Poke The Box

godincoverSeth Godin’s packaging has triggered a tsunami of site visits and twittering but what do we at Fixabook think of his work?

Well… the front cover is brilliant.

It is hugely distinctive and therefore immediately recognisable.

The Domino branding is a nice touch — subtle and cool, but already laying the foundations for long-term, cumulative values.

What makes the whole thing so clever, however, is the lack of a title.

On the face of it this is an incredible decision (some would say suicidal) yet when you think about it, it’s not that crazy. The Domino Project is internet driven (powered by Amazon, no less) and as Seth himself says, “When you see the book online, it’s always accompanied by lots of text. You read the text on the screen, the cover is the icon.”

This insight is genius. Utterly simple and utterly obvious yet no one else has thought of it.

This could change the whole way in which publishers present their books online and could help kickstart genuine differentiation between the way books are presented on– and offline.

For that reason alone, we at Fixabook think that this cover is special.

What SETH GODIN said:

Four things worth noticing about the new covers from The Domino Project…

The Domino Project is my new publishing company. Powered by Amazon, we have worldwide distribution and promotion, and we’re trying to change some things that authors don’t like much about publishing, things that might make books a lot more viral.

Here we go:

1. The most noticeable: no words on the cover. Who needs them? When you see the book online, it’s always accompanied by lots of text. You read the text on teh screen, the cover is the icon. Also… when the book is on your desk, if someone asks, “what’s that?” you can talk about the book. On the other hand, if it has a bunch of text, the person knows what it is, hence no discussion.

2. Good spine. That’s in honor of Fixabook. The lizard? He’s in honor of the lizard brain and the resistance that keeps us all paralyzed.

3. Big wide flaps. Why not? They’re free. More room to tell your story.

4. Micro-blurbs. I challenged the people who read it to come up with one word blurbs. After all, it’s the enthusiasm that matters. Both Sarah and Annie felt compelled to invent their own words…

140 covers I’ve worked on. This is my favorite. I hope you like it. Feel free to spread the word…


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comment 14 Comments


  1. carol

    I agree…simply brilliant.

  2. Joe

    Yep, I definitely want to open it and start reading. I love the lizard touch too.

  3. Brilliant. As usual. When is it out? I must have one.

  4. I dig it. The idea of making books more viral is always positive. It could be seen as a gimmick that will quickly spike then fade, however. But, with an idea as clever as this, surely you’ve got more tricks up your sleeve. Good luck!

  5. Nigel Alston

    Visually stimulating. Exciting, fun and engaging.

  6. Hi, I’m a member of Seth’s Project Domino Street Team. Great post here. In addition to a breakdown of the strategy, I’d love your take on the execution. Specifically, what do you think about the actual cover image.

  7. Already preordered the book and am considering how I can use the Domino Project ideas to spread the word and insights of my upcoming book. No words on the front cover will mean designing a front cover that wows! Also my personal brand is being “a supportive poke in the eye” So love the Poke the Box title. Thanks for the provocative thinking always. Bev

  8. splendid! It made me smile and want to open it immediately.

  9. Another brilliant idea and most importantly, the execution of the idea from Seth. I’m a huge fan of Seth Godin and his ideas.

    @Rick: The cover image per se doesn’t matter a lot (personally speaking) because the cover page idea in itself is path breaking… so even if the cover image would have been different, it would have created similar excitement.

  10. The cover instantly Sparks a Question.
    The genius of it is that it allows each person to ask their own question, their own way.
    Can’t top that.

  11. Hi Rick
    You asked what we thought of the cover image itself as opposed to the executional strategy.
    Here goes…
    The colour palate is very strong. We like it. The two tone styling is impactful and gives the cover great on-screen standout.
    The overall image is uncluttered and not complex. It also has plenty of room to ‘breathe’. This helps the standout too.
    The specific choice of image is perhaps the most unusual aspect of the cover as it is so dated. For a book that is all about looking forward and thinking in fresh ways it seems strange to have chosen a retro image that is so redolent of 1950’s Americana.
    Nevertheless using illustrated characters is an elegant way of dramatising hyperbole. In this case the image depicts feelings of shock, surprise and joy. All of which would have been difficult to convey (or tacky in execution) had any other form of visual imagery been used.
    So…it’s a little odd but it works, it is different and that makes it memorable. All in all, a good result.

  12. Who needs words when “Content is King?” Go Seth, go!

  13. Pam

    Who are the people listed on the inside of the cover??

  14. […] design should be an anachronism by now. What with ebooks and digital distribution, The idea of illustrating and packaging a multi-volume set almost seems […]

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