I decided to run a A/B test of candidate covers for The Widow’s Son. There are a few sites that let you do this, I chose PickFu.com. It’s not free, and depending on the size of the survey and the targeted audience, it can get expensive. I kept my survey limited to 50 men who read SFF.

Out of 50 respondents, cover A received 26 votes and cover B received 24. Too close to call? Maybe. But looking at the demographics tells a more nuanced story.

First, age range. I know from previous research that my target audience is ages 25–44, with a decent, but not overwhelming, percentage of 45–54-year-olds. While cover B trends slightly higher with 25–34-year olds, cover A performs slightly better with 35–44 year-olds. In the 45–54 bracket cover A is a huge winner.

So, based on age, it’s a bit of a tossup. The younger segment of my market prefers cover B, and the older prefers cover A.

Next, gender.

I know from previous research that my target audience is male, so I only targeted this survey to men. There’s a slight preference for cover A.

The other category of interest is race or ethnic identity.

This is perhaps the most interesting set of results. Non-Whites vastly preferred cover B, which makes sense to me as it depicts a person of color as the hero. Whites preferred cover A by 2:1.

I suppose 50 respondents isn’t exactly statistically significant, but it does give a good general idea of preference.

In the end I think cover A wins, but not by much. It’s a tough call to be honest.

Which cover do you prefer?

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