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Small Steps 2 Success – Cover Discussion

Yesterday I worked on the cover of Sam’s next book, Small Steps 2 Success. As someone who has been teaching Maths and Physics for years, I know how I am supposed to draw this. But what makes sense in my former world, doesn’t mean it’s the best-looking cover. So, I would like to hear your opinions on which cover you like most. I know, small changes, but that’s what makes a difference after all!?


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  1. middlewave
    August 7th, 2019 at 11:46 | #1

    I thought B looks best, evoking a feeling that the rocket body has been dropped behind and the spaceship heads upwards, and at the same time the number “2” is more clearly readable. But now I feel it looks like the body is in orbit.
    I don’t like A because both body and ship trajectories have a similar angle. And I kinda dislike C because the angle between body and ship is a tad… not sure how to say this, “aggressive”?
    Right now D feels right. But ask me again in a couple of hours, and who knows…? 🙂

  2. Morten Nielsen
    August 7th, 2019 at 11:58 | #2

    I prefer B rather than A. The idea of the booster rocket being separated is very clear in the picture. C and D both look wrong.
    Go for option B 🚀

  3. dude
    August 7th, 2019 at 13:06 | #3

    the dude likes D.

  4. Christopher Pedersen
    August 7th, 2019 at 13:18 | #4

    I prefer B over A.

    Like the rest of the comments, I think C and D looks wrong.

  5. JB
    August 7th, 2019 at 13:34 | #5

    All much of a muchness though if pushed A or B

    Surely the 2 should be on the top of the rocket though and 1 on the booster stage has dropped off. Presume it is symbolising book 1 has pushed us so far and book 2 will now be providing the next boost or am I missing something?

  6. Ray
    August 7th, 2019 at 13:44 | #6

    I also prefer ‘B’, though I hardly think the other covers would result in lower sales 🙂 . Very much looking forward to this book by the way!

    Off-topic: I saw Thinkers are going to publish a book on the Leningrad Dutch by Demuth in the end of august. Which made me wonder how Marin’s book on the same topic is progressing? Can you enlighten us a bit or is it still to early to tell?

  7. Stephen Dunning
    August 7th, 2019 at 13:58 | #7

    I also thought B! It felt right.

    But shouldn’t it be a picture of the moon landing? You know, “One small step for…” and so on!

  8. Seth
    August 7th, 2019 at 17:49 | #8

    I’m more curious as to whether the separated rocket launcher self-landed successfully back on Earth.

  9. Pinpon
    August 7th, 2019 at 19:09 | #9

    Looks like a Hergé comic , so C .

  10. August 7th, 2019 at 19:15 | #10

    I prefer B, without any doubt.

  11. Morten Nielsen
    August 7th, 2019 at 20:21 | #11

    And of course we need to add a quiff to the pawn 🙂

  12. Mark
    August 7th, 2019 at 21:43 | #12

    All look good – great work! B is my favorite. Ship it. Pun intended.

  13. Thomas
    August 8th, 2019 at 04:02 | #13

    I prefer D

  14. August 8th, 2019 at 04:13 | #14

    C is the scientifically-accurate option right?

  15. Carlos
    August 8th, 2019 at 14:27 | #15

    I prefer A as it looks like moving together with the rocket

  16. gernot
    August 8th, 2019 at 17:21 | #16

    B, but i am more interested when the book is released, the content and how many pages

  17. Mario
    August 8th, 2019 at 17:58 | #17

    I think that number 2 is wrong placed in the rocket
    you are buying the number 2 book not droping it 🙁

  18. Rickson
    August 9th, 2019 at 08:35 | #18

    I suggest B.

  19. KevHun
    August 9th, 2019 at 08:43 | #19

    I think B looks the best.

  20. Bulkington
    August 9th, 2019 at 13:36 | #20

    That is a good point. So what about labelling the dropped part with a “1” and the cockpit part with “2”… Other than that: D is my choice.

  21. Michael
    August 9th, 2019 at 18:04 | #21

    Regardless of which of the four you choose I won’t judge the book by its cover.

