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You’d think that if you slapped two canoodling people on a romance book cover, your readers would snatch it up, end of story. Turns out making subtle changes to an already attractive cover can pique your readers’ interest even more.

That’s what one author discovered in a split test of two romance book covers on PickFu with a target audience of 100 female fiction readers.

Option A features a mint green accent color, while Option B keeps it all white with the same image of the couple, only closer up.

Can you guess which one won?

And the winner is…Option B, with 58 out of 100 votes.

With a score of 58 to Option A’s 42, the margin wasn’t huge, but it was statistically significant.

Let’s find out why readers chose Option B.

The right romantic font

Respondents didn’t care for the mint green font in Option A’s title. One person noted that the green font washed out the white font.

“Option A’s weird font contrast makes it look really cheap,” another respondent said.

Others liked Option B’s more “feminine” script, saying it fit the romantic theme better than the block letters on Option A.

Respondents also liked how the author’s name was positioned at the top of the cover on Option B, saying it looked more professional.

“I prefer the title to be separate from the author so everything is more clear and easier to read,” one person wrote.

An intimate image

There’s no other way to put this: readers prefer a close-up view of the steamy cover image.

Here’s more of what respondents said about Option B:

  • “For a romance novel, the close-up of the couple in Option B is fitting. I think of romance, relationships, closeness.”
  • “The up-close image is more appealing and more intimate.” 
  • “Image B looks more typical of a modern romance novel for the couple to be zoomed in.”
  • “Being closer to the couple in the image makes the emotions in it more immediate.”

Key takeaways

A romance book cover that evokes strong emotions in readers will make them want to buy it and read it. Designing it with a fancy font — and, of course, a close view of your star couple — can only help.

Do you have a book cover to split test on PickFu? Create a poll and get results back in as little as 15 minutes.

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Laura Melchor

Laura Ojeda Melchor (she/her) is freelance writer whose work has appeared in Parents.com, Mom.com, 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, comes out from Shadow Mountain Publishing in the fall of 2021. Find her online at lauraojedamelchor.com.

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