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Posted By Peter Bentley
Already the North American version of The Undercover Scientist is causing a stir, but mainly because of its cover. They've gone with the title "Why Sh*t Happens" and last month I was treated to a sample cover design. It featured a bird pooping on a baseball cap - that's fine as a concept, but I didn't like the weird looking bird so much, or the fact that it looked like it was bleeding rather than pooping. I sent a friendly email back, with a couple of ideas. One idea I thought would be visually very dramatic - why not have a life-sized bird poop splattered across the cover? How distinctive would that be?!

Unfortunately, my editor read my message in a quite different way. She thought I was saying, "even bird sh*t would be better than the current design" in quite an insulting manner. Oh no! It's true, maybe this is the first time an author has suggested bird poo to be on the cover of his book, but it was a real suggestion!

Luckily the confusion was smoothed out, and although I'm sure my editor still thinks I'm a minor nut, the cover was redesigned. Not with a big bird poop, but at least with a nice-looking bird and a decent bit of white poop splashing on the hat below. I guess that's what happens when you name a book Why Sh*t Happens. We're working on the Americanized text right now and the book will be available early next year.