The votes have been counted and we have a winner. Although I preferred the white cover, it seems like more people lean toward the yellow cover (despite the “pukey” yellow). However, I must say this has been a bit depressing as many people proceeded to critique — even shred — both covers! I am comforted somewhat by the thought that both covers have been subjected to more critical analysis than would be typical of the average cover.
Jerry Rivard rightly pointed out that the diver is not using a self-contained underwater breathing aparatus. But would anybody scanning titles at the airport bookshop care? Probably not. I don’t care and I have my PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certification. The fact is that the deep sea helmet is more iconic and thus more impactful for the moment of purchase.
As for complaints about the color and font (et cetera), I don’t disagree but one has to be careful about being labelled a prima donna author that nobody wants to work with (unless you’re Dan Brown or J.K. Rowling in which case stratospheric sales can cover a multitude of sins). And asking them to change the color, font, dive helmet, etc. would soon result in sighs and eyerolls. So I’ll be accepting the yellow cover as is.
A few people raised questions about the quirky, not serious nature of the covers with the worry that they might be out of step with serious content within the book. In fact, I think both covers capture the unique niche of the book. It is a serious foray into apologetic exchange, but it also aims for quirkiness like that guy with the purple hair who sells homemade candles at the farmer’s market. He’s serious about his craft even while he has a Yosemite Sam tattoo on his forearm.
Thanks to everyone for your votes and commentary.