I have two blurbs for The Widow’s Son competing for my affection, so I decided to A/B test them. The target audience was male SFF readers between the ages of 25–44.

Blurb A

When supernatural forces abduct an infant, Special Agent Zarahemla Two Crows must combat a malevolent enemy from his past.

Despite his reservations, the young mother, a pioneer widow, joins him, and they soon find themselves caught in the middle of a continent-spanning apocalypse.

Aided by a vampire-slaying nun and a steam-mech pilot, the four heroes battle their way into the heart of Hell; and to prevent the resurrection of a godlike entity of darkness they must dig deep within themselves to find the faith they need to defeat an evil greater than the world has ever known.

Is the widow’s son the key to saving them all?

Blurb B

Pass the bottle, stranger, and I’ll tell you a true story of a West that never was. A tale of the lawman Zarahemla Two Crows and his quest for the widow’s son that led him through the gates of Hell.

A story of the child’s young pioneer mother who joins Two Crows, and the vampire-hunting nun and cavalryman with his steed of steam and iron who come to their aid. A tale of a world where one needs a trusty six-gun at their side and an even greater trust in God to survive.

Pass the bottle, partner, and I’ll tell you of their battle into the heart of darkness, and the faith required to prevent the resurrection of a godlike entity of evil—a power greater than the world has ever known.

I’ll tell you a story, friend, of when the West was weird.

The Results

Blurb B won out over blurb A with 60% of the votes, appealing much more to younger readers.

Education played a part as well, with those having a High School education vastly preferring blurb B.

Race or ethnic identity also has some interesting results, with a strong preference for blurb B among Black respondents.

Granted, with only 50 people in the survey, it’s not terribly statistically significant, but together with the survey data on the cover design I’ve decided to market the illustrated cover with blurb B to eBook readers and the crow cover with blurb A to paperback (and eventually hardback) readers. Combined with targeted advertising I think this will lead to some interesting results.

Which one do you prefer?

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