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.
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.
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.
“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.
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 novelThe 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?
Editor’s Note: Thanks to Caleb Kaiser at Reedsy.com for contributing the following guest post.
The publishing world earned its reputation for being opaque. If you want even basic data points, like book sales for a given title, you’re forced to cobble together numbers from a variety of sources — Nielsen BookScan, Amazon rankings, etc — just to get a vague estimate.
If you’re an author interested in taking a more analytical approach to your writing and/or publishing, you should know a handful of insights. We’ve listed our top three below, starting with… … Continue reading