One of the anxieties I experienced as a first-time author was what to expect with each step of the process. (Of course, my colleagues' advice was useful, as was the wonderful book Getting It Published.) In particular, things like the title and cover design seem both trivial -- with respect to the substantive content one has spent years on -- and also really important -- with respect to the initial representation of all that work. During the discussions with my collaborators at The MIT Press I did have a few moments of "oh no, not that," as I am sure they did, but I am extremely pleased with the result. In particular, Emily Gutheinz did a great job of taking the various themes I enumerated, presenting me with a handful of options, and then working with me and my acquisitions editor Margy Avery to come up with a fitting and exciting design. Indeed, I expect I put Emily through more iterations of the design than is reasonable to expect (e.g., couldn't that text be a shade darker?). I was so pleased with what I called the "puzzle people" it is now a motif on the book's website.
Since today is the actual official date for availability of the book, I thought I would propose a little contest. (The book has been practically available for a week now and early reviews are being posted. In fact, some are so keen to comment that a review has been posted at Amazon on the basis of the first chapter alone! Though it is a sad and lonely star.)
I was happy to be able to slip in a silly, but topic appropriate, easter egg into the book. The first person to e-mail me (see my biography for the address) what it is, will receive a free copy to a US post address of their choice.