Help Me Choose a Platform Cover (Round 1)

This seems to be “cover week“ here on my blog. A few days ago, you gave me your input on a new, revised cover for my e-book Creating Your Personal Life Plan. The input was invaluable. You saw things I didn’t see and helped me more clearly identify my target market. Thank you.

4 Cover Choices for Platform Book Cover

I need your help again with my new book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. (Curious what a “platform” is? I blogged about it here.) I am finishing the manuscript up now. Thomas Nelson will publish it in April 2012. It includes everything I have personally learned in building my own platform. I can’t wait to share it with you.

The book will be presented to the Thomas Nelson sales team in a few weeks, so I really need your help in choosing a cover design. The covers in the poll below represent my four favorites out of the ten they submitted.

What do you think? Which cover do you prefer?

So, which of the these new cover comps do you prefer? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • Sean Sankey

    Option 3 by far is my favourite. The imagery speaks just as clearly as the wording. The colour scheme of the other 3 is an advantage (red clearly stands out) however I think option 3 manages to preserve some of this with the Red title.  

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      I agree!

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    None of the covers are really doing anything for me but I chose number three. It stood out the most.

  • http://www.the123blog.com Marcia (123 blog)

    Hi, I chose number 4. Just a comment that your age group on the 30 – 39 currently reads 30 – 29 :)

    I really don’t like the loud-hailer :) it feels too aggressive and in your face for me, a 37-year-old female.
     

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Marcia. I fixed the age group.

    • http://refreshmentrefuge.blogspot.com Gina Burgess

      I agree, Marcia. It looks to me like just another something loud in a noisy world. Makes my nerves jangle!

      • Anonymous

        I agree, although I think Option 3 is best overall, and the image is good, just perhaps over-powering.

        • http://refreshmentrefuge.blogspot.com Gina Burgess

          Perhaps you are correct! Maybe if the man and megaphone were a bit smaller?

          I really like the idea of someone whispering into my ear. It seems so much more personal rather than trying to get my attention, you can’t help but listen to someone whispering in your ear.

          But that isn’t a choice…

          • Anonymous

            Gina, What a great idea, the whisperer. The premise is about “getting noticed in a noisy world”. The megaphone does simply add to the noise, whereas the whisper can be deafening. When all around us are shouting, we tend to look to those we trust enough to come close and whisper. It also eludes to that “still small voice” inside each of us.

            Michael, can you do something with the whisperer idea? 

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Personally, I think that would be a really tough metaphor for people to get.

  • Sherri

    I like a combination of  3 & 4. I like the visual of number three and the red from the fourth one. Is there a way to combine those? 

    The first one makes me want to color on the empty spots. (I also can’t stand to have a clear surface in my house – gotta’ put something on it, so maybe that’s just me! )

    The second one makes me a little dizzy and makes me think it would be a good cover for a book about a crazed serial killer. 

    Can’t wait to read the book. Choosing a cover is so hard, isn’t it?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It is hard, because it is so subjective!

    • Zac Wagganer

      I agree Marcia, I liked the graphic on three but the red on four.  Either are very attractive but my eye goes to the red first, although Malcom Gladwell has done very well creating a brand with white.

      • Zac Wagganer

        Sorry Sherri, was typeing an email to Marcia and switched the names.

      • Rickparsley

        I agree

  • http://www.facebook.com/louise.thaxton Louise Thaxton

    Number 3 by far is my favorite.  For sure, there are many “voices” crying out for attention these days.  If we have “something to say or sell”, there has to be a method or strategy to amply our voices and elevate us above the crowd (a platform).  The only thing that would make this pick better would be if he were standong ON a platform – and not only verbally amplified but also physically “above the crowd”. 

    I’ve been thinking about “platform” since you made the comment to me after your break-out session at the Experience about the importance of having a platform once my book was published.  I can’t wait to read the book!

    • Writechance

      I agree.  :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      We had a version of the image you suggest, but it just looked too contrived. Maybe we’ll take another look.

  • Joel Ewald

    I like #3 the best.
    However I do like some things from  #4 such as the title being large and at the top. For #3 perhaps move your name to the footer and make Platform slightly larger font like in #4.

  • Pitch Joseph Arunsuwannakorn

    I voted 3, but 4 is also good.

  • http://twitter.com/KellyCombs Kelly Combs

    Option 2 is my least favorite.  It makes me feel motion sick. :-)  #3 looks great!

  • Antonio Farias

    Number 4 resonates most for me as far as color palette drawing me in, fonts easy on the eye, and some acoustic graphic built in (would you consider swapping in your microphone imagine, which already is part of your brand?).

    • http://www.reformed-health.com Mischelle007

      Adding the microphone as mentioned, would put #4 over the top.

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

        Agreed! I like to think about what would catch my attention on a book shelf…that wuld certainly do it! I think that number 4 is a great option!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The microphone is an interesting idea. Hmm.

      • Briantjaggers

        I like that idea, maybe w/ one of the vintage style radio microphones!

        • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

          Awesomesauce!

      • Jeanne Farrington

        I like microphones better than bullhorns.  Less aggressive.  :)

  • Shirley B.

    Number 3 is my favorite. Number one is too bland. Number two makes me feel disoriented. Number 4 is not as eye-catching. Just my opinion.

  • Louise

    I voted for option 3 – it seemed to reflect best what the book is about. I wonder, though, whether my choice was influenced by it standing out because it is the only non-red cover. Would it stand out as much amongst similarly coloured covers?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=725470037 Annette Wagnon Geffert

      I agree–perhaps because the other 3 are red, I voted for #3, but like #4 as well, maybe with a microphone for your branding continuity.

  • Duosonic Dave

    I like # 3 better than # 4 but I can’t read the print on # 3 so I vote for #4

  • Berryl Truideman

    the symbols used in 4 give a representation of what you want to say in your book the other three focus your attention on the pictures and not on the title of the book ,that gives you an idea of the content of the book, in order to get people to buy it.

