The Japanese edition of The Long Tail was released today, with the canonical powerlaw front and center. It's been interesting to see how various publishers have dealt with the whole book-named-after-a-curve thing. In the US, Hyperion decided that emphasizing the statistical roots of the book would be offputting to the mainstream audience they were targeting, so they went the Tipping Point route with a simple, somewhat abstract image meant to largely give a subject-matter context for the title, subhead and other text that's actually doing all the work of selling the book. The curve, meanwhile, was relegated to the inside back flap. Whatever you might think about that decision, it worked.
In the UK publishers tend to be a bit more playful with their covers. Here's what Random House UK did with the book (is that a donkey tail? I'll try not to read too much into it...).
[UPDATE] Here's the Brazilian version. Not sure what those arrow things are, but I think it's a graceful and modern design, albeit a bit generic. (Thanks to Luigui Moterani for the heads up that it was out.)
[UPDATE 2] Here's the Taiwanese version. Typography aside, I quite like the integration of the curve into the cover, which evokes the powerlaw without feeling too math-y. Perhaps a path worth considering for the paperback edition in the US?
The book is now being translated into nearly two dozen other languages, so we'll get to see how more countries and cultures deal with the question of how to express a complicated idea simply, and how much math they think their readers can handle.
As a side note, I'm sorry about having so many self-promotional posts in a row. I've been traveling 22 of the last 30 days (I've just arrived in NYC from Paris, where I keynoted the IDC IT Forum) and next month doesn't look much better. But I'll try to at least update my sadly neglected sidebar over the next week and turn to finishing some proper research-driven posts over the weekend.