry of planetary degradation. Jonathan is reluctantly goaded into satisfying the conditions of his deceased Aunt’s cryptic Last Will, sending him on a puzzling journey to perplexing destinations. What he finds is worrisome, yet hopeful: something has gone missing in our collective human consciousness.
The timely message takes a critical subject and handles it in a clever way. This is an uncommonly provocative educational and spiritual journey which ingeniously captivates the reader from the beginning. The story is so engrossing and the author’s writing style so light and breezy that only after finishing the book will it hit the reader just how much information had been conveyed. The Balance Point is intriguing and suspenseful; all in all, a fascinating read.
About the Author
(Excerpt from the Joseph Jenkins’ Amazon Author Page)
Joe began self-publishing when he turned his masters thesis into the non-fiction Humanure Handbook and published it in 1995. The first edition of the book was execrable, but it developed a life of its own somehow, and has gone on to sell 65,000 copies so far and be translated in whole or in part into 19 languages over three editions. The book has received numerous book awards and been mentioned on such places as the Wall Street Journal, Howard Stern, Playboy, NPR, BBC, CBC, etc.
The next book, the non-fiction Slate Roof Bible, also in three editions, full color, and now in hardcover, records decades of work within the slate roofing industry worldwide. The first edition received the National Roofing Contractor’s Gold Circle Award, and the 2016 edition received 10 book awards.
The latest book, The Balance Point – a Missing Link in Human Consciousness (May, 2018) is an experimental book, a blend of fact and fiction, or what the author refers to as a “fictionalized” book. The author states on the title page, “This book is based on actual occurrences, although some characters, chronologies, and details are rearranged and/or fictionalized for literary purposes. Names of the individuals in this book have been changed to protect privacy. All the scientific and environmental data is factual.” The Balance Point is available as a print book, or a Kindle book. It is also available on Smashwords.
Please visit the author’s web sites at JosephJenkins.com, SlateRoofCentral.com, SlateRoofWarehouse.com, SnowGuardWarehouse.com, SlateExperts.com, SlateRoofTrainingCenter.com, TraditionalRoofing.com, HumanureStore.com and HumanureHandbook.com.
So, what’s a designer to do with an experimental, fictionalized blend between environmentalism, spirituality, mystery, and adventure?
The design process for this book involved a few different cover samples, discussion, and revisions. Our standard design package offers 5 unique samples and revisions thereafter. Between the brainstorming and revisions, the author had about 10 samples to choose from. A few of these are shown below.
Which one would you have chosen?
The author’s final choice was…
To see the redesigned interior, please visit our portfolio page. Or better yet, see it in the actual book. I highly recommend reading it—you won’t be able to put it down!
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Elena is founder and creative director at DTPerfect. She loves collaborating with authors to create books that inspire, teach, and leave a legacy. When she is not working with authors, she writes and illustrates a few of her own stories and is the award-winning author of Thank You, Me, a children’s book created to inspire gratitude and self-care.