New book cover and title reveal!

My latest book baby is lookin’ good!

Ximena Vengoechea
7 min readMay 5


Hello friends!

I’m sooooo excited to share with you the cover for my forthcoming book, Rest Easy! Although it is unusual for authors to design their own book covers, because I am an illustrator and a writer, I have been given the opportunity to take the first stab at designing both my book covers, and I feel super grateful to have had so much input on the cover design for both books. Both incorporate my hand lettering and my aesthetic in different ways.

I always love hearing about the creative process behind beautiful things, whether that’s everyday objects or fine art, or a book! So today I’m going to share some of the behind the scenes of arriving at this cover. I hope you enjoy it. And if you’re wondering, you can now pre-order this PYT wherever books are sold.*

Cover explorations for Rest Easy

How it Started

Back when Rest Easy was just an idea — a hunch, a hope, a wish for something more — all I knew was that I wanted to feel rested again. I was overwhelmed and burned out after working on my first book baby while also becoming a mother, working my 9–5, and surviving the pandemic. ‘Twas… a lot. I wanted to feel rested, calm, and at ease, and also energized, joyful, and spacious. Two sides of the same rest coin, and I was experiencing neither of them. Thus began the project that would become Rest Easy.

About the title

The Rest Trials was what I’d started with, but that title had never quite worked — I’d chosen the word in the spirit of experimentation and trying out new rest routines, but a trial felt difficult (contentious even), and didn’t capture the spirit of adventure I was looking for. After a lot of namestorming (AKA me making a long list of “rest”-like words, followed by some thesaurus sleuthing and some more list-making), Rest Easy was born.

About the illustrations

I didn’t just want this to be a book about rest — I wanted it to feel restful too. I wanted the experience of the book to feel encouraging and inviting and relaxing — just like a good rest can be. For the book proposal, I put together these illustrations to communicate the feeling of the book and what I hoped to bring through illustration:

I chose a green palette because it reminded me of nature, which often helps me relax (and which, I would learn later through research, really does do wonders on our mental health and capacity for relaxation). You can see the nature elements I was playing with in the early title. These were elements I’d continue to experiment with throughout the cover design and interior design process.

While I was writing the book, I kept thinking about cool and relaxing colors — blues, teals, greens, and lavenders. We ultimately settled on three cooling colors for interiors and illustrations.

About the cover

I started a mood board early in the process that captured some of the colors, images, and feelings that felt aligned with what I was trying to do with this book. I wanted this book to feel like an invitation to relax, so I felt strongly that it shouldn’t be a big, bold color or cover design, like the cover for my first book.

Mood board for the cover

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I still liked the green and natural elements months after the manuscript was complete, so some of my first attempts at a cover were inspired by these motifs.

Leaf and cloud explorations — color palette and other details all over the place!

I liked the leafy motifs, but also worried readers might expect more about nature in the book (there is a comprehensive section on nature and its restful benefits, but it’s not a book about nature — it’s a book about rest).

But my favorite concept was a simple line design. I was very drawn to the idea of transformation — from being tightly wound up to feeling spacious and abundant, almost as if your breathing had changed from short and shallow to long and deep. I liked having a sense of movement, too, a way to show that rest isn’t stagnant, but flowing. I felt this concept captured the spirit of transformation and movement.

My initial line design

Though we would continue to rev on all the concepts, I found myself most drawn to those simple line drawings. They could be gentle waves or exhalations — restful, however you saw them. We explored different colors and layouts to see if we could build on that sense of movement. Some iterations worked better than others.

Line concept explorations

Eventually, we landed on a cover I love — and so I am pleased to share the final cover for Rest Easy. Here she is!

Final cover!

🎵Isn’t she lovely? Isn’t she wonderful? Isn’t she precious? 🎵

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek at the cover design process. I’m really happy with this cover, and hope you like it too. And the interiors are just as lovely; we have illustrations, color, and beautiful paper to make the experience of reading as restful as possible. I hope you love it as much as I do. Give yourself a little gift and preorder your copy.


* What’s the deal with pre-orders anyway?

If you follow any authors, you have probably seen them prostrate themselves at your feet and beg you to pre-order their book. No author likes this part of the process, but we all do it because it really, really matters. Pre-orders signal to booksellers, libraries, and other tastemakers in the publishing world that your book matters. A book that is doing well on pre-orders might mean a bookstore places a bigger order (or any order at all), which means more books in the hands of readers like you. Pre-orders are also the name of the game for getting on one of the bestseller lists, which rank books based on sales week over week. Pre-orders count toward the first week of sales, which is when you have the best shot at making a list. (Momentum and all that.) But also, even if an author is not gunning for a bestseller list, or trying to get their book on display at their local Barnes and Noble, pre-orders are a sign of encouragement from readers. And truly, that is what authors need. We put a lot of work into our words, and then hope and pray you like it. A pre-order tells us you are excited, and that is what helps so many of us keep going and keep writing. It’s a tiny little ego boost and validation that what we’re doing matters. So, although the book comes out 9/26, if it’s something you know you’ll want a copy of, please pre-order now.

  • If you’re interested in checking out some of the books I read while researching Rest Easy, check out my new collection on Bookshop. There’s a ton of variety in this list — probably more so than any of my other collections on Bookshop — and that’s intentional. True rest goes beyond taking a nap or getting a massage (though I recommend both of those); there’s so much we can explore across mental, physical, spiritual modalities to get the rest we need. Happy browsing!
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Ximena Vengoechea

Writer, UX Researcher, Author of Rest Easy (9/26/23), Listen Like You Mean It ('21). Previously, user research @ TWTR, PINS, etc.