I’ve designed quite a few variant covers for The Widow’s Son, and have run several of them through A/B testing with my target audience. Here are the results.
Cover A: 84%
I personally love cover B, and it was the first cover I released the book with, but I got consistent feedback that it looked too much like a graphic novel or a YA book. So, I came up with cover B. The response was overwhelming. Not only did it win by a huge margin in A/B testing, more importantly, sales increased.
Cover A: 52%
I started working on a fully illustrated version that I felt fit the genre better, but results were mixed. There was no clear winner. The demographics were interesting, with younger people and people of color voting for cover B, but in the end the results were inconclusive.
Cover B: 72%
Still, I wasn’t satisfied with the “crow cover” and kept iterating on the design. I was very surprised by the results of the red and black silhouette cover.
Cover B: 82%
After looking at a lot more Weird West covers I came up with cover A, but was surprised that even though it had a more classic Weird West and “traditionally published” feel to it, people still overwhelmingly responded to the red and black silhouette cover. Also interesting was the results were the same across demographics. Age, gender, race, education, income all trended strongly to cover B.
And the winner is…
Looks like this will be the new face of The Widow’s Son. I may or may not keep the tagline, or make the title a little more prominent, but I can safely say we have a solid winner.