Would you buy a book with this cover?

by Brian Massey on March 18, 2012

Think about the last business book you bought. What was it about the cover that you liked?

Book Cover Concept #2

Concept A: The Conversion Equation

Book Cover Concept #1

Concept B: Me, of course

Book Cover Concept #3

Concept C: Whimsical Drawings

Having finally settled on a name for the book, it is time to decide on a cover design strategy.

As always, you get a vote.

Help me out and get a free copy of the book

Every contributor gets a free copy of the book when it is published (soon!). Just let us know in the comments which concept you think you would most likely buy. You can even propose your own cover concepts, or include links to covers you think are particularly effective.

For curious marketers

My readers are curious marketers. They get tons of advice from marketing professionals day after day. They are wary of more of the same. I want the cover of my book to convey a bit of fun with the learning. Thus each of these concepts is a bit… off.

A marketing equation? Is that scary?

A guy in a lab coat.

A cartoon drawing of the typical shopping cart.

Should I be more serious and conventional? I look forward to reading your comment on the issue.

Thanks in advance for your sage guidance.

  • http://ProActionTeam.com/ Buddy Hodges

    Brian,

    Here is my “2-cents worth.” Of course, consider my opinion in the context of my background (persona?). I am a new reader of your blog and new to your content. I don’t know how analytical your “scientific” approach is.

    I am a curious marketer. Even though I have a Master of Science degree, the first cover does not appeal to me. The simplistic formula seems like other marketing information we have seen before. Furthermore, it is impersonal compared to the friendly looking guy (you) in the lab coat. People tend to notice a picture of a person. It may be innate.  I think I would be more likely to buy that one. I wonder if another color would be more appealing than the grey-blue part.

    The third (whimsical) cover might catch some attention and create curiosity, but it is also impersonal.

    • http://conversionscientist.com Brian Massey

      Buddy, Thanks for your $.02. It’s worth more than that to me. If you were a presona, you would be a “Humanist,” someone who places importance on relationships; someone who cares first about who they are doing business with (or reading) and second about what they will get. So, the question I have to ask is how many of my readers are like you? I also have to acknowledge that I prefer to write for humanist types, so I may need to take your advice for the cover.

      Any methodicals out there who want to weigh in? Methodicals don’t like the personal touch.

      Thanks,
      Brian

      • http://www.morekeynote.com Andrew Davis

        Okay, Brian… I like Option B… The equation works for me. Having read a lot of your book I really feel it captures your practical and proven approach to understanding how to turn leads into customers!
        Can’t wait to see it on shelves!
        – Drew

  • P Jessup

    Hi Brian.

    Congratulations on your new book. I’m looking forward to reading it.

    Happy to share my thoughts on the cover design – hopefully, as requested,  both sage and thymely. (I know, but it’s early and any use of the word sage starts up strains of Simon & Garfunkle)

    I agree with Buddy on the importance of knowing the Who behind the What I elect to invest my time in.  However, B is not quite there. You have all the components, so at the risk of Frankenstein-ing the cover, here are some suggestions:

    1. Drop the “the” – it just looks squeezed in at the top. Try saying it to yourself a few times, and I think you’ll find the importance of the title becomes stronger: Customer Creation Equation.

    2. I like the cover photo of you – great smile – but you might want to try flipping the photo, so your back is at the left and you are facing toward the book’s opening – more inviting – directs the reader’s eye to look inside with you. Ah, the journey of discovery is about to begin.

    3. Who doesn’t love a touch of whimsy – but perhaps a scientist needs a whiteboard. Try your photo, (same smile and positioning) standing in front of a whiteboard bearing your cartoon drawing.(yes, I know, your white lab coat against a whiteboard – –just add more “formula”sketching behind your
    lab-coated shoulder in the photo).

    4. If you try Suggestion 3, then look at taking the subhead “Unexpected formulas…” and placing it under the headline – this would connect the thoughts quickly, while shifting the space allocation.  I think it might work, just be sure this level of visual activity stays interesting – not cluttered. A deft designer will know.

    Enjoy the design finesse process – a great book deserves an equally great cover. Thanks for inviting us into the conversation.

    • http://conversionscientist.com Brian Massey

      This is exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for. Your recommendations are right on and I will share your thoughts with the designer. Thanks so much for taking the time.

  • http://www.bluecoastmarketing.com Les

    Hello Brian,

    The second one – Concept B: Me, of course doesn’t “grab” my attention. The picture on the front cover makes me think of a doctor and can’t “connect”. The picture would be great for the back cover with a bio.

    The first one with the formula on the cover – Concept A: The Conversion Equation makes me think it is complicated book and you need to have some I level education to understand the book.

    Out of the 3 choices I would choose the third – Concept C: Whimsical Drawings,
    but add some more info, such as a particular area the reader would find an answer
    to something their struggling with.

  • http://www.sylviaastern.com sylvia

    Brian,

    I like having your smiling face on the cover. I am going through the same process and I spent hours at Barnes and Noble this week trying to determine what attracted me. Interestingly it was the name and the topic. I then came home and looked through my extensive collection of books and really looked at the covers and realized how few I had really noticed. I bought the books based on the topic or I knew something about the author. So…knowing little about your topic, I would buy it based on “oh, there is Brian” I do love your drawings..wish I had that skill. But…I learned tremendously from your blog and am forwarding to my graphics guy. Have you seen the fiction trilogy on Fify shades of Grey? Interestingly, I did look at the covers and they were so right on.
    Good luck..we should compare note.

  • http://www.JoshuaLovesErin.com Erin Barry

    Hey Brian,

    I like #2. The other two seem impersonal. I agree with PP that the first one makes it seem to simple. At AR, I’ve found we’re hard to fit into many formulas.Plus, I never learned the periodic table, so if those are some nerdy pun on the elements, it goes over my head. You know me, I consider myself a decently smart cookie. I don’t like things going over my head, Brian. And although I LOVE whimsy, it doesn’t really engender trust and credibility, especially when the alternative is a real person, even the real author.

    Hope you’re well!
    Erin

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