  • Carla

    I picked option 3. It was the most clear of the four. It was easy to read the entire title and immediately able to know what you want to talk about. Option 4 would be second choice for similar reasons..the title was clear as is the author’s name,  but the red was distracting so I had to work harder to read it. The first 2 weren’t even in the running. 1 is too small and 2 is dizzying, I didn’t “want” to know what it said because it hurt me to look at it!

    Hope that helps. You have put so much helpful, “user friendly” material out for people that I sure want you to succeed with these endeavors as there are so many who haven’t discovered your Blog yet and would find the eBook in other ways. Blessings. This is kind of fun too…most like to give an opinion!

  • Rickkmac

    My vote is number 4. Looks like a “branded” image. I like the speaker which says to me there’s something here for you to listen to.

    Number 3 is just too much “I gotta be in your face” to be noticed.

  • Mappy

    Definitely the second one (with the “nervous” font!). My eyes were drawn right to that design. It really stands out. Would make someone want to pick it up and check it out!!

  • M2neff

    Of these four, I prefer #4.

    #1 is too much type crammed in a small box and hard to read. #2–hard on the eyes. #3–the most visually interesting, but I’m not sure a bull horn–which is loud but also tuned out by people–is the best symbol. #4–the best of this batch, and easy to see what you’re selling.

  • http://shannonsstudio.com Shannons

    The only thing I might add to your ideas is that #2, with the word “Platform”, I would make the ‘step’ go in the up direction instead of looking like it is stepping down. Small change, but a platform helps you “step up” as it were, and I just got the feeling of stepping down. Just a thought.

    • http://www.touchtheskye.org Chris MacKinnon

      Another idea is to use a step-pyramid look. That might take some of the dizziness away that other commenters mentioned.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It actually goes two different ways as an optical illusion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=520505381 Tim Lehmann

    Michael,  #3 by far communicates best to me.  It is certainly the “Blink” cover of the four to me, communicating immediately what you are wanting to say. #4 is in second place but a distant second. The little tweeter icon does not feel like “standing out”  The red background also feels too heavy – like pulling me into the noise.  I think I see the concept of the white on red but it has the opposite effect on me.

  • http://www.karlaakins.com Karla Akins

    #3!

  • http://www.spinningnowhere.com Stephanie Kearns4

    I’ve seen several books recently with the bright red cover and white letters, so I chose number 3.  BUT…number 3 doesn’t seem consistent with the 2 finalists for Creating a Personal Life plan.  Isn’t Platform about creating a brand?  Wouldn’t your book covers want to have some thread of continuity?  

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No, I don’t think so. That can backfire on you in book publishing, because people think they already have the book.

      • http://www.spinningnowhere.com Stephanie Kearns4

        This is proof that I’m totally right brained…I usually find an author and read everything I can by them.  But if I’m going to buy the book, I like them not to be mismatched on my shelf!!  I probably need to see someone about that.

        • guest

          Stephanie – you could check out Martha Stewart.com.   I’m sure she has a clever way to make your own book jackets – you could probably even switch with the seasons.  Then you could read whatever you wanted to!!   

  • Anon.

    I went for #3.  I like the fact that the title – “Platform” – and subtitle (or whatever it’s called) – “Get Noticed in a Noisy World” – were almost the same size; the distinction lies in the red font color for the word “Platform.”  Initially I had a hard time deciding between #3 and #4, but in #4, although extremely eye-catching due to the red cover, the subtitle was lost in a too-small font to read at a first glance at the cover.  Actually, I thought it rather ironic that this was the case when I looked at it, considering that the book is about building your platform and the part I had a hard time reading instantly on #4 was “Get Noticed…”

    You only have a nano-second to catch your audience before they’re on to something else, and I think #3 gives them enough information in that single glance.  The title alone – “Platform” – in #4 (the only thing you can read without taking a second look), doesn’t really say anything about what the book is about.  So #3 is perfect.

  • Ellen Lambert

    For starters, I LOVE your title.  I like how PLATFORM is prominently displayed in Option 4 but the megaphone is a brilliant choice in Option 3.  4 has clean lines and I “get it” quick, but again, the megaphone draws me in.  A timely, relevant topic, publish quickly! The fuzziness in Option 2 is clever in a vertigo-inducing way, and option 1, for me, connotes cartoon.  There’s my feedback.  Probably not sufficient to win a book, but thoughtful and well-intended.  Thanks for all you do!  You lead and teach by example. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Ellen. Great feedback!

  • http://www.siteorganic.com Brad Hill

    I like 3 but it feels a little bit too much like Strengthsfinder. So I actually chose #4; I like the colors, the balance, and the fact that it has both the loudspeaker metaphor as well as the talk bubble.

    By the way, there is a small typo in your survey… check the age range for 30-29. I’d like to be stuck in that age demographic indefinitely. :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Brad. I fixed that in the survey.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    Looking at the results, I see that the general direction of the votes falls close to my personal preferences. It’s interesting how #2 gets the biggest emotional response from me but it’s not positive. The word “Platform” looks out of focus or off kilter although in reality it appears folded. For some reason, annoyance is my first impulse followed by the desire to straighten things out.

    Again, an interesting process to participate in.

    • http://shannonsstudio.com Shannon

      I think that is why I like #2. The sub title of this book is, “Get noticed in a busy world” and the slight movement in the title makes you look at it. Makes you “notice” it. It has that slight visual agitation. And in a sea of book covers, I think you want to get the eyeballs looking at it. But, I notice that my opinions on book covers were not in the most popular votes. Maybe that’s because I’m an artist and “see” things a little differently? Just a thought.

      • Dustin

        Ding, ding, ding! This is my thought as well. An artist doesn’t care as much if people love or hate their art, as long as they don’t ignore it. I think #2 would be hard to ignore. You have to look closer at it to understand it and the last thing you want people to do is dismiss your cover as something they’ve already seen. “Easier on the eye” is not necessarily a compliment to a book cover and actually is the antithesis of the book’s subtitle.

      • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

        I can understand your take on the disorienting effect of the word and how that catches a person’s attention. It does do that. On the other hand, if it annoys as well as attracts, then your defeating its purpose. Although annoying would be an overstatement in this case. It’s just an eye-rubbing-take-a-second-look feeling for me.

