Book Update: Here’s the Cover. Live Soon

 Updates to follow.

Screen Shot 2011 12 21 at 1 30 39 PM

One guy on Twitter, when I uploaded this earlier, tweeted: “it’s not pretty, but I’ll buy your book anyway.” Yea, these things are subjective to the max.

All I really hope for is that it’s ultimately judged in context of the intention:

  1. That it’s actually read. Non-fiction books are notorious for being purchased but not read. I’ve heard this over and over, from marketers of how-to books. It seems that the purchase scratches the itch.
  2. That it’s recognized as a total beginner’s primer. Yea, I’ll leave the deep science and whatnot to those with the credentials and whatnot. That said, I do touch on a lot of science stuff from the saturated fat and cholesterol dual cons, vitamin D epidemiology, to Weston Price’s K2, AKA, Activator X. But I do so in a hopefully light and conversational way, trying not to seem too pretentious for a non-scientist with zero credentials.

I think it would have been silly to try to put a book together for those already familiar with and getting results from Paleo/Primal. It’s just my sense, but I reasoned that what they might really want is something to give to friends & family that stands a good chance of actually being read.

It’ll take about 3 hours; more if one chases rabbits.

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  1. Danny J. Albers on December 21, 2011 at 17:33


    Put me down for a copy if you make it available on the Kindle. I love carrying all my paleo and primal books on my iPhone.

    If its print only, then I want an autographed option!

    And the cover is great. One thing about art is it is very personal, but I do not think the cover is what sells a book.

  2. Jim on December 21, 2011 at 16:40

    Umm, it is not an eye catching or pleasing to look at cover… The octopus with a spear is the coolest thing on the page (I know it isn’t really a spear, but it should be)

    The “THE” in the title is so disruptive… I like a solid title, some meat one the cover would be logical (it is about a diet)

    I think I will buy it, but I won’t like the cover.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 21, 2011 at 16:44


      Well, hey. At counting, I seem to have an equal number of folks saying: I like it, I love it, it;s OK, and it sucks.

      So what am I to do?

      Way I look at it, the only issue that counts is whether someone who knows zero about Paleo takes a second look or is in some way intrigued.

  3. Lute Nikoley on December 21, 2011 at 16:53

    Looks good to me. Can’t judge a book by it’s cover, as the saying goes. And of course
    I’ll buy it.

    • Primal Toad on December 21, 2011 at 20:22

      But people do. It’s the first thing they see. Millions pass up on books solely because of the cover. Millions more decide to buy a book solely because of its cover.

      It’s just like a job interview… your first impression could be the determining factor between landing a job or not landing a job.

  4. Scott on December 21, 2011 at 16:58

    Looks like a nice cover to me; however, I would consider changing the title. “How to lose weight & fat” is a bit narrow in terms of what benefits of the paleo diet it alludes too don’t you think? Also seems far too synonymous and a waste of valuable cover space when you can be selling the paleo diet on many other benefits than weight and fat. Not trying to be a hater, just offering some criticism from a readers point of view.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 21, 2011 at 17:05


      Yep, and it has all the other health stuff. But on the internet, it counts for nothing. What sells is weight & fat loss, abs, penis enlargement. And I actually do have a blurb on both abs and penis enlargement in the book.

      Thing is, you really have to go with the essential driving catch.

      • Scott on December 21, 2011 at 17:29

        Makes sense. On second thought you could just go with: “How to shrink your ass and grow your dick on the paleo diet” might not be a very friendly title, albeit an effective and engaging one!

      • Steve on December 21, 2011 at 19:11

        Worrying about ‘weight’ loss is like worrying about total cholesterol. I’m guessing by your previous response that the title is worded for search engines. Unfortunately it still plays into people stupidity in seeking weight loss, rather then fat loss.

        To those who have a clue, it sounds a bit amateur. But then I’m guessing from what I’ve read here about the book that isn’t your target audience.

        Good luck with the book either way!

      • Theo on December 22, 2011 at 03:16

        I get that there are good reasons for selling it as a fat-loss book, but it is still a little bit disappointing. Maybe not so much disappointing that that is what you are selling it as, but that that is what people would buy. Come-on people, there is more to health than being skinny! I know way, way too many skinny people who suffer from headaches, adult acne, mood swings, and extreme sensitivity to cold and heat (among other things, those were just the ones that popped into my head) to be in any way deceived by the idea that getting skinny is everything.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 22, 2011 at 07:40

        But Theo, you’re judging from the perspective of a lot of knowledge you’ve gained that people don’t have (yet, hopefully). The whole market is “weight loss,” simple reality. When people see me who haven’t in a long time, what do they say, “wow, looks like you’ve lost a lot of fat”?

        And anyway, for the vast majority of people, fat loss does equate to weight loss.

      • Theo on December 22, 2011 at 09:10

        I suppose so. It just still feels cheap to me, perhaps because of how many other people have decided that fat/weight loss is the best way to market their diet book, so that pretty much every diet book you see ever is marketed for weight loss, which includes a lot of crap fad diets. Because of that, I tend to have a bad taste in my mouth with regards to books that include weight loss in the title. I don’t have a better idea that would sell better though.

    • WyldKard on December 22, 2011 at 13:28

      I don’t like the weight-loss bit either. I understand why it’s there, but I don’t like how the only way to sell info. on paleo is to wrap it in weight-loss hyperbole.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 22, 2011 at 13:29

        It’s how I got into it in the first place. If you take all the ways people get led to Paleo which certainly does include many other aspects, I’d bet that weight loss tops the list by very far.

