Authors

Authors improve their book marketing efforts by using PickFu to test book titles and covers with potential readers targeted by literary preferencenumber of books read per month, and more.


Which One Won? Testing to find out what book covers appeal to kids

You might think you remember what it’s like to be a kid, but when it comes to creating a book cover that appeals to children, you probably shouldn’t depend on your memory. Kids change, tastes change, and you want to stay on edge of what’s eye-catching in the book world.

That’s why one author used a PickFu poll to test book covers for a children’s book. The poll asked its respondents—parents of 1, 2, or 3 children—to decide which one they liked best.

Option A shows a blue background, two girls looking around them, and playful title font.

Option B adds a yellow border and palm fronds, and adjusts the font to something more serious—but still kid-friendly.

Can you guess which one won?

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Which One Won? How to choose a book title that speaks to readers

When looking for a new book to read, the first thing a potential reader will notice is the book title. That split second can make the difference between a reader looking further at the book or continuing to browse. So how to choose a book title that’s catchy and interesting? Test your title ideas on PickFu.

In this book title test, an author presented two different book titles and asked 50 respondents which they liked better.

Option A was The Unexpected Picasso, and Option B was Ndugu: The Portrait Painter Who Couldn’t Paint.

Can you guess which book title won?

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Which One Won? Testing book covers to see if they give too much away

When readers pick up a book about the end of the world, do they want the cover to hint at the ending? Or is that too much information, taking away the thrill of discovery? The best way to know: testing book covers.

One author used PickFu to create a book cover test for a post-apocalyptic thriller.

Option A shows a woman and man running away from a burning world, with two people in hazmat suits carrying a stretcher in the background.

Option B does away with the man and woman and brings the two people in hazmat suits to the foreground.

Can you guess which one won?

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Which One Won? Does Sex Sell on Thriller Covers?

We hear the phrase “sex sells” tossed around quite often in advertising. But does this apply to selling thriller books as well?

A recent PickFu poll helped give us greater insight into how much sexuality to include on the cover of a thriller.

The author asked the test panel which cover for a thriller novel they liked best.

Option A shows a page with different images separated by paper rips. The most eye-catching image is one of a woman lying on a bed, looking at the camera.

Which One Won? Does Sex Sell on Thriller Covers?

Option B shows a semi-transparent silhouette of a woman, whose back is to the camera as she looks out at a beach.

Which One Won? Does Sex Sell on Thriller Covers?

Can you guess which one won?

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Which One Won? One Book Cover for Two Genres

Readers tend to have certain expectations of what a book cover should look like for a particular genre, whether it be a couple on a romance novel, blood on a murder mystery book, dragons on fantasy fiction, etc. People look for elemental clues on the cover to determine which type of book it is and whether they want to read it.

But what if a novel spans multiple genres? How can the cover capture the interest of readers of each genre?

One author created a PickFu poll to see how a target audience would react to two different covers for a fantasy fiction novel about time travel that also includes an element of romance.

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Which One Won? Book Covers with Mixed Messages

One small decision you make on your book cover can send a different message to your intended audience. One PickFu pollster was surprised when testing two different book covers.

He tested two covers for the book The Last Lessons of Christ.

Option A featured a dark red image of the back of Christ against a white and grey-toned background.

Which One Won? Book Covers with Mixed Messages

Option B showed Christ in a yellow-ombre color against a similar but brighter white and grey background.

Which One Won? Book Covers with Mixed Messages

Can you guess which one won?

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Which One Won? The Right Level of Mystery for a Book Cover

Designing a mystery cover can be tricky. You want to capture the mystery of your book without giving the reader too much information.

In other words, you want a mystery book to appear… mysterious.

The problem is, if you make a cover too mysterious, you can stump readers. With few clues on what a book is about, an individual can have little enthusiasm to buy the book.

We observed this phenomenon in a recent PickFu poll. A novelist asked the panel which book cover they preferred and provided two different options.

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How a Guide for Short Guys Grew in Sales

“You don’t seem that short,” people often tell author Seth Ulinski.

At 5’7″, Seth is three inches below average height. In the introduction to his book Amazing Heights: How Short Guys Stand Tall, he jokes that perhaps he could chalk it up to “really” being 5’7″ and a half. But it’s more than that: an attitude. A posture. A frame of mind. And his book serves as a guide for the estimated 60 million other men in the “short guy fraternity” to gain the same confidence.

“I decided to write the book after I noted that there were limited resources addressing the unique challenges of the not-so-tall,” Seth said. The book “examines society’s height bias and provides ways for readers to build their presence,” including how to shop for height-maximizing clothes, career tips, and advice on dating.

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Which One Won? Connecting Your Book Cover With Emotions

When designing a book cover, it’s important to consider the emotions that you want your audience to feel. This often determines whether the person buys the book.

In other words, people buy with their emotions.

We saw this connection between emotion and book design in a recent PickFu poll.

Two authors recently tested two different covers for a book targeted at cancer patients. The authors targeted a female audience and asked which cover they preferred. … Continue reading

Which One Won? Photo Editing and Book Covers

Even the smallest tweaks on the design of a book cover can have a positive impact on book sales. One recent PickFu poll demonstrates how photo editing and object placement can significantly alter the reactions of readers.

Author Amber Zygutis asked the test panel participants which cover they preferred for her novel The Siren’s Violin. Option A presents a dark red-haired woman staring at readers with alarming, orange-colored eyes. Option B features an underwater shot of a red-haired woman with eyes closed and her head turned to the side. Can you guess which one won?

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