  22. Topnotch
    August 9th, 2019 at 21:19 | #22

    Alrighty then,

    A: Looks like the rocket is following rather than falling from the ship – Creepy.
    B: Aesthetically pleasing – Feels right.
    C: Just looks weird – Confusing.
    D: Looks like the ship just took a dump – Yuck.

    So clearly it’s B by a mile, and unlike what one poster said such small details can and does affect sales. We wouldn’t want to have to rename the book Small Steps to Giant Losses (in sales that is).

  23. Michael
    August 10th, 2019 at 19:06 | #23


    The comment was meant to be light hearted response!

  24. August 10th, 2019 at 22:50 | #24

    C seems most appropriate, with the rocket blast causing it to spin.

  25. August 10th, 2019 at 23:08 | #25

    I choose C as well, but I guess all choices seem valid, seeing as they could be snapshots before it started rotating.

  26. Topnotch
    August 11th, 2019 at 18:10 | #26

    @ Michael

    So we’re my comments. My quip regarding Book sales was in response to Ray’s post 6 or 9 I think, and not in response to you.

    No hard feelings.

  27. August 13th, 2019 at 05:35 | #27

    I think cover D makes the best use of the booster breaking away and gravity making it fall backwards. Without propulsion, it shouldn’t have the same trajectory as the rocket.

  28. August 13th, 2019 at 16:33 | #28

    I want to know which makes the most sense according to physics. Guessing this is D, :|.

  29. August 14th, 2019 at 00:37 | #29

    None working for me (sorry) you should stick to the same format as book 1, but this time have many pawns with rocket trails as they leave the planet. i.e phase one ( book 1) breaking thru the atmosphere phase two (|book 2) breaking into the endless vacuum of space .

    must be chess pieces IMHO

  30. August 14th, 2019 at 10:00 | #30

    Also marketing obviously makes a difference. A good example of this is the book Tactimania by Glenn Flear, which is a very decent puzzle book, with what I find quite fun and individualistic manga style illustrations. Most of the chess players I know have no interest in buying this book, because it is perceived as being a kiddy book, and they don’t want to be seen buying such a thing.
    This attitude seems to be quite common because when Chess and Bridge in London last stocked this book, they were flogging off the paper editions for £5.

  31. The Doctor
    August 14th, 2019 at 11:51 | #31

    Will the coming soon section be updated anytime soon. Eager to catch a glimpse of the new Najdorf book and any others that may be in the pipeline!!

  32. Douwe
    August 18th, 2019 at 15:03 | #32


  33. Jacob Aagaard
    August 23rd, 2019 at 18:41 | #33

    @John Christopher Simmons
    The author asked us, no begged us, to use these illustrations. They are by his son!

  34. Jacob Aagaard
    August 23rd, 2019 at 18:42 | #34

    @The Doctor
    Hopefully people will like it, but I just want to clarify that Gelfand declined my offer a few years back…

  35. Thomas
    August 24th, 2019 at 07:15 | #35

    Hopefully people will like it, but I just want to clarify that Gelfand declined my offer a few years back…

    So it will be Garri himself?

  36. The Doctor
    August 24th, 2019 at 10:47 | #36

    😂 That would be hilarious, but amazing.

    I’d love to know who the author is. My but it’s a GM but not a very well known one!

  37. The Doctor
    August 24th, 2019 at 11:35 | #37

    I meant to say ‘My guess is it’s a GM but not a well known one.’

  38. John NS
    August 25th, 2019 at 07:51 | #38

    On page 67 of the excerpt under the left diagram shouldn’t it read “the first mistake is the one that makes the win easier….

  39. John Shaw
    August 26th, 2019 at 13:48 | #39

    John NS :
    On page 67 of the excerpt under the left diagram shouldn’t it read “the first mistake is the one that makes the win easier….

    No, it is right as it is. It is writing from the point of view of the stronger side of that position. So the first mistake by the winning side makes the win harder to achieve.

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