First published on www.http://janefriedman.com/.
Picking up from our earlier segment here about author Roz Morris’ blind-test research on possible book cover designs, there’s another potential asset coming to authors, although details of how it could be made available are still being considered.
Images seen here are from the company’s presentation and used with Bowker’s permission.
While I don’t have the narration that went with the presentation, what we’re seeing here is fascinating. As when such techniques are applied to website clicks (for use, for example, by newsrooms tracking user response to headlines), this approach allows researchers to gauge which elements of a cover receive positive or negative response.
The figure in the A Time for Heroes cover, for example, is a military man with a gun. The reactions to the image showed a marked difference between men and women in seeing that gun.
And women seemed to respond more readily to the title’s subtitle, “An Epic Novel of Family, Class, and Warfare,” than men tested did.
And in the aggregate, it then was able to present particularly successful and less successful elements of those covers.
Clearly, this sort of understanding can be extremely valuable when applicable to an author’s covers—the research included questions to respondents about how they might feel about a given cover as a book for themselves as well as for a gift for someone else.