Let bookstore buyers select your cover for you

You’ve got two or three mockups of your book cover but can’t decide which is best. Nor can your friends or author colleagues who you’ve shown the mockups to. If stuck, consider doing what bestselling author Tim Ferris does: He lets readers browsing in bookstores decide.

You’ll first need to have a copies of the book printed with each cover. If using a POD house such as CreateSpace, that’s easy enough, albeit a bit time consuming (and carries the expense of shipping). Simply upload one cover and order a proof of it shipped to you. Then upload the second mock-up cover and order a proof of it. You’ll need 2-3 weeks to get books with three different covers sent to you.

Next, follow Ferris’ lead. He places each book at his local Barnes & Noble and watches to see which one shoppers pick up first. Do this on a busy Saturday afternoon to maximize the number of people who will pass your books. Also, be discreet when watching; ideally, the book covers will be visible from where you sit in the café.

A crazy idea? Maybe. But Ferris also has three bestselling books to his name, and as the cover typically is what first grabs a potential buyer’s attention, maybe it’s just savvy.