Did you try the Over button on the Caption palette?
EDIT: You can also use the page caption (same palette).
Dorin, you are a Lightroom 4 God! Because I wasn't thinking of the text as a "caption" but rather as text, I never saw that option. I just tried it and it is fine. I am not sure if I can play with the dimensions of the box as much as I like, but I could deal with that by how I arrange the type. Yeah you!
While I'm typing to you, I have another question: one of the neat things about the book module is that you can switch into Develop and make a change in the photo and it automatically updates the photo in the book module. HOWEVER -- what happens if at some time in the future I am working with a photo which is in a book -- and I like the way it is for that book -- and I want to change the photo for another use. Will that change in the photo change the photo in the book? If so, is there any way to keep this from happening? I could see using a photo in a book in black & white, but wanting to use in for a graphic in color. I'd hate to come back to my book and see that all my work there had been screwed up.
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Use virtual copies.
Yes, I've been playing around with that. Which makes more sense, do you think, to use the virtual copy in the book or for future work or doesn't it matter? I think that the real danger will be not to look carefully at the thumbnail and see that it is part of a collection and then screw things up.