  • M Davis

    Honestly, nothing really wows me and grabs my attention…sorry.  If I had to choose a cover it would be #3 because of the 4 covers it seems to be easier on the eye and conveys the message of the title the clearest.  Something about the 3 red covers just doesn’t work for me, especially #1 and #2 (makes me dizzy).

  • http://emuelle1.blogspot.com Eric S. Mueller

    I think Option 3 gets your point across best. I find Options 1 and 2 distracting. I can’t put my finger on what I don’t like about 4, except that I have to look close to figure out how the graphic matches the title.

    I’m curious, is the rise of eBooks going to change how covers are designed?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I don’t think eBooks per se will change covers, but I do think online retailing is. Books have to be compelling at the smaller size.

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    I would go with option 3.  The  image  is more apt in reflecting the meaning of  title.

  • Anonymous

    I like 4. Other than the red/white catching color scheme, the speaker symbol with the action lines coming off it seemed to resonate with me and the message the most. Thinking about it there may be a twist on this that incorporates the feedback element of what you’re espousing and not just another way to broadcast or “yell at” potential customers (tribe building vs. advertising).

  • Jhammer1014

    Michael, I like 3, it is balancedwith a good mix of text and imagery.  I’d prefer to see a red background with appropriate letter coloring around it but using Option 3.  Red stands out, is a warning, call to action.

  • http://www.touchtheskye.org Chris MacKinnon

    I like the red and the talkbox of #4, because it gets your attention a bit and has an element of your logo in it. But I like the megaphone of #3.

    Have you thought about being totally different with your colors? Normally I would say to keep with the business feel, but you’re talking about getting noticed. Would any of these really grab me from across the room in a bookstore? Maybe even a look with a bright colored book on a shelf between two bland colored covers.

  • Zar Fayyaz

    the first one and the last one don’t look very good for a book cover they can be a blog’s post’s picture but book cover no they are too minimal.
    the third ones idea is good but the colors are better to be changed i think it looks somehow to be designed 5 years ago. white black or even red seem to be better for background instead of gray.
    if you could somehow reduce the minimality of the second one it can be a good choice too. it is nice but not for a book cover!
    why don’t you think of a busy and noisy train station i know that you prefer more minimal covers but you can think of it there may be something which you like.this kind of things may help the reader to feel he is in a noisy world and if he doesn’t do s.th he can’t keep up with others.

  • K Dolder

    I put down No 2 – but also like No 4. No 2 just seems a little different – and would pick it up just because I’d want to see the cover closer!! No 4 also works – although not really as much ‘choice’ as with the Life plan book – ie, 3 red and the alternative! No 3 seems really inconspicuous – although on a second look the imagery is good – just quite boring!!!

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Of the four that you have listed, I like #3 the best. It is really the only one with a picture so it’s hard to say how it would do compared to other photos. Since you named the book “platform” a while back, I’ve had a photo in mind. It’s a public domain picture on Flickr of a diving platform from the 50’s in Miami. Just perfect for your subject. 

    Here is the link http://goals4u.us/qiCYJN

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Ha! I used a diving platform image on my first Platform speech, the one I gave at Catalyst last year. I don’t think it works at the level of metaphor—unfortunately.

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        Start with the base, then reach higher, and dive deeper, until you reach the pinnacle of success.

  • Dave Mariano

    Man, I keep picking the one in last place! Do you like #1 best also? I like it because it stands out more than the others, and more than most book covers. At first it annoyed me because it seemed so sparse, but then I kept staring at it. It occurred to me that this book is about getting noticed and it was getting most of my attention, so I voted for it. I hope this helps.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I am not declaring my favorite yet. I am still back and forth.

  • Dave Mariano

    oh, I do think option #3 looks most “you,” meaning, most like your brand and the pictures you select for blog posts.

  • http://twitter.com/everydaytrigirl Beccah Canada

    Such a loud loud world we live in. The bullhorn really resonated with this 30 something female. Thanks for sharing your ideas. 

  • http://darensirboughblog.wordpress.com Daren Sirbough

    I like the third one the best. The guy holding the megaphone caught my eye the most

  • Nancy

    Interesting to me that all of these seem to focus on getting people to listen to me, which is indeed one aspect of developing your platform. None of them hint at networks or relationships, and that element IMO is critical. So, while I voted for the best of these four, I wonder if these covers say enough.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Fair point.

  • http://www.reformed-health.com Mischelle007

    #1 is too cheesy like “bam” in the old batman cartoons.
    #2 is not pleasing to the eyes – too hard to look at.
    #3 does not have enough color, nor does it “jump” out at me.
    #4 is easy to look at, bold in color, and simple to understand at first view.

  • Victor Ehiemere

    Option 3 because..
    1. ‘PLATFORM’ stands out.
    2. The speech bubble that is your brand says “This is what Michael Hyatt has to say about PLATFORMS”
    3. Red is bold and classy!
    4. Option 3 will look GREAT on my shelf, iBooks or a physical shelf.

  • Writechance

    Option 3 is my favorite – the megaphone supports your idea very well.  I do NOT like the other options even a little bit.  They seem amateurish to me.  

    If you like the red, I wonder what it would look like to have a read background on option 3.  I like the white, but maybe it would work… 

    I think the type on the bottom should be darker.  

  • http://twitter.com/Dion_Govender Dion Govender

    Option 3 is great, although I must say I’m really feeling the red color on the others. How about a bright red speaker phone? 

  • http://www.reformed-health.com Mischelle007

    What happened to the voting results? Did I miss them, or are the not available. I like knowing the consensus. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You should have gotten the voting results right after you voted.

  • LRovig

    Sorry, I actively do not like any of the covers. The wavy one is the worst and I’d quickly pass it by in a shop.  They look, umm, “old school art”– ” old business school” — to me. I don’t think “modern thought inside” but rather the red and the overall look are  like what one finds on the cut-rate table.  On the other hand, I would buy a book in which the covers says  “I’m in the computer world/I’m smart/I’m serious but this will be fun as well as educational to read.”   Perhaps they need a touch of elegance?

