Stop guessing: Split Test your cover with PickFu Writing

By Brian Berni

We spend a lot of time here with The Book Designer and emphasize to our readers how important good cover design is. Today we are pleased to welcome Brian Berni, who will explain to us how we can receive feedback on possible envelopes for our books prior to publication. Have fun while reading. I think you will find it interesting.

"Do not judge a book by its cover."

Raise your hand if you have already heard this.

I assume that you are sitting behind your computer with your hand held high.

As much as we want to believe it as a fact, it could not be further from the truth. Readers judge books by their cover. This is one of the most important factors in whether a reader takes a risk on your book or not.

Just as it is difficult to judge the merit of our work, the same can be said for our covers. Fortunately, we can rely on shared test data to find the cover that our readers like best.

Below you will find out:

  • What is split testing?
  • The different approaches you can use to share test your coverage
  • Share an online sharing tool Try out your covers today

What is Split Testing? And why it matters

When you publish a book, you want to do everything in your power to make it successful.

To carry a book into the world with an inferior cover is the same as stepping out into a winter snowstorm without a coat. Probably a bad idea.

But how do you know if a cover is good or not? Split test.

The split-test process helps you to answer the question: Does this cover appeal to my target audience? And the more important question: Will they actually buy the book?

Without split testing, you'll leave the success of your book to fate, but split testing will bring your book to market with cold, hard data.

I know in which camp I would prefer.

3 methods to split-test your covers

Just as there are different approaches to writing a book, there are also different ways you can divide your cover.

Here are the three most common methods that exist today in the wild:

1. Survey your readers by e-mail

If you have an email list of past readers of your work, you are sitting on a gold mine. Both for future book sales and cover tests.

Remember that you should only use this approach if your email list is filled with readers in your market. You do not want to e-mail your list when it's filled with your family and friends, as it distorts the results.

If your email list is filled with readers in your niche, create two identical emails announcing your new book. The only difference will be your coverage.

Then you will see which cover gets more clicks and that will be the one you go with.

2. Use online tools for split testing

Split tests do not have to be complicated. There are a handful of online tools that make split testing a breeze.

The best tool for the job is called PickFu, All you have to do is upload your two covers, select your demographic data, and run the tests. Within a few minutes you will get results.

It is also recommended by the book marketing superstar Tim Grahl,

3. Run low-cost social media ads

Another option is to run polls or low-cost social media ads, as long as you're familiar with Facebook ad serving.

With this method, you can create two different Facebook ads with the same exact copy and different covers. Then, run the same audiences for each ad, and determine which cover gets more clicks.

The route you take depends on what is available to you. For example, if you start over without an e-mail list, you want to use online tools or social media. Where, if social media advertising is intimidating, then go online with tools.

Two split-testing approaches

There are two different approaches you can use to split your covers.

1. Testing two completely different lids

For example, suppose you've asked a cover designer to make a few models for you, and you have two covers that you love. The only problem is that they are completely different.

In this case, you can test these two covers against each other for the best performance.

2. Test different cover elements against each other

This is useful if you have a single cover that you like, but you want to further refine it.

Make minor changes to your title, subtitle text, colors, overall layout, auth title, and even your background image.

Change one item at a time and perform split tests to strategically improve the quality of your coverage.

Run your split tests with PickFu

As you can see, there are a lot of different ways you can split your coverage.

But for example, we assume that this is your first book and you do not have an existing audience, so no e-mail list.

If that sounds like you, then PickFu will be your tool of choice.

Here's a quick guide on how to use it to share your coverage.

  1. First you have to Create a PickFu account,
  2. Then click on "New Survey" and choose whether you want to conduct the survey for a new or existing audience.
  3. Next, create the basics of your survey and upload your two covers:

  4. After uploading your book covers, click Audience to enter details about your ideal readership.

The fee you pay for the survey depends on how detailed you are at targeting. Now it's time for the tool to do it.

The great thing about PickFu is that readers can not only vote for a cover, but can also give their reasons for voting.

Here is an example of what the Final result of your split test could look like this:

Split Testing Case Studies

Not sold in the split test yet?

Then take a look at the following wisdom of some bestselling authors:

1. James Altucher tests the title of Choose yourself

James Altucher is the author of the mega-bestseller Choose yourself, But did you know that he wanted to name the book? The Choose Yourself era or Choose yourself!, Luckily, a small Facebook ad survey was conducted show that Choose yourself was a co-winner,

2. Tim Ferriss tests the title for Four-hour work week

Tim Ferriss is one of the most popular non-fiction authors in the world. However, before he published his first book, he and his publisher were stuck to a title. So, They tested a number of titles before they landed The 4-Hour Week: Escape 9-5, live everywhere and join the new rich, This title was not Tim's first choice either.

3. LifeTree Media combines multiple covers into one

LifeTree Media is a hybrid publisher that has produced dozens of bestsellers. During a cover test session, the The results did not choose a clear winnerBut instead of giving up in frustration, they combined the elements that people loved into an incredible cover art.

Without split tests these authors would not have chosen these titles and covers under any circumstances.

Hopefully you understand the importance of split testing and are ready to test your next cover today!

Brian Berni is a former researcher of the Vatican Secret Archives and now a bestselling author of several pseudonyms. He blogs for authors and self-publishers Author Holly and is co-founder of BookAds, an agency that helps authors promote their books through Amazon and BookBub Ads.

Photo: pixabay

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