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If you’re a parent who also works, you know how hard it is just to survive some days. So when a book comes along promising to help you navigate a career, kids, and holding onto your self-love in the process, you’ll want to buy it. But which book cover designs will attract your attention the most?

One author created a PickFu poll with a special target audience — parents of 1, 2, or 3 children — to find out.

While both book cover designs feature the same photo, the layout is different. Option A has small orange lettering above the unframed photo and more orange lettering below. Option B chooses a bolder all-caps font, frames the picture in yellow, and adds a background to the author’s name and credentials.

Can you guess which one won?

And the winner is…Option B! If you’ve written a how-to-survive-parenting book, here are some things to keep in mind for your cover.

Sometimes there’s too much white space

White space is a good thing, allowing the eye to take in what’s important without tons of clutter.

But you can have too much of it.

Many respondents found Option A’s white space too glaring. The orange lettering seems too small in such a white background, and without a frame to help it pop, the picture doesn’t stand out.

Font should pop—but in the right way

Some respondents applauded Option A’s orange font. But most respondents decided that while orange is a bright and attractive color, it doesn’t work on this cover.

This is partly because of the small font size. Said one respondent, “I like the bigger font used on the top of the page [of Option B] and the black stands out so much better than the lighter color.”

In book cover designs of any kind, make sure your font doesn’t shrink into the background.

Carefully consider the picture on the cover

Both Option A and Option B use the same picture, but in Option A, it’s bigger and unframed.

This lack of background makes a huge difference. Many respondents thought the yellow framing in Option B looked more professional. Others added that Option A’s picture size makes the woman’s legs stand out too much.

One female respondent said, “I perfer the [mother’s legs] not being as prominent of a feature.”

And some respondents, even though they voted for Option B, didn’t love the photo at all. One female respondent saw the photo and thought, “It looks like the model is about to sit on the baby.”

Thankfully, using a PickFu poll helps you pinpoint issues like this that you’d never think of on your own.

Key takeaways for book cover designs

Make sure that you’re using white space to its best effect, and don’t be afraid to include frames and small pops of color.

When you’re choosing a font size, make it something that stands out to readers and isn’t dwarfed by your cover’s photo or white space. Black looks great against white; orange, not so much.

Carefully choose a picture that will give readers a strong idea of what your book is about. While the photo on these covers features a child, the mother isn’t really in the picture. Option B minimizes the dramatic effect of her legs with a yellow frame, which is a smart move.

If you need helping deciding which cover of your self-help parenting book would shine the brightest in the sleep-deprived eyes of a parent, try using split-testing to create your own PickFu poll. Make sure you choose a target audience composed of parents for the most relevant results and read best practices for testing a book cover with PickFu!


Laura Melchor

Laura Ojeda Melchor (she/her) is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in,, Gardener’s Path, and of course, PickFu. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her debut middle-grade novel, Missing Okalee, was published in the fall of 2021 by Shadow Mountain Publishing. Find her online at

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