  • http://twitter.com/DanaPsalms139 Dana

    I chose #4 because I thought all elements were covered in an attractive, well balanced cover. 

    I’m very surprised that #3 has so many votes…  Bullhorns in the hands of Christians don’t give many people “warm fuzzies.”  Bullhorns don’t draw positive attention to what you have to say, they are an unwelcome intrusion forcing your words down someone’s throat.

  • http://www.bethweststudio.wordpress.com Beth West

    I almost chose #4 but it was simply too much red for me.  I think the graphic is good on it.  I like the visual depth of using a photo which also contributed to my vote for 3.  Thinking it over, however, after awhile it would bother me to not be able to see the man’s face.   Could you do something with the plain red on #4?  Have fun!

  • Ed C

    Although the red coloring jumps out, the picture and message of the book is clearest on option 3. I think many are going to ask the obvious question: “What does Hyatt mean by platform” #3 makes it clear where you are going and speaks “read me to find out how to get noticed”.

  • http://jonstolpe.wordpress.com Jon Stolpe

    I like option 3 with the megaphone.  I think it sticks out and grabs attention unlike the other three options.  I’d go with this one.

  • Matthew Buley

    I’m in the minority, as my favorite is currently in last place.  The message is to stand out in a noisy world.  Which cover follows that formula?  #1.  It catches my eye most and stands out as an oasis on a bookshelf for me (I concede this is in a digital world where bookshelves sell fewer books than they used to).  I’m disappointed that I won’t ever see this book with the cover I like the best, as the others are a bit noisy for me, but I’ll read it anyway!

  • http://byphyllis.com Phyllis Dolislager

    I like the simplicity of number one.  The “noise” in our world doesn’t come from “speakers” alone, but from every place imaginable.

  • http://twitter.com/mama_kass Kass

    This time, I’m torn between Option 3 and Option 4. I like #4, especially with the quote box pointing down to your name as if you’re the one saying something about the title (and you are!). But in the end, I chose number #3  . . . by a hair. I’d pick up cover #3 or #4 this time. Great design!

  • http://www.jondale.com Jon Dale

    Visually I love option 3. But I think it misses the point…that building a platform is about conversation with a tribe, not one way communication through a megaphone. It seems to me to be illustrating exactly what you’re teaching people not to do.

    If you go with it, perhaps you can point that out early in the book.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I thought about that, too, Jon. I think it is what most people think of when they thing of a platform. So I’d have to start with what they assume and then move them toward the conversational element of this.

  • Anonymous

    I do not like the bullhorn at all and I think the subtitle could be changed. I’m one of the few who likes #2 the best.

    • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

      I don’t care for the word “get” but I’m not sure how I would reword it

  • http://twitter.com/novalisdigital Jared Brandon

    Tough choice between option 3 and 4 for me. The clincher for me on option 4 was the speech bubble that’s coming from your name. It gives the sense that this book is your platform. I also like the presence of “Platform” at the top and how each text element has it’s space and priority and nothing is competing. The eye naturally is drawn down the cover – it makes for a powerful first impression.  

  • http://twitter.com/MelindaVan Melinda VanLone

    I bet you knew I wouldn’t leave this one alone :-). Of all the ones you show, I like #3 the best and think it has the most potential. I did actually vote this time. However, rather than having the guy on a white background with a white box on top of it (talk about bland and NOT noticeable) try having the guy on a color background of some type (you pick, probably a solid color like blue or red or green or…something not white) OR alternatively the box have a background color. The whole point you are trying to make is NOTICE ME, and right now that white box on white is blending into a sea of nothingness. I do like the graphic though, it really speaks to your topic. Punch up the type on the title, and downplay the subtitle just a bit, and you have a cover that will get noticed. ;-)  My only other suggestion is the guy is in a suit. Is that your audience? Guys who wear suits? Or business people in general? If not, then rethink what he’s wearing. Lots of art like this with various types holding the megaphone. You can find one that completely targets your target audience. Or have a photo taken if you can’t locate one in stock photos.

  • http://twitter.com/twelvetwodesign Designer Rob Russo

    Skimming several of the comments, I see I am unoriginal in saying I love the look/layout/feel/aesthetics of #3 but realize the red could be eye-catching. Wouldn’t it be great to know exactly what books were surrounding yours on the shelf? Maybe the OTHER books will be red … If you choose anything BUT green, for example, you would surely stand out in the eco-friendly/environmental section.

    All that to say I would not choose red just to stand out on the shelf. As I have learned from a certain someone (it’s Michael Hyatt!) times have changed, publishing has changed… I don’t think you will need to rely on selling your book at the traditional bookstore. With your following online and smart use of social media, among other things, you will have no trouble selling this book BEFORE it hits the shelves.

    Oh, where do I pre-order? ;)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Hopefully, you will be able to pre-order it in about a week. Thanks for your input.

  • Esther Rennick

    If this was my book, I would ask the designers to come up with more options. None of these covers “stand out” to me. I don’t find them eye catching or creatively setting the tone for the topic. It would not stand out or get noticed by me.

  • Jocelyne Sade

    Option 3 for sure.

  • http://www.JulieGillies.com Julie Gillies

    #1 is my favorite. The word bubble perfectly captures someone wanting to be heard–your target audience. The clean, crisp look and the color is eye-catching. 

    Oh, and for the record, #2 made me feel nauseated. 

  • Chris Johnston

    I like Option 2.  The skewed name gets notice.

    Option 3 is ok, but so many people use the megaphone graphic.  We are talking about getting noticed, so 3 in my opinion would look like the rest of the pack.  Option 1, the graphics are too small.  

  • http://paulcoughlin.com Paul Coughlin

    Hi Michael – cover 3 has a slightly better feel than 4. But I voted for 4. That’s because, cover 3 sends the wrong message, even though it looks slightly more well designed.

    The message isn’t to shout louder than everyone else – that simply contributes to the problem, and that’s what the megaphone suggests – increase the volume.

