Types of Feedback

How To Sell Your Book With Just Three Easy Surveys

If you have advice and experiences you’re looking to share with the world - and you want to write a book that sells - there are two important customer-facing components you’ll need to consider: an effective title, and an engaging cover.

May 21, 2021

How To Sell Your Book With Just Three Easy Surveys

The Four Day Work Week, The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People, Think And Grow Rich - if you’ve ever searched for a self-help book or business advice novel, you’ve heard of one of these titles.

The advice found in these novels defined a generation of economic minded individuals, and revolutionized the genre of business-mentor literature. Between the covers, considered tips and measured consideration can be found on a vast array of topics - ranging from investment advice, to psychological tips to better your personal relationships. Indeed, business help books can be utilized in ways that can measurably transform your life - but they all lack one major facet.


None of these works give you advice on selling your book.

If you have advice and experiences you’re looking to get out into the world - and you want to write a book that sells - there are two important customer-facing components you’ll need to consider: an effective title, and an engaging cover. Without these two elements, your many anecdotes and thoughtful critiques about the world will rot away on the shelf.

Covers and titles are what sell books!

They say you can build the world’s best mousetrap - without good marketing, nobody will buy it. You very well may be sitting on the next Four Day Work Week, and it deserves to have the same shot at success as all of the rest have experienced.

If you want people to buy your book, you need to make your book grab their attention from the moment your customers lay their eyes on it.

The best way to develop titles and covers for your first book that are going to resonate strongly with consumers is to incorporate the consumer into the design process; with Helpfull surveys, getting that feedback has never been easier.

How To Sell My Book With An Eye-Catching And Effective Title

A title is one of the most important things your book possesses.

It’s what your readers will refer to every time they’re looking to review your book, recommend it to a friend, or even consider the subject matter in their minds. When drafting ideas for titling your next work, it’s very important to keep an open mind.

Don’t grow too attached to your title, because the title isn’t for you - it’s to sell the book to your audience. A good author will often go through thousands of iterations for title designs; it’s not something that can easily be changed once your book enters the publishing stage, so it’s vital you get this right.

There are a few core elements that must be present in a book title in order for it to be effective.

When developing ideas for your next novel, keeping these design elements in mind will make the creation process much more efficient:

1. The title must contain solutions to the problem being offered:

  • The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

2. The subtitle should expand on the title concept:

  • The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

3. The title should be memorable and gripping:

  • The 48 Laws Of Power

4. The title is easy to say & pronounceable:

  • Think & Grow Rich

It’s also important to keep in mind the various ways one can utilize innate psychological responses in consumers to create more gripping titles. One simple trick is to use numbers in the title. By including numbers in the title, the concepts offered by the book become much more concrete and realistic in the readers’ mind. It aids to differentiate the title from similar works, and it gives the audience some idea of how the book will segment its ideas.

Click here for a more in-depth look at how to sell your book by writing effective and gripping book titles.

Survey #1 - Building A Better Title For Your Business Book

In order to showcase how Helpfull surveys can be used to select a winning book title, we drafted a selection of book titles to test in front of an audience of Helpfull pollsters:

  • 3 Surveys To Change Your Life
  • Survey Says: Improving Your Life With Just 3 Simple Surveys
  • People’s Choice: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Survey
  • Helpfull Living: Insights From The Community That Will Transform How You View Surveying
  • Every Poll Is A Goal: Utilizing Surveys To Make Better Decisions

With these five choices in mind, we asked our audience to consider the following:

Imagine you're a consumer looking to purchase a self-help book on the topic of using surveys to improve your business and your living. Which title is the most effective at grabbing and holding your attention? Please leave any comments or feedback you have on the titles.

As we workshop our title, we want to urge the pollsters to give us feedback and critique on the choices provided to them - regardless of whether or not they were satisfied with any of the titles.



In just 19 minutes, we received one-hundred votes on our title designs. Ultimately, our audience of Helpfull pollsters decided Every Poll Is A Goal: Utilizing Surveys To Make Better Decisions was the most effective and gripping title.



Reading the many comments that supported our winning book title, audience members responded positively to: the rhyming scheme, the strong stated goal, and the idea that the title was the most memorable of the bunch.

