Judging a Book’s Cover

The pictures I posted last night aren’t really the greatest for seeing the cover of How to Teach Physics to Your Dog, so here’s a shot of the book jacket spread out on my desk:

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This isn’t the greatest, either, but it does give you a sense of the key features of the jacket design, which I like a lot:

First of all, there’s the quizzical looking black dog on the cover. I’ve known about this image for a while, but I really like the dog’s expression. I wish I could reliably get Emmy to do that and get a picture of it.

The second element, and the first new to me, is the yellow spine with the little Jack Russell terrier reaching for the title. That’s a really nice touch, and makes the book stand out even when it’s not shelved facing out.

Third, there’s the shaggy little dog in the cone on the back cover. I’m not sure why they picked that particular dog to be looking up at the awesome blurbs, but it’s a cute effect.

Now, it’s entirely possible that I’d be saying nice things about any design at all that they came up with, because, dude, Real Books! But I do think that the art department did a really nice job with this.

As for Emmy, she’s not happy that there are three– three!– inferior dogs on the cover, but I explained to her that they’re on the cover because the book is designed to help other humans understand quantum physics and explain it to their dogs. Having such an obviously superior animal as herself on the cover would just be too intimidating for the average owner of an inferior dog.

She’s resigned to it, now, but remains skeptical that other dogs will get very much out of it… She’s particularly dubious about the Jack Russells– “Those dogs won’t sit still long enough to learn anything,” she said. “They have the attention span of a– ooh! cracker crumbs!”

So, there you go.

Comments

  1. #1 Coturnix
    November 23, 2009

    My old Jack Russell sat still every Sunday through the entire hour-long episode of Otis and Milo, watching it carefully!

    Love the cover – I agree they did a great job with it. Can’t wait for the book to arrive.

  2. #2 Bee
    November 23, 2009

    What is the dog on the cover levitating on? And who had the idea to put a black dog on a black background?

  3. #3 Brian
    November 23, 2009

    I’m more amused that the dog on the back cover seems to be wearing the collar of shame.

  4. #4 KevinQ
    November 23, 2009

    Squirrel!

  5. #5 Elizabeth
    November 23, 2009

    I just pre-ordered the book from (sorry) The Evil Empire. I admit that my first thought was, “Who are those dogs, and what have they done with our Emmy?”

    Thank you for the explanation.

    Congratulations, Chad!

  6. #6 CCPhysicist
    November 24, 2009

    I know how to make Emmy feel better. We just got the Christmas X-tremeGeek catalog, and the fetching slingshot duck or the pet water bottle with built in trough look like just the thing for her stocking.

  7. #7 DavidS
    November 24, 2009

    I assumed that the back collar dog was demonstrating the light cone, the collar of shame which we all wear.

  8. #8 Jonathan Vos Post
    November 24, 2009

    That is, to my taste, a very good cover.

    If it were Science Fiction or fantasy, it would need to differ.

    http://www.magicdragon.com/UltimateSF/thisthat.html#cover

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