Laura Melchor


Which One Won? Graphic design secrets in middle-grade​ books

When it comes to selling books, the littlest details can make the biggest difference. One author of a middle-grade book (read: for kids ages 8-12) recently ran a PickFu poll that asked the simple yet critical question, “Which book would you buy?”

At first glance, the covers look exactly the same, but one cover won by a significant number of votes. Obviously, there’s a big difference between the two. Let’s see if we can find the graphic design secrets behind the winner.

… Continue reading

Should You Use a Book Description Generator?

One of the hardest things for authors to do is summarize an entire story idea in just a few sentences. But if you’re an author who wants to market a book, you can’t escape writing a book description. And writing one while you’re drafting helps distill your story idea to its most powerful parts.

Once you’re selling your work, you’ll need to write a compelling book description for your online listings. There are two tools that can help you with this: a book description generator and a book description template.

We’ll take a look at both.

… Continue reading

Which One Won? Choosing a book cover

Book cover designers have one of the trickiest jobs in the industry. They have to create covers that attract the largest possible number of potential customers. This is especially important when the book has no thrilling title to help make it pop. So what’s important when choosing a book cover?

One creator of a woodland creature-themed baby guest book recently took five cover designs to PickFu and created a poll to find out which one stood out above the rest. The creator asked 50 women to rank their favorite options:

… Continue reading

Which One Won? Tips on writing book descriptions

A book description often decides whether someone buys a book or puts it back on the shelf. This means that it’s crucial for authors to test their book descriptions, which is easy to do using PickFu.

Recently, one author split-tested two book descriptions by asking respondents, “Which book description sounds more appealing?”

Option A switches uneasily between tenses and sounds somewhat distant, but it’s short and easy for the eye to digest.

Tips on writing book descriptions

Option B begins with a more urgent first line, but it’s longer.

Tips on writing book descriptions - Option B

Can you guess which one won?

… Continue reading

How to Format a Book for Kindle, Step-by-Step

Why you should know how to format a book for Kindle

Once upon a time, writers relied on traditional publishing to get their books in front of an audience. And it’s true that publishing through an established company means your book won’t get sent out into the world full of typos.

But every writer also knows this: sometimes, publishing houses release bland books that should’ve stayed in draft form forever. Conversely, sometimes even the best books never find a home through a traditional publisher. Actually, this happens all the time.

This situation has driven many writers to take matters into their own hands and self-publish books through platforms like Amazon. One neat thing about Amazon is that you can easily format an e-book using Kindle Create, a free formatting software that makes your book look professional before you upload it to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

If you’re wondering how to format a book for Kindle, keep reading. We’ll show you everything you need to know in three simple steps.

… Continue reading

Which One Won? In a book about Jesus, aliens sell

Say you’re a writer of religious self-help books, but you want your book to appeal to everyone. Do you design your title and cover with religion in mind or the general audience who’ll be reading it (hopefully)?

Author Michael Peters created a PickFu poll to answer that question for his own religious self-help book.

Option A’s title is a bit of a mouthful: Lost in Detroit: Bent Nails, Alien Life, and Jesus of Nazareth: The Journey to the Non-Religious Jesus. The cover features a clean black, white, and turquoise color scheme with the Detroit skyline below the title.

Option B’s title is much shorter: Tired of Religion? Come & See Jesus of Nazareth. The cover art is a blurred painting of Jesus.

Can you guess which one won?

… Continue reading

6 Tips to Improve eBay Listing Optimization

eBay has been an e-commerce seller’s dream spot for years — and for good reason. You can sell almost anything on eBay: used items, collectibles, refurbished gadgets, and of course, new goods. And while there’s a market out there for nearly anything you could sell on eBay, you need to keep your eBay listing optimization skills sharp and up-to-the-minute.

ebay listing optimization - listing for One ghost in a cardboard Amazon box
Any takers for this irresistible listing on eBay? Okay, so maybe the ghost-collecting market isn’t as big as the seller thought.

Also called eBay SEO, eBay listing optimization makes it easier for your target audience to find your product amidst the 1.3 billion listings currently featured on the site.

Here’s the key detail about eBay’s search engine, Cassini: its main goal is to keep shoppers — not necessarily sellers — happy.

Everything you post on your listing, therefore, needs to be aimed at shopper ease and satisfaction. By optimizing your eBay listing according to your buyers’ needs and desires, you’re optimizing the listing for eBay’s search engine.

Here are 6 ways to do just that.

… Continue reading

Which One Won? Making insider knowledge appeal to outsiders

There’s something appealing about reading a book from an insider’s perspective. It could be a book about being a paparazzo, or a midwife, or a maid. If there’s the magnetic pull of secret, insider information, we want to know it.

But there are ways to make even the most intriguing insider books stand out. One airline pilot wrote a book about tackling jetlag — from a pilot’s perspective — and created a PickFu poll to test two covers and titles.

Option A features a yellow-and-black illustration of a flight information display system. Option B shows two passports and an airplane laid over a map. The subtitle is long but neatly tucked under the prominent title.

Can you guess which one won?

… Continue reading