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Les McKeown's Predictable Success Blog

  • November 19, 2009
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The Predictable Success Book Cover Contest - Results! 

Thanks, everyone for taking the time to vote recently on the cover for my upcoming new book, “Predictable Success: Getting Your Organization On the Growth Track – and Keeping It There” – I really appreciate you all taking the time to help me out.The final winner was cover #2. I’ve emailed separately the 25 people who voted first for cover #2 with details on how they can get their free copy of the book when it is published, but I’m thankful to everyone who voted.

If you’re interested in the details and what we did with the information, read on. (Otherwise, again, thanks for your time – it really did help! If you’d like to receive regular updates on my progress toward making ‘Predictable Success’ a Wall Street Journal / New York Times Business best-seller by next summer, feel free to subscribe to the blog using any of the buttons on the left at http://PredictableSuccess.com/blog/ – it’s free, and you can unsubscribe at any time.)

Poll result details

The poll results where immensely helpful and pretty clear cut. Of the 738 votes to date, each cover received the following percentage (if you want to refresh your memory of each cover, you can see them at http://PredictableSuccess.com/vote):

Click on any cover to see a larger version.
cover option 1 cover option 2
Cover 1 – 24%
Cover 2 – 35%
cover option 3 cover option 4
Cover 3 – 9%
Cover 4 – 31%

Two people said they didn’t like any of the covers.

Cover #3 pretty much tanked – too uninspiring, too plain, too academic looking. Before we ran the poll it was my personal favorite and I would have likely chosen it, so that tells you (a) how little I know about book covers, and (b) how valuable the exercise was overall.

Cover #1 was third overall, but it was the clear favorite with two groups: female voters (where it polled an amazing 62%) and those who said that they didn’t buy many business books. I might be placing a losing bet against female intuition by not going with #1, but in the end I agreed with the comments of many of you who said that while it was a great cover, it was just too similar to many other business books.

Cover #4 polled strongly, but received a large number of ‘I’ve no clue what the image means’ comments, and many people couldn’t work out whether the rogue ball was going back into the ‘chute’ or falling away from it. The overriding sense from the comments was “I like it, but…“.

The ‘Domino’ cover (#3) edged out the ‘ball-bearings’ as the first-choice winner by 4%. However, what made it the standout winner overall was the number of people (26%) who specifically mentioned it as the cover that most attracted their attention, even though they didn’t vote for it (mostly because they felt the ‘falling dominoes’ image was somewhat negative and not in keeping with the concept of predictable success). In other words, almost two-thirds of everyone who voted had their eyes drawn to #2 first.

Given that the purpose of the cover is to get browsers in a bookstore to reach out and at least peruse the book, #2 far and away fulfills that criteria best. Most people liked it most, and a majority of those that didn’t vote for it still where drawn to it.

So #2 it is. You’ll see changes in the web site and promotional materials reflecting that choice in the next few weeks.

Thanks again for taking the time to help me out – I really appreciate it!


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