    An image that emphasises the solution would be better. Something about standing out, rather than being louder than. Differentiation, uniqueness, rather than simply ‘more’ than anyone else..

    thanks,
    Paul.

    • http://profiles.google.com/bluefrog419 Eric Boyd

      I agree with Paul regarding the shouting idea. Maybe you should go for a whisper instead?

  • Sharon Roam

    I like option four…number three invades my territory…want to experience communication… but not in your face communication…plus can’t see who’s wanting to shout at me…(-:  I vote four option four.  

  • Suela

    I would recommend option three. The reason why I like option three stands on its eye-catching appearance. It speaks for itself and I would definitely want to read a book with that particular cover.

  • Vince Lyons

    Option 2 really jumps out at me.  Its  3-D look continued to draw my eye even when I tried to look away from it.

  • Jjamesthegaytonkirk

    either 1 or 4 the others are too busy

  • Sam Burgiss

    Michael,

    Great choices.  And with a lot of cut-rate information out there about personal media, it’s a much needed book.

    Cover three–great idea.
    However, guy holding the megaphone is in a suit and tie.  Fail.  Seems like that’s not what this is all about.  It should feel more personal.  To quote your post on better headshots, “capturing the real, authentic you”.  The clothes don’t look anything like your profile shots or any of the of the “non-celebrities who have won big” that you name in your post on platforms.

  • http://profiles.google.com/stevencbradley Steven Bradley

    Michael, I don’t like any of them (sorry!!!). Part of the reason is that I don’t like red, since it has a negative emotional connotation.   The cover needs to show YOU (you’re a handsome guy), standing ON a platform, with your megaphone. I can’t determine for sure between side and front shots (I personally prefer side shots), but you need to be in front of a very large, attentive audience.  The photo needs to be shot from below, as if by a member of the audience.  I like the color blue to frame the photo.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think that would say the exact opposite of what I am trying to convey: this book is about YOU not about me.

  • Jerry

    I like # 4. The red grabs attention. There is a bit of resemblance with your logo that makes me think Michael Hyatt. Way to build your platform!

  • Tammy Owens

    Option 3 right away drew me in with its eye catching graphic. My second pick would be option 4. On this one, to me, your name stands out in the black better. I wonder if it might work on option 3 to make the box red, Platform in white, and your name in black. On the other hand, it might be perfect as is! I hope this helps.

  • http://twitter.com/wstonestreet Wayne Stonestreet

    I chose cover #3 because it seems to portray the topic very well; however, my eye was immediately drawn to cover #2 because of the font/effect used on the word “Platform”. That treatment would immediately cause me to do a doubletake on the book if it’s sitting among others on a shelf, but then I only read on the Kindle…  ;-)

    It is a different world in which we market, isn’t it?

  • Laurie Kamp

    I’m really surprised that my choice was the minority – #1.  In this noisy world sometimes less is more.  My eyes were immediately drawn to #1.  It was interesting and attention-catching and I was curious and wanted to read the fine print.  The others in comparison seemed busy and screamed a “charlie brown” wah/wah/wah.

    • http://twitter.com/MelindaVan Melinda VanLone

      #1 was my second choice, because that use of white space really pulls your eye! I just didn’t like the type soooo small. It needs to be readable in icon size on Amazon, without someone having to zoom in. On a high res monitor. But you aren’t alone, it did grab my eye. Plus then you don’t have to worry about the guy holding the megaphone and is he dressed right and is he the right ethnicity, blah blah blah. I just think people are too lazy to read fine print. Maybe if they made the bubble a tad bigger and the title BIG…/shrug. So much fun, fiddling with someone else’s cover designs heh

  • Daniel@HigherLevelGroup.com

    # 3 seemed to make the title stand out most and the imagery seemed to connect with the content direction most (in my opinion).

  • Anna

    Option 3 is by far the best! It really speaks to what the book is about, trying to get yourself heard. I do feel like the word platform in red doesn’t really go with the rest of the color scheme.

  • Anonymous

    #2 is my favorite. The image and the text seem to get the message across.  The megaphone is a great image to convey the idea that the book is about how to be heard in a noisy world.  I don’t think it’s necessary to have a cover that visually represents a platform.  I can see the reason behind the design of #3, trying to make it look like an actual platform, but it hurts my eyes. :)  

  • Joan

    I was torn between number one and number 3.  Esthetically number 3 is balanced and easy on the eyes; however, I voted for number 1 because of the content and title of your book.  I think choice number one is a stand out because of color, unique symmetry, and blank space.  I think it would indeed “stand out”!  Good luck.

  • Hrishikeshqs

    Option 4: One who needs to find a book on subject “platform” is clear and catchy, One who loves to read your books can find your name which  is also suitably sized. Red colour portion is as much as required.

  • Ryan Self

    #3 and #4 are both the best in my opinion (although I don’t gravitate strongly to any of them.) I think I would agree with many of the posts that the red background really sticks out so the great visual of #3 with a red background could be a real winner. 

    That’s the opinion of a 23-year-old male/huge Michael Hyatt fan!

    I work in Christian publishing and direct our authors to your site on a regular basis.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Ryan. I appreciate your comments.

  • Anonymous

    Voted for #4, but also liked #3.  Did not like #2 at all. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/ChadEBillington Chad Billington

    While it’s not winning the pole, I really prefer #2. The bending of the letters stops and makes catches your attention.

    I don’t like the black dot with the text in it though, if you changed that somehow I think you might have something.

  • http://thegetalifeproject.wordpress.com Allison Rivers

    I voted for the second one because that’s the first one that caught my eye, and the one I spent the most time looking at.  I also really like the first one because of the tension it implies between having to shout all the time to build a platform, and how to effectively use silence.

  • Curtis O Fletcher

    3 or 4, although 3 seems to be saying, “shout louder to be heard over the noise”

  • http://virtualeventsuccess.com Leesa Barnes

    I selected #4. It’s simple and as someone said before, the red really stands out. While #3 is popular, here are my feelings against it…

    When I login to Facebook, everyone is screaming at me about what’s important to them. Most status updates and event invites focuses on “me, me, me.” And I don’t mean “me” the reader or the friend. I mean “me” the person who posted. LinkedIn is joke because every message I read in my inbox is about what’s important to that person. That’s why I hang out on Twitter because the connections just seem more real, more authentic and more about caring for others.

