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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?

And the winner is…Option B! Let’s find out what respondents had to say.

A book about learning French should be fun

While some respondents liked the informational style of Option A’s cover, many loved Option B’s more playful approach to learning French.

One respondent said, “B seems really fun and educational without it looking like a textbook!”

Another said, “I think this one looks friendlier. The other cover looks like a textbook, but this one looks like it would help you learn but also be fun to read.”

Learning a language should be fun! Books that act as language-learning resources don’t have to remind us of university courses.

An audio bonus is significant with a language-learning book

Option A does mention that the audio of this book is available for free, but the information is hard to find among the bold cover and the rest of the text. Respondents liked that Option B states clearly and simply that audio is included in the purchase.

One respondent appreciates that she’ll be able to listen to the short stories in French, not just try to stumble through the text alone. “I like that the included audio fact is displayed prominently. It helps to make me feel the program will be more successful for me to use,” she said.

Languages are best learned by listening to them, reading them, and speaking them, and this book cover advertises the opportunity to practice two of the three in a visually pleasing way.

Key takeaways for testing covers for a book

If you aren’t in a formal classroom, you won’t want a cover that resembles an advanced textbook. Option A looked too intimidating to many readers; they preferred the friendly openness of Option B. Make sure the cover invites any reader in — not just academic learners.

And if you have an audiobook component, make it clear. That’s a huge plus in many language-learners’ eyes and will prompt them to choose your book over whatever competition surrounds you.

Need help figuring out which cover appeals to the desires of those learning a different language? Create your own PickFu poll, and ask readers what they think! You can customize your audience to fiction or non-fiction readers, people who listen to audiobooks or prefer e-books, or, like this author did, how many books a person reads in a month!


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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