Were we planning on making our book self published, we would run a dozen more surveys throughout our title-creation process. Running multiple surveys throughout the creative process allows for us to incorporate audience feedback into our ideas in real-time, without waiting days to receive polling results from traditional surveying methods.

In order to better clarify the genre of our novel, we’ve adapted the final title to read Every Poll Is A Goal: Utilizing Surveys to Make Better Business Decisions.

Survey #2 - Developing Your Title Page Concepts

Now that we’ve got a title that audiences respond well to, we can continue on with drafting some cover designs.

For a detailed guide to creating winning cover concepts, click here.

For the most part, cover designs for business self-help books lack the explosive, eye-catching graphics that one might find in a fantasy novel, or in the romance genre; so you should probably leave the fire-breathing dragons and vampire lovers off of your cover drafts. This does not mean that your cover should not be appealing or eye-catching.

Strong color choice, bold font design, and relevant graphics are all components of cover art you’ll find on any best-seller. In order to make sure we give our audience a breadth of choices to consider in our next survey, we created a few cover concepts that mimicked design elements of all the most successful novels in the genre:

Each one of these titles possesses enough parity with other self-help novels to be recognized as being in our target genre; their differences in tone, style, color, and fonts vary greatly. With a diverse set of cover designs to select from, we can better gauge what elements from each work or fail to succeed.

Utilizing an image-comparison survey, we tested our cover concepts in front of yet another group of Helpfull pollsters.

In less than a half hour, our audience made their selection. Using their votes, we narrow our selection down the two highest-rated designs; these will be work-shopped further in our final survey. Looking at the vast number of comments given to us by our polling base, we’re able to garner what fixes we need to make to our covers.

We consider the feedback left to us by our pollsters on the merits of color, font choice, graphic usage; we find there is still progress to be made in perfecting our titles. Some consumers feel as though the inclusion of relevant works beneath the author’s name is irrelevant and distracting; others find themselves longing for a more striking color choice.

We’re looking to create a cover that is both visually striking, but poised and professional - these are the elements our test audiences overwhelmingly value. With these critiques in mind, we’re able to continue drafting and work-shopping our cover concepts into something that will resonate far stronger with our next back of consumers.

Survey #3 - Finalizing Our Self-Published Cover Design

We’ve got our winning title, and we’ve got a pretty good idea of which cover designs audiences respond to.

We can see a clear way forward for refining our book cover designs - all there is left to do is to refine our strongest ideas, and undergo one final round of audience critique.

To keep our design considerations consistent and selections varied, we chose to include the two winning covers from the last survey for our final set of book cover designs; along with them, we’ve included two variations of the designs possessing different color palettes. Our hopes are that we’ll have a clear and decisive consensus when looking at the final outcome of our survey:


For our final round of design considerations, our audience responded overwhelmingly positive to our “emoji” cover design and it’s new color theme. With 40% selecting the newest iteration (60% overall for the emoji cover), we had a far more decisive winner than what our previous survey output.


The positive sentiments we received in the comment section gives us confidence in the direction we’ve taken our design choices. Consumers felt the winning book cover was engaging, eye-catching, professional (both in style and in font choice), and was the most effective at advertising the goals stated by the title.

The positive sentiments we received in the comment section gives us confidence in the direction we’ve taken our design choices. Consumers felt the winning book cover was engaging, eye-catching, professional (both in style and in font choice), and was the most effective at advertising the goals stated by the title.

Sell or Promote Your Book Using Helpfull Feedback

In the span of an hour, we’ve had our designs tested by 300 unique consumer minds - individuals who could very well purchase our novel in the near future.

Now that we have concrete evidence that backs the effectiveness of our design concepts, we as authors can continue drafting ideas with reaffirmed confidence in the future success of our novel.

Whether you're selling books - or designing titles for your next online email marketing campaign - Helpfull is the right tool for you.

An intuitive user-interface, coupled with the ability to gather hundreds of consumer responses in just minutes, are just a few of the features that make Helpfull the ultimate tool for any author, designer, or marketing professional.

Sign up with Helpfull today, and get surveying within minutes!

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