    Over the past 6-months, I’ve been studying the difference between hype marketing vs heart marketing. I’ve run my business under the hype marketing angle since 2006. I learned from the best and I know how to use scarcity and panicky words to move people into action.

    But hype marketing stopped working about 2-years ago.

    So, I started studying those who use heart marketing techniques. People like you who get TONS of comments on your blog, TONS of attention on Twitter and I asked myself “What are heart marketers doing differently?”

    For example, one guy who uses heart marketing sold out his 200 person workshop in 13-minutes after he opened registrations. A gal I know who uses hype marketing has been promoting her workshop for 6-months and with 2-weeks to go before the event, she still has 12 seats left to fill. Heart marketing works, hype marketing is for dinosaurs and God has showed me in a rather powerful way to build my platform with more heart. It’s been working. 

    I say all this because cover #3 gives me the impression that I need to scream at the world about all the stuff that matters to me in order to build my platform. But if I know your work, Michael, I sense that your book about platform building will be different. That instead of self-promoting, you should be of service. Care about people. Put others first. Show some heart. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This is really, really good input, Leesa. I think you have put your finger on it.

      • http://virtualeventsuccess.com Leesa Barnes

        Well, that being the case, I can’t wait to read your interpretation of platform-building, especially in a selfish and self-centered world.

  • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

    I would say 3 or 4. I really like the concept of having the speaker on the page. 1 and 2 would not be my picks…

  • Marysol

    I voted for #3 but I would make the background red to stand out.

    I agree, #2 made me dizzy. 

  • DrLindaTravelute

    Michael, #4 would grab my attention first with red bursting on the scene but also because it is simple and easy to read. The little speaker in the middle is a good image of what you are trying to convey. It has a balance of color, image, and message.

    I like #3 second. The bullhorn conveys your message but the cover makes me sleepy even though this guy is trying to shout in my ear. (Or was that your point?!) How about a red background? 

  • http://twitter.com/waterfallbooks Katie Hart

    I chose #2. The others seemed too similar to what’s already out there. They seem like they would get lost in the noise, which is the opposite of the impression you’d want them to make.

  • http://golfwisdomlife.com Larry Galley

    I chose #3 because the speaker and the visual metaphor were the focal point of my attention.  To me it say’s, “Listen up, I have something important to say.  I need you to hear me above the ambient noise of your life.”  Larry Galley

  • Leanore

    I was quite surprised that option 3 had just edged ahead of option 4, since I felt quite repelled by the replacement of the man’s head with a megaphone.  It reminded me of a Dr Who baddie.  Option 1 was frankly a little boring and option 2 needed a double take, followed by a hmm, not so sure I like that

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UQRRDWOW64DYPTQWHFFYUA422Y CarolL

    Hm feels like there is a lot of pressure with this one, huh?  I mean your strength here is getting noticed…….  
    okay here’s  my take.  I like number 4.  It might have been by default, though.  I just disliked the others more.
    My personal reaction to the bullhorn was negative.  If you have to scream it, it’s probably not getting noticed, it might be more like hijacking  someone’s attention.  
    I think 1 and 2 were difficult to read or discern.  So they were an automatic no to me as your theme is “intentional processes to be seen”.  If I had to work really hard at it- well that seems to be missing the point.
    I was drawn to the red.  So I say that’s a keeper.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Lot of pressure? Yes! I have t get this right.

  • http://profiles.google.com/bluefrog419 Eric Boyd

    Love, Love, LOVE the simplicity of #1, but ultimately voted for #4 given the readability of it (and the thought bubble vs. the more “lightning” style of the bubble of #1). Can we merge the two please?

  • Kathleen Jaeger

    The covers don’t do much for me. They seem to communicate that you’ll be saying what has already been said in a new format. I selected #1 because it is different than a usual book title, #3 is my next choice.

    I do love the title though! Getting heard in a noisy world.

  • http://levittmike.wordpress.com levittmike

    I like option 3 the best, since there are a plethora of red-covered books out there, and I wouldn’t want this important book to get lost in a sea of red.

    Looking forward to reading your latest gem, Michael.  

    Blessings!

  • Gabriel

    I prefer number 1. It’s interesting that it’s the least popular though. I wonder if you’d get the same results if three were White and one red. I feel like people may be choosing 3 because it stands out from the other ones, not necessarily on it’s own.

    Either way, looking forward to reading the book.

  • Benoit Philippe

    Th cover with the loudspeaker looks good, but it reminds me of other existing covers (check “Loud & clear” by Karen Berg and “Find Your Voice: How Clear Communication Can Transform Your Life: Fulfill Your Potential Through Clear Expression” by Joanna Crosse.

    Regards,

    Benoit

  • browncouch

    option one is clutter free and in a noisy world that speaks volumes. see apple.

  • http://smalltimestyle.blogspot.com Lauren

    I like the optical illusion of Option 2, but would change the tagline to the Option 4 tagline. I don’t like the circle that it currently is in – it seems inconsistent with the design of the rest of the cover…

  • Bonnie Clark

    I was wondering if you might consider a crowd scene with somebody higher than the crowd because they are up on someone’s shoulders.    Like this concert scene :  http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-17361376-girl-at-a-concert.php?st=af10656  I like the silhouetted style because it is less distracting, but it conveys the “noisy world” aspect of your subtitle. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I like the idea of a crowd scene, though I’d want to avoid the notion that you need to be (or will be) a rock star. That has me thinking. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/kucole Kristin Cole

    I think Option 3 best conveys the concept of the book – getting people’s attention in a busy, noisy world. Everyone can identify with a megaphone and its uses.

  • http://www.carolyneaarsen.com Carolyne Aarsen

    Option 3 is my vote. It catches my eye and gives me an immediate concept of what the book is about before I see the title. Though the red covers initially caught my eye, they didn’t engage me beyond that.

