We Have a Winner!

With 174 votes counted, the Below C Level book cover contest results are in and I’m happy to share with you the cover that so many of you helped me select.

Below C Level book coverThe design is by Caitlin Colvin, a sophomore at Castilleja, the girls school in Palo Alto, California. Caitlin modified the design, per suggestions from me and many of you. Notice the subtle handwriting on the slightly crumpled essay as well as the warmer font.

I am still wrestling with the subtitle and invite you to weigh in if you have an opinion. My own three finalists are:
1, the current one: “Why it pays to be average in public education–and what we can do about it.”

2:  “How public education encourages mediocrity–and what we can do about it”
3: “How public education rewards mediocrity–and what we can do about it”

The last phrase is essential, because the book includes solutions, suggestions and portraits of success.

I would have been more than happy to have either of the other two cover designs on Below C Level. #1 is the work of Lillian Xie, who is a junior at Palo Alto High School. She’s an accomplished pianist, a reporter for the high school newspaper (one of the best in the nation), and a superb artist. #2, the clever play on ‘sea’ and ‘C’, was created by a design team of two Castilleja students, Emily Hayflick, ’11 and Camille Stroe, ’12.

I am making a few final edits on the book itself, all 38 chapters, and expect to send it off to Amazon’s publishing division later this week. It should be available for pre-ordering in just a couple of weeks and in your hands not long after that.

Again, thanks for your participation and guidance in helping me choose a cover. It was interesting and fun to read all of your comments and suggestions!

12 thoughts on “We Have a Winner!

  1. Suggest: Public education rewards mediocrity – Here’s how to change that!
    How public education rewards mediocrity – and how WE (America) should change that!


  2. Hey, very nice. I like it. Sharp, you know?
    Subtitile: maybe ‘Why (our) PE rewards…’ and ‘Americans’ in place of ‘we’.


  3. Number 3 is the best of the lot! Although it’s a lot of copy, your title really doesn’t drive the subject home, so a good sup-head will help with that job!


  4. The current draft subtitle seems to suggest that the mediocrity is a good thing – it pays! Of the three possibilities, I like #2 slightly better than #3, and both a huge amount better than #1. I think Bruce Galbraith’s two suggestions are even better than #2.


  5. I like the comment “Jes” gave as it is more positive and invites action

    Jes says:

    How we can move from mediocrity to excellence in public education


  6. The current subtitle is misleading. I refer to Joshua Zucker’s comment- first sentence. I was thinking that, too. Bruce Galbraith’s are clear & not misleading. I’m favoring BG’s second suggestion. Jes’s suggestion is good – could go with it.


  7. I agree with the comments above about #1.
    I like #3 the best as well as some of the new suggestions.
    I think #1 probably doesn’t make the connection that will encourage reading and subsequent discussion.


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