  5. Primal Toad on December 21, 2011 at 20:26

    I think the cover is OK. It’s not great as in it won’t stand out over other books. BUT, it is good. I don’t think it will lose many people but it won’t gain any from people who do judge a book by its cover.

    For my ebook, Toadally Primal Smoothies, the smoothie on the cover is colorful – fruity. Even though virtually non of the recipes are full of fruit, having a fruity smoothie was necessary in order to attract buyers. On the kindle, people will see the cover and then a small description. If the cover is attractive then they will read more about it and perhaps some reviews. If the cover is unattractive then they are more likely to completely dismiss the book and move on.

    Just my 2 cents…

    Are they able to edit the cover or is that now what you must go with?

    • MountainDew on December 22, 2011 at 12:03

      I see what you did there…

  6. Gordon on December 21, 2011 at 22:30

    I actually like the cover. But as you say, it’s subjective. Colors are simple; got a touch of Serengeti going on; title is clear and to the point. I especially think it’s a good cover for an ebook. I have the same impression looking at this that I did when I first saw your site: “Free the animal? Man with a spear? I want to read more.” Incidentally, it also helps that you have a catchy name. “Richard” is a strong name, and “Nikoley” has the feel of the exotic about it. Just be thankful you don’t have “PhD” after it. That’d spoil the whole effect.

    My one concern was the title, but I think the sales point is correct. I’ll definitely pick up a copy, and even read it!

  7. Dave Sill on December 22, 2011 at 06:29

    I won’t be buying it, but I’m not the intended market. If it opens a few eyes to the paleo/primal lifestyle, then that’s a good thing.

    The cover is OK, but I think the “Beyond the Blog” is too prominent. Also, it’s a little odd having the editor’s name on the cover.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 22, 2011 at 07:43

      “Beyond the Blog” is to be Hyperink’s series of books by authors of prominent blogs, so all those books will have that.

    • Keith Thomas on December 22, 2011 at 07:53

      “I won’t be buying it, …” Well, I haven’t judged it yet – even by its cover (I like the simple lines and the resonance with the blog’s banner). As it’s by Richard, I’ll buy it, even though I have no personal interest in losing “fat” and certainly not in losing “weight”. One thing I hope is in there is a re-presentation of the wonderful post Richard did in November 2008 (“Evolutionary Nutrition”), responding to one of Robb Wolf. Those two posts were just magic and to think Richard might have another go at the same topic, even if only indirectly, seriously attracts me. So, I can’t guarantee that I’ll read it right through, but I will be buying it – and hope to be able to recommend it to friends.
      As to having the editor’s name on the cover, having read Richard’s account of the book’s creation, I reckon she earned her place on the cover and it reflects well on Richard that he’s placed her name there.

      • Dave Sill on December 22, 2011 at 08:08

        I’m basing my decision on Richard’s description, not the cover.

        I read Richard’s description of the writing process, too, and I could certainly see crediting the journalist on the cover, but the editor? Weird. And how do you know whose decision it was to put that credit there?

      • Richard Nikoley on December 22, 2011 at 08:22

        Not my decision.

        At any rate, Theresa is the journalist. But, in addition to doing most of the work in putting the 1st draft together from bits & pieces of posts and rewriting a lot of it, she also served an editing role for the 2nd draft and then a final pass through.

  8. Tim on December 22, 2011 at 06:42

    I’m probably being pedantic (it happens a lot), but losing fat AND weight seems redundant at best and counterproductive at worst. Unless we’re talking excess skin from the fat loss, I’m thinking I’d like to keep all the other things that I can weigh. That’s the bulge in the carpet that keeps tripping me up each time I see the cover. And from reading the blog for a bit, I think simply marketing this as another diet book is selling the whole appeal of the blog short. Of course, I guess you could have distilled the posts of their truthy vitriol. I hope not.

  9. Richard Nikoley on December 22, 2011 at 08:05
  10. Derek on December 22, 2011 at 09:33

    Do we need another paleo book?

  11. Justin on December 22, 2011 at 10:53

    This looks good. I think you’re going to hit the ball out of the park with this one.

  12. Paul on December 22, 2011 at 12:16

    I like the cover!

  13. jim on December 23, 2011 at 11:22

    I like that you went for a beginner’s primer. It would be hard to target frequent blog readers. I was disappointed with Art’s book at first, but then realized that after following his blog for over five years, it wasn’t realistic to expect the book to match what I had learned from the blog. I think readers of the blog will either get it for friends and loved ones, or just get a copy as a thank you for the (free) blog.

  14. Roland on December 26, 2011 at 14:26

    I like that you are marketing your book in a way that’s most likely to help people who don’t know exactly what help they really need. Once they loose [sic] the weight, they’ll accidentally be healthy! Score one for your stealth health book.

    Happy New Year, Richard!

  15. Kate O'Rourke, D.O. on January 19, 2012 at 21:36

    I keep checking amazon to see if it’s in print yet. I buy a few copies of paleo books to keep on hand to loan to patients and I have anxiously awaited the publication of this book but I need print copies. I have at least 2 patients in mind that need to read this book (not the others, THIS one).
    The cover is fine. I suspect you’ll attract more people, educate more people and help more people by mentioning weight loss than saying ‘decrease cortisol, increase testosterone, maximize metabolic potential’ on the cover.
    I am excited to read this book and looking forward to sharing it with patients. Educating patients about paleo is difficult in a busy practice but very rewarding when I see their lives change. Its totally worth the effort.
    Be well.

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