It's everywhere you look—at the beach, on the subway, in the waiting room. Americans are devouring The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and the bestselling novel's distinctive cover has a pretty good story of its own, reports the Wall Street Journal. Designer Peter Mendelsund went through dozens of possibilities, and the fact that the title had to be changed—in the original Swedish, it's Men Who Hate Women—didn't make the process easier.
The end product, a predominantly yellow image with dragon design, "was striking and it was different," says Sonny Mehta, the head of Knopf Doubleday. The book is the first part of a trilogy, and "I was extremely worried that they would be dismissed as crime novels, Scandinavian crime novels, in translation," he recalls. Bullet dodged: The book has sold 3.8 million copies in the US alone.