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April 20, 2006


Paul Marino

Congrats, Chris! Its these moments where the book finally starts to feel real! Looking forward to the read!


Andre Ribeirinho

Beautiful and very simple.

In my opinion the Enter button is a bit forced in the design. Maybe a simple Long tail curve would be more interesting.

Anxiously waiting for July 11th.

Andre Ribeirinho


Mr. Anderson,

I like the cover. Simple.

Less is more, right? ;-)


Nice quote! WOW...I am looking forward to your book and just wanted to say thanks!

David Armstrong

Nice work.....

I've pre-ordered enough for my team, my investors and those VC's I need to go educate.

Although coincicence only, our Long Tail product goes into Beta on July 12th...interesting.

- David

Carter Lusher


Very sharp cover. Looks like it will be a real eye catcher.

Will you be doing a reading and book signing in the Silicon Valley in support of the release?

Best of luck.

PS: I've got my copy on pre-order through Amazon.


They say not to judge the book by it, but the cover looks great. Looking forward to opening it up. Congrats, Chris.

John "Z-Bo" Zabroski

I don't understand what an Enter key has to do with anything your book is supposed to be about.

Just because something is embossed does not mean it's attractive and marketable. Just because something is simple does not mean it's attractive and marketable.

Malcolm Gladwell's single match for The Tipping Point is simple and yet easily associated with his concept.

This "Enter" key ... explain how it relates to the Long Tail. In your March 19, 2006 post, you said, "Publication date is July 11th. Pre-orders available now (ignore the subtitle and cover image, which are both placeholders)." It seemed as if you thought the "Enter" key back then was not a hot idea, but now you come across as if it is a great idea?

Sorry if my opinion seems childish, however: I am not buying the idea the "Enter" key is slick at all, because it is stupid. I know the book publishing process very well; the people who make book covers are idiots and very rarely do authors stick their neck out on the line for a good book cover, because they simply do not know how important it is. Your book cover is bad, period. I will still buy the book, but definitely not based on the cover. If it was on a shelf, I would not touch it if I did not know (a) You are the editor of Wired (b) you have this Blog.

The fact the cover page does not say below your large name, "Editor-in-Chief Wired Magazine" does not make sense to me. It's poor self-promotion not to associate yourself with your stellar magazine writing.


Why would you use the enter key as a visual metaphor when the entire book is based on the visual metaphor of the long tail curve?

Chris Anderson


My publisher's thinking is that some readers are put off by graphs and anything that looks too math-ey (feels like homework, not fun). The book is far broader than just the statistical observation, and we wanted it to appeal to the widest audience possible. Don't worry--there are plenty of graphs inside, and the cannonical Long Tail graph is also on the back jacket.


John "Z-Bo" Zabroski

Well, yeah, putting a mere graph on the cover of a book would not lead to a best-seller either. That's why mainstream art requires creativity. An "Enter" key is not creative, nor is a graph (no matter how creative the underlying idea it expresses is). Your publisher has an argument, but there should be a suitable counter-argument. I would cite to the publisher best-selling books that explain high-level thinking concepts to the masses, and also point out none of them had bad bookcovers... that I could make in photoshop in 10 seconds. Of course, I would try to send more polite than that, but that would be the thought in my head.


Thanks for your explanation, Chris--I'll read it eagerly no matter what's on the cover.

David St Lawrence


I have been a long-time fan of yours and the long tail graphic identified the concept from the very beginning.

Your publisher has succeeded admirably in debasing the concept visually by pandering to the lowest common denominator.

At this point I wonder what other "advantage" this publisher provides over self-publishing the book yourself.

The book will sell because of what you have created and how well you promote it. It is incredibly valuable information. The cover graphic is so obviously someone else's concept that it is a distraction.

Henry Hutton

Hey man, you should really publish -some- aspect of your Long Tail content through my site--Lulu.com. We're betting the farm on long tail publishing and print-on-demand technology, and you're right on.

Either way, I am really looking forward to your book and recommending it as required reading to everyone in the content distribution business.

Operations Director


We are looking forward to listening to this audiobook at Soundbooks
and in fact selling heaps of it.

We are a very comprehensive audiobook shop based in Australia.

With kind regards

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The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

Notes and sources for the book

FREE was available in all digital forms--ebook, web book, and audiobook--for free shortly after the hardcover was published on July 7th. The ebook and web book were free for a limited time and limited to certain geographic regions as determined by each national publisher; the unabridged MP3 audiobook (get zip file here) will remain free forever, available in all regions.

Order the hardcover now!