The write stuff

Author Sean Rosensteel’s publishing strategy yields an Amazon bestseller

First-time author Sean Rosensteel had no idea how hard it was to launch a book, let alone during a pandemic. But with the power of reader input, he took his book to market like a pro.


Business slowed for consultant Sean Rosensteel as the COVID-19 crisis unfolded in early 2020. With more time on his hands, he set out to finish writing and release his first book. If only it were that simple. Sean faced tough decisions at every stage in the publishing process and as a novice author, he was understandably filled with doubt. PickFu gave him the confidence and the feedback he needed to launch.

"If you poll your network on social media or just take a guess, you’ll find yourself riddled with doubt."

Sean Rosensteel
Author and founder, The Intentional Living Academy

The problem

Creative choices need an outside perspective

From planning to editing to promoting, each step in the book publishing process has its own set of challenges. It can be overwhelming for a newbie like Sean, who describes himself as "indecisive on big decisions."

Sean was certain about the topic of his book: living life with intention. He could handle writing the manuscript. But he felt a lot less sure about its title and cover design, two crucial elements to any book.

The solution

Reader input brings clarity

Sean learned of PickFu in a book for writers like himself. He went online, where he read about bestselling authors who used the polling platform to help launch their book. His timing was good. PickFu was offering COVID-19 relief grants to 100 small businesses, so he applied. To his surprise, he won.

Sean started by asking nonfiction readers between ages 25-64 to vote on six book title options. He ran more polls with his target audience to test subtitles and cover designs.

In less than two weeks, he had his title, subtitle, and an eye-catching cover. Thanks to the poll results and comments, he also identified the specific readers he hadn't realized he was writing for: lifelong learners.

The result: A page-turning Amazon debut

Polling with intention leads to publishing success

The School of Intentional Living: A Real-World Approach to Living Life on Your Terms launched in July 2020. It became a #1 bestseller in five Amazon categories (not too shabby for a first-time author).

Sean credits his success to the unbiased written feedback he received from readers. Whatever you're writing or need input on — the book blurb, marketing copy, even your author photo — PickFu can help.

"If you poll your network on social media or just take a guess, you'll find yourself riddled with doubt," Sean said. "And that's no way to launch a book you've just worked so hard to write and publish!"

Are you working on your own future bestseller?

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