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? 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?

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Which One Won? Which print book cover design makes customers reach for a book?

While PickFu is incredibly useful for ebook authors, it’s also a vital testing tool for authors who plan to publish their books in print. One author recently tested four print book cover design options for a book about Canadian facts and trivia. She specifically asked poll respondents which cover they’d pick up in a store.

Option A crowds its cover with chunky illustrations and playful font.
Option B has a cleaner look, with the subtitle set in a circle surrounded by Canadian landmarks.
Option C is similar to Option B but with a different color scheme and illustration.
Option D neatly lays out the Canadian landmarks illustration on the bottom half of the page.

Can you guess which one won?

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Which One Won? Conveying boldness in a book cover

Are you a risk-taker, or do you usually stay away from, say, the edges of cliffs? Do you consider yourself a bold person, someone who radiates confidence? And finally, do you have to live dangerously in order to be bold?

One author set out to answer these questions when she created a PickFu poll to choose a cover for her book Live a Bold Life: Your 30 Day Mission to a Fearless Future.

Option A’s mustard-yellow cover doesn’t feature any danger-evoking images, but the word bold stands out from the rest of the title. In stark contrast, Option B features an illustration of a person standing at the edge of a cliff.

Can you guess which one won?

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Which One Won? Creative book cover design ideas

Most business owners are interested in books about marketing. But what if you wrote a book about account-based marketing (ABM) — a strategy in which the standard funnel gets flipped on its head — and wanted it to catch a reader’s attention? You’d need to demonstrate the upside-down nature of ABM through creative book cover design ideas.

One pair of authors tested two different cover designs for their book, ABM is B2B. Why Traditional Marketing is Broken and How to Fix It in a recent PickFu poll.

Option A’s bright yellow cover features a broken heart behind the subtitle. Option B features a soft blue cover with an egg cracked in the middle of it.

Can you guess which one won?

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Which One Won: How should you design a book cover about design?

If you write an e-book, you might assume you can get away with spending less time on your book cover than someone who’s publishing a physical book.

But e-book covers matter just as much as physical book covers. When potential customers browse an online selection, the cover is the first thing they see. For some books, covers are especially important because they reflect what the book is selling.

Take this recent PickFu poll, run by the author of a DIY interior design e-book aimed at women. The pollster created a ranked poll on PickFu to find out which of their covers attracted the audience best.

Option A features a book cover with a tidy text box against a clean, modern-looking room. You can’t see a whole lot of the home because the focus is on the tables, but the title and subtitle look professional.

Option B removes the box and shifts the title upward, helping potential readers to see more of the room.


Option C introduces new font colors and shifts a banner of text over the fireplace.

Can you guess which one won?

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Which One Won? Understanding what makes a good book title

When someone mentions cyber hackers, you usually think, ugh! Those people who can breach my computer’s privacy and steal my information and money? I stay away from them.

But what if you needed people to see the other side of cyber hackers, and you decided to write a book about it? What type of title would convince readers to look past their negative assumptions and get them to pick up your book?

One author created a PickFu poll to answer this question.

Option A’s title is The Cyber Crisis: Why the Hackers We Fear are the Hackers We Need.

Option B is Cyber Soldiers: How Hackers Can Save Us.

Can you guess which one won?

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Which One Won? Fiction book covers

The most appealing fiction book covers may come down to personal preference: color, typography, imagery. That’s why it’s smart to poll a group of dedicated fiction readers because you’ll likely get answers based on plot, setting, genre, character, and structure.

One author tested book covers on PickFu to a targeted audience of 50 fiction readers. Which of the two covers would make them want to buy the book more?

Option A shows a mysterious woman peeking through a fancy mirror frame. Red swirls (perhaps blood?) highlight the silvery frame.
Option B is completely different, with a flame illuminating an illustration of a woman. A cloaked person hunkers below the flame.

Can you guess which one won?

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Which One Won? Which book title sells Santa Claus to Christians?

Some Christians grow up believing in Santa Claus, but many don’t. For Christians, Christmas tends to focus on Jesus instead of Santa. But what if the two were not mutually exclusive? After writing a book about Santa Claus and Christianity, one author tested his book title on PickFu. The author chose a target audience of self-identified Christians. What better crowd to judge?

  • Option A: The Gospel of Santa Claus – Inspired by the True Story of St. Nicholas
  • Option B: The Gospel of Santa Claus – An Inspiring Novel about the True Meaning of Christmas
  • Option C: The Gospel of Santa Claus – The Story of St. Nicholas and a Father’s Love for His Children

Can you guess which one won?

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How to Get Back Into Writing: 8 Tips

There’s a saying among writers that writing is indeed an art: the art of getting your butt in the chair, staying there without checking Facebook, and writing.

Even before laptops and iPhones, this was true. Short story master Flannery O’Conner famously said, “I don’t know if the muse is going to show up on any given day, but by golly, I’m going to be at my desk every day from 8 to 12 every morning in case she does.”

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Which One Won? Testing covers for a book about learning French

What makes someone want to learn a new language? Is it the romantic nature of discovering another culture? A desire to communicate with a broader range of people? Maybe it’s a little bit of both. And when those language learners search for books to help them achieve success, they’ll want their desires reflected on the book’s cover. And the best method for testing covers for a book? PickFu, of course.

Author Frederic Bibard ran a PickFu poll to find out which of two covers would appeal the most to an audience of people who read 1-3 books a month.

Option A features a lot of text that tells readers what they’re getting. The illustrations on the cover depict iconic French symbols.

Option B eliminates all but the title and author text (and a ‘+ Audio’ insert to let people know they get a free audiobook, too). This less-crowded cover also features well-known French sites but presents them in a more whimsical way.

Can you guess which one won?

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