  • Edi Balian

    I still think that option three could use a little bigger font and the platform should be bolder to stand out more.

    #3 is the best of the four but I still think the selections could be better.
    Might not hurt to have some more options.

  • Anonymous

    I think option #3 capture the intent of the title. The look is also classy!  Good luck… I can’t wait to see what you ultimately chose and, more importantly, to read the book.

  • http://brettcohrs.com Brett

    I prefer the first because either I’m boring or I appreciate the lack of noise. Option 4 is my second choice. (I mistakenly wrote ‘3’ earlier). 2 kind of gives me a headache and 3 feels cluttered, too early 2000s.

  • Chdyer1

    I choose #3 purely with gut reaction.  I have a deal with my creative director that if it isn’t a “9” or “10” out of 1o then back to the drawing board she goes.  Its not being critical but an honest critique.  I would give #3 a “7.5”.  Four more options is my recommendation.

  • Gregory Blake

    I wanted to say option 3 (it is the most visually _appealing_) however, being totally honest with myself, the visual dissonance of option 2 made me read the cover. It is actually hard to look at for any period of time though. It’s like the platform fold is backwards or something.

  • Gregory Blake

    I wanted to say option 3 (it is the most visually _appealing_) however, being totally honest with myself, the visual dissonance of option 2 made me read the cover. It is actually hard to look at for any period of time though. It’s like the platform fold is backwards or something. 

  • http://www.VictorDumitriu.ca Victor Dumitriu

    Option #3 – easier to read. The darker the better when choosing font’s color. 

  • Lorettaoakes

    I think #4 is a cleaner look, but I enjoyed #3 for it’s symbolism. I think #1 was a great way to think of it, but unfortunately the text for the subtitle is too small and I think it loses it’s effectiveness. Hope this helps! Good luck!

  • http://www.hope101.net Lori Tracy Boruff

    My eyes were instantly drawn to #3. The more I looked the more I liked it.  The words/concept to me, got lost in a sea of RED on the other books.  Book #3 – the megaphone says it all!

  • Kellie

    I like Option 3, but what about a different background color? Change the background to a strong color and the suit and text box will really pop.

  • http://www.hope101.net Lori Tracy Boruff

    Book #3 stood out in the sea of red. It looks to me like the colors on Book #3 are in line with your “brand.”  Maybe that is how it stood out – immediately associated it with you (not the guy with the megaphone :) but the color scheme and clean, professional  look. I love the megaphone idea! Look forward to reading your new book!

  • Peter Dymond

    I really liked option #1. However, the dialogue bubble seemed kind of busy and if there was a way to minimize the content in there I would try to do that. I’m not sure you need both the subtitle and the descriptor. The cover is almost counter-intuitive, subtly that gets noticed. Finally, this may seem odd, but it communicated more humility in the process of being heard than the others. This is incredibly important to me in a culture that is often driven by the loudest and most obnoxious. By extension then option three with the megaphone was a turn-off for me. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/allan.crowson Allan Crowson

    Two and Three give me a headache. The first one makes me have to look more closely, but I might not take the time to do that. The fourth one is not jarring, and communicates well, with the subtitle, without having to take a lot of extra time to know what it’s about.

  • http://seekoutwisdom.blogspot.com Joseph Iliff of SeekOutWisdom

    I like Options 3 and 4.  I think I prefer 4 because it is simpler, and more likely to get noticed on a bookshelf.  But, 3 would work as well.  Great job, Michael.

  • Kurt Huffman

    The reason #3 is the best is that most people do not understand the Platform concept so the cover needs to explain it better.  The imagery is secondary.  The most critical piece is the size and font of the explanatory text “Get noticed in a noisy world”. 

  • Anonymous

    It could be me, but all that red turns me off.  It’s also not a color I associate with you.  #3 was my favorite. 

  • Sven Legg-Grady

    I chose #2.

    IMHO:#1 is cartoonish. Dynamic and bold (with the large red field and the tall all-caps fonts), but doesn’t accomplish much else.#2 is a portrayal of an actual platform. It made me pause to figure out if it was broken/distorted, then when I realized it was showing three dimensions, I had to decide if the top or bottom was higher or lower. Either way it flips is good for getting your name and the meaning of the book across. It’s noticeable and interesting, unique, and exemplifies what the book is claiming it can do for the readers.#3 Bullhorns are annoying. They’re either giving commands, protesting, or invading my peace with opinions I’ve already considered.#4 could be a cover for the training manual given to audio-store workers. “How To Sell Stage Equipment: Speakers, Cables, and More!”

  • nancy marco

    #2 gave me a potential headache! too busy. Didn’t care for the headless human, so narrowed down to #1 or # 4. At first #1 looked like too much of a picture of an underdog, but then I thought, that’s what it is, trying to be heard. So it was clear, calming, yet distinctive. #4 a little too “in your face”.

  • http://highpointchurch.us Andrew VanDerLinden

    Option three is the one that stands out the most for me.  It is easy to read and catches my eye.  It could be that it was the most different as the other options are very similar. 

  • pauleolson

    Seems to me that 2 is the only one that is different from every other book cover.  It reminds me of Seth Godin’s Purple Cow.  I bought it because the cover was so different and have now read everything he has written.  #2 is the same in that it catches your eye because there is a difference in what you expect from a book cover and what you see.  This makes me want to know why.

  • Renee Heemskerk

    I like #3 but feel like the image depicts the solution is to add more noise to an already noisy world.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1466200307 Jessica K. Sullivan

    I like #3 the best. It is easy on the eyes, colors are great, and the writing, (title, name, descrip), are easy to focus on. The man with the megaphone is interesting, and makes it obvious the book is about being heard.

  • Steve Sorensen

    I prefer cover #2 by far. Often one-word titles such as this do not communicate enough to tell what the book is about. Therefore, the subtitle is much more important. #2 allows the subtitle to speak loudly. I would, however, enlarge the blue dot with “step-by-step…” because it communicates a “how-to” approach that has wide appeal.

