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John’s first book will be published by Simon & Schuster in spring 2016! In honor of his birthday yesterday, he’s sharing some of the book cover options! Please share your thoughts in the comments.

covers for john o'learys book








61 replies on “On Fire Book Cover Options”

I like #3 even though I’m not particularly fond of the background colors. It’s the only one where the “On Fire” looks really red to me. Perhaps a different background color for one of the other designs so that the red really stands out?

I like cover #2, adding a little bit more orange like a sunrise. I have already purchased a 2 gift sets with John as the author so I am confused how this is his first publication.

I like #4 the best, and agree with Kari’s comment that it would be the most eye-catching on a book store shelf. However, I do like the flame in #1, because of the irony of your story as a child. It would be great if you could include flames from #1 into #4.

#4 is the most eye-catching if strolling through a bookstore. I’d like #3 if the background colors were in the “flame” spectrum.

#1 looks the most like fire, but it’s not “on fire” … it’s more of a smolder (though it is the best of the set).

#2 looks like a bulls eye on a target…doesn’t appear to have anything to do with fire, and it’s definitely not “on fire”

#3 uh, no – it looks like a blur of rainbow unicorns zipping by

#4 the effect around the o looks like cracked glass – it made me think about what happens when a bullet passes through glass…so this one is a no-go for me

I think they are all missing ACTION, which you need if you want to truly capture you. Maybe a flamethrower type of image…or maybe reverse it out and make the background all black with a white-hot flame…or a hot foot like the cartoon characters used to give each other… You need something that makes it pop while still capturing the BIG ENERGY of you… Might also explore ignition point imagery to see if that takes you anywhere – e.g. burning detonation cord, rocket booster ignition… Flashpoints, or the moment something ignites or catches on fire might be just what you need…the perfect combination of fire and energy… Good luck!

I like both 1 and 3. 1. provides a clean look and you can easily read the words on the cover. 3. catches the eye in a way that the others do not. All depends on what your looking to accomplish. Good luck and happy birthday, my friend.

I like #3. The first thing that caught my eye is the different colors…it looks like a rainbow; which reminds me of God’s promises.

I love the book cover on #4. It is simple
Peaceful and it draws my attention to the
O encased with the sun, it looks like The Blessed Eurchrist to which we must all aspire to be close to.

I like number two.I like book covers that are easy for me to spot on a shelf. The basic white cover with the red color on the bottom right gave me that distinguishing mark. You came to my school district to speak many years ago and made a big impression on me. I have enjoyed following you and reading your messages.
Thank you,

I like cover #1. After hearing you speak today, I think that this cover tells your story. Thank you for sharing your story with others – very inspirational and really touched my heart.

I love the title “not only does it make me think of the song” This sole is on fire” but also the song “This girl is on fire”. Taking control of your life, sole, spirit or experience and being on fire about it!” I love it!

#2 The red in the lower corner is eye-catching, solid and powerful, and speaks (visually) to the passion of the contents of the book, and the passion with which we should all be liiving life…

#4; simpler the better for me and the font is clearer. Maybe play with font to ensure it’s clear and the colors in the font don’t distract from the actual text.

Congrats with the book and good luck!


I applaud you for giving this important decision to someone who has not written a thing, or tried to market anything!

That said – I go between liking #4 or #2 – because of your story… but I like the other 2 also.

Your Lighthouse CD is my favorite!

I vote for # 3, with # 4 as my second choice. And I must also add; Thanks so much for your weekly inspirational messages. I can’t wait for your book to come out!!!!

I vote for # 3, with # 4 as second choice. And I must add also; Thanks so much for your weekly inspirations!!!! I can’t wait for the book to come out:)

I vote for #4. I like how the bright color from the fire spark spreads from the “O” all the way to the top of the page and to the bottom of the page and through John’s name. It represents how John uses his life experience in a message that will spread like fire to light up the hearts in the world. Very smart!

One and done! That’s right I think it should be #1. It most closely represents the the beginning of your wonderful outlook on life.. As tragic as it was it made you the strong individual you are today! God Bless.

I like the picture in the background on cover #2, but I like the lettering and spacing on cover #3. Thanks John for lighting up our lives!

All great artwork.

#3 – looks more like a “fire and ice” image
#4 – more like a firecracker, which, metaphorically, is less impactful as it flares and fades quickly… you seek a long, ongoing burn.

I initially preferred #1 because of the flame, but it is a bit small.
to ongoing burns, what to us burns the longest but our sun*, who is only about halfway through its 10 billion-ish year long life… so my vote is for #2.

I like the two-tone text… wondering if the black toward the sun reflects Mercury’s charred surface… should it be red from the sun and black to the left, the side in a vacuous cold of outer space blocked from the sun’s rays?

Am I getting too much into this?


Counterpoint… the black to the right visually offsets the red… so ignoring the solar system positioning, maybe keep the text – font, positioning, coloring, and all.

God bless,

Bob Berman writes for Astronomy magazine, publishes his own blog – http://skymanbob.com, leads astronomy tours, and also authors many books.

Mr. Berman has written a book called “The Sun’s Heartbeat, And Other Stories From the Life of the Start That Powers Our Planet.”

In it he shares a wealth of information, one point is pertinent here… every single bit of light in our lives – sky, light-bulb-wise, etc., comes from the sun… some perhaps only via the coal that burned to make the electricity, but that only from the plants that grew through solar photosynthesis.

; )

Number 2 is the one I’d go with, John. It makes me feel like there’s something around the corner that is just about to light up my world. It makes me want to open the cover and start turning the pages. It also looks the most sophisticated, and is a book I would feel comfortable having other people see me carry around.

#1-I don’t like having the actual image of fire on the book (knowing your life story)
#3- I like it but doesn’t look as professional or sophisticated for some reason
#4- looks religious/Christian because of the design of the ‘O’

Best of luck on this exciting part of your journey!

I’m not crazy about any of the designs. I like the slogan “on fire ” but I’m afraid the casual browser would walk on by those covers , misinterpreting the words . I would make the cover happier by doing away with flames and maybe add. 🙂 directly under Fire. It is a play on words , just make sure everyone knows it up front .


I have truly enjoyed your newsletter and enjoyed your story at our Southern Company contractor Safety forum years ago. I also understand the world today and changing perspectives. I also understand the concept of planting seeds. I wonder wif a simple burning bush in the background along with the title. Let everyone wonder and no other comments about the graphic.

Your friend.


Hope your birthday was wonderful, John! My favorite is number 4. Made me think of the Sacred Heart which I love, and for those not familiar it will speak to being radiant in life. Second favorite is 2 – colors of hottest flames. Don’t like the smoke on 1. Love your article today! Happy Monday!

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