Alternative Titles and Covers

Great books are not judged by their covers, but new books are. I am still open to radical revisions to the cover image, title, and subtitle. Let me bounce a few alternatives off of you here. You may leave comments at the bottom of the page.

The ideal cover image should (1) Reinforce the title, subtitle, and blurb, (2) Be visually exciting and make your eyes linger on it, (3) Inspire your imagination about what’s in the book. Also, the title should be easy to read and the image should be easy to discern. And on Amazon, that must all fit within two square inches! If none of my candidates make you interested in reading further, please be honest. I’d rather hear it from you now than after launch.

This is the current thumbnail image as it would appear in the Search Results page (along with other books). You should be able to clearly read the main title and to basically understand the cover image. Most subtitles are not legible in thumbnail form.

Search results page size

This is the cover as it would appear on its own Amazon sales page. At this size, the subtitle should be legible and the cover image must be clear.

Sales page size

Alternative Covers

Alternative Titles

Alternative Subtitles

Alternative Covers

Cover B

The alternative cover below has a taller title and slightly wider text where the ellipsis is omitted. The subtitle no longer fits above the hourglasses, so it is repositioned beside them. I like the larger title, but I eventually chose against this one because I prefer the ellipsis and because the subtitle “History’s Ten Time Scales” is clearer on one line. I also chose to remove the starry background, as only one chapter addresses much about outer space. Any thoughts?

Full size
Sales page size
Search results page size

Cover C

And now for something completely different! This cover concept shows one icon from each chapter. This is not professionally refined, just my own rough draft on Microsoft Word. Do you find this concept much more appealing than the current cover design? Personally, I like it, but the hourglasses are a better metaphor for the book’s structure, and they are a recurring theme throughout the book. A clock metaphor loses all sense of scale and also inappropriately suggests a cycle. Finally, I have already noticed the “Earth surrounded by icons” theme on multiple book and magazine covers, so it’s not nearly as unique as the hourglasses theme. One test reader has suggested unwrapping icons like this into a timeline. Thoughts?

Still open to new ideas. I am beginning to feel that the hourglass sequence image would be better for a back cover or to illustrate the book summary. It makes more sense after you’ve read the book than before.

Alternative Title Candidates (alphabetical order)

The ideal title should (1) Catch a reader’s interest, (2) Be unique and memorable; bonus points if it’s a little poetic, (3) At least suggest (if not describe) the book’s content, and (4) Strike a middle-ground between being too technical and too colloquial / cheesy. These are numerous alternatives that I have brainstormed. Please feel free to “upvote” or “downvote” as many as you like; explanations are even better. My current favorites are accented.

  • Absolute History
  • According to Science
  • All of Existence
  • All of Human Existence
  • All of Worldly Existence
  • All that has Made Us
  • The Complete History of the World
  • Earth, Life, People
  • Every Scale of Time
  • Explaining it All
  • The Forces that Shaped Us
  • The Grand Vision
  • History and Natural History
  • History and Prehistory
  • History in Powers of Ten
  • History’s Ten Time Scales
  • How Life Ended Up This Way
  • The How of Now
  • How the World Got This Way
  • Plays on the word “Making”
    • The Making of the Human (Experience)
    • The Making of Now
    • The Making of Reality
    • Reality in the Making
  • It’s All Connected
  • The Most Important Events of All Time
  • Our Past
  • Our Shared Past
  • Our World, Our Ancestors, and Us
  • The Past and the Deep, Deep Past
  • Past and Present or Past to Present
  • The Present, the Past, and the Deep Past
  • Time Scales
  • Total History
  • The Universe, the World, and its People
  • Why the World Is How the World Is
  • Why We Are How We Are

Subtitle Candidates (alphabetical order)

The ideal subtitle should (1) Concisely elaborate on the book’s title to describe the contents, (2) Sound like something that you’d want to learn more about. Subtitles run long these days; the standard advice is 15 words or less. Below are numerous brainstormed alternatives for full or partial subtitles (we could combine two or more phrases).

  • According to Science
  • The Evolution of Humans and Our Ancestors
  • The Evolution of Human Beings, Institutions, and Belief Systems
  • Explaining the World
  • From ________ to _________
    • From the Big Bang to Big Data
    • From Outer Space to Cyberspace
    • From Outer Space to Inner Worlds
    • From Single Cells to Cell Phone Addicts
  • A History of Everything
  • History of the Universe
  • History Viewed Logarithmically
  • History’s Ten Time Scales
  • A Human-Centered History
  • A Logarithmic History
  • A New Logarithmic Perspective
  • World History
  • A World History in Powers of Ten Years
  • The World’s First Logarithmic History
  • Zooming in Powers of Ten
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