    #1 doesn’t use the space well. #2 is confusing because the megaphone suggests the method that will be suggested is basically shouting at your audience; it also is a little creepy with the megaphone replacing the person’s head. In #4 I don’t think the icon is readily understood.

    Besides enlarging the blue dot in #2, I would make a couple of additional minor changes. Your name should be moved to the bottom and rendered in larger type, like #4. And I’d consider a font change for the word “Platform,” without the wrinkle. I’m not sure what that says.

    Despite all that, I’d vote #4 best if the icon were changed to a microphone, as was suggested earlier. 

  • Gina Holmes

    My guess is most of your votes are going to be for cover #3 but I wouldn’t trust that. My gut reaction was 3 but when I thought about why, I realized that wasn’t the way to judge it. It stands out because it’s the only non red book. That won’t be the case in stores. The red will stand out and there won’t be 3 others the same color beside it. So, with that being said, I’m your target audience and I’m picturing myself in that section of the book store, which would I pick up? I think it would still be number 3. Number 2 is very eye catching but irritates me in an almost subconscious level the way those blurry tee shirts did. I don’t want to look at them because they make me feel off balance. 

    Would love to promote this on Novel Rocket (formerly Novel Journey) when you’re ready! Good luck, Mike.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Gina. Good input.

  • David Sluka

    As a mid-40s male, my past has been filled with experiences of helping female (and male) voices get heard and hearing many stories of female (and other minority) voices being shut down for various reasons. So I struggle a bit with the male image on cover #3 – as if one more caucasian male’s voice needs to be heard (I’m caucasian). I LOVE the book concept and plan to purchase it because those who have been given a voice and have something to say should know how to say it. 

  • Kathy Fuller

    I chose three, but to be honest I’m not crazy about any of them. Maybe a combo of three and four, like someone else suggested. Definitely interested in the content, though. :)

  • Kendall Sterling

    Option 3.  The picture dovetails with, and illustrates, the subtitle.   The others are far distant seconds. Sort of featureless and tending to blend in with anything else on the shelf.

  • http://twitter.com/jamespinnick7 James Pinnick

    #4 I like the best Mike. It’s easy on the eyes, especially with the red.

    Good luck! I will defintely read it!

    James
    Author-The Last Seven Pages
    http://www.jamespinnick.com

  • http://somewiseguy.com ThatGuyKC

    I really like the use of the stereo speaker.

  • Katherine Hyde

    Please eliminate #2. Having the word “Platform” bent like that makes it hard to read, and it takes a minute to figure out what the point is.
    I chose #3 largely because I’m not crazy about being “shouted at” by so much red. But I also like that it has a person (or part of a person) in the design.

  • http://www.leadershipnow.com/leadingblog Michael McKinney

    I like #3 but it looks too much like the cover for “Why Should the Boss Listen to You?”

  • http://www.peaceforthejourney.com elaine @ peace for the journey

    #2, although not a fan of the black circle–too hard to read.

    peace~elaine

  • Lori Deyoung

    On option #3, I would put a red background behind the man instead of the light blue.  The book would stand out more. 

  • http://danbutcher.com Dan Butcher

    I understand why people have chosen #3, but I find the image cliched. #1 is interesting, but not as compelling as #4 (my choice), and #2 is just disconcerting.

  • http://www.authorcynthiaherron.com Cynthia Herron

    I think Option 3 with the megaphone is the best visually out of the other choices. The title seems to go best with the visual on the cover also.

  • Glelli

    Hi Mike, I love the one with the man and the megaphone. Great covers.

  • guest

    At first I thought 4 but I then decided on 3…although I think it is a more typical book cover there is probably a good reason for that…I realized I was focusing more on the red than the title and the bold black “Platform” seems disconnected somehow in meaning from the rest of the bright red cover. I’d expect that cover on some sort of fiction thriller.

     In 3, the basic purpose and direction of the book is clear by the print and color combination and the picture is helpful in focusing my mind on the meaning of the title and it’s relevance to what I might be looking for…the other covers are literally…too noisy for me, lol…

    When I’m buying an information specific self-help book  I want CLARITY above all else…not creativity.  I’m browsing through alot of information and if it doesn’t immediately compute likely I’ll just pass it by. There are an awful lot of books out there on just about everything in every category when you go into a book store…its incredibly easy for some of us to get distracted…. I’m not looking for fancy covers to distract me from my quest.  I’m afraid I would mentally ‘not see’ the connection between the title and the potential content for the covers on the other 3 and would actually be more likely to move past them onto something that actually spoke to me more clearly…1 and 2 are  gimmicky and I find them visually annoying.

  • Zona

    Option 3 caught my eye more than any of the others. *** However, I don’t like the font or font size for the subtitle.***  That part is much better on option 4.

  • Patricia

    Cover #4 speaks clearly without straining of vision. Just enough imagery appears to make the point without overpowering the potential reader. Red cover is most definitely a stand-out.

  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    Book cover 4 was my favorite. I liked the color. It caught my attention as did the print. It was easy to read and I liked the way it laid on the page. Some of the other print was a little more difficult to read, and the white cover just did not catch my attention. 

  • Jenjen20

    None are great, but #3 is best. The megaphone.

  • Jennyferlv

    Cover 2 makes me a bit dizzy or hurts my eyes a bit.  It just turns me off right away.    3 and 4 were my favorite with 4 winning out as my thought of what would I reach for first if in a book store.  I think it is less ‘in your face”. 

  • Bertolotti55

    No of the covers really spoke to me. I voted 3 because the megaphone made it stand out from the others. I think showing someone elevated above a crowd and being noticed would better denote the idea of standing out above the fray of life.

  • http://tonychung.ca tonychung

    While I like the red color, your book could get lost on the shelves amidst every other book with a flat red color. A book on how to be noticed should appear to want to be noticed. I also agree that the megaphone seems to speak against the concept; have you seen Rob Bell’s “Mr. Megaphone Man” video?

    Still, the central image based cover sets the book apart from others. I guess the only way to know for sure would be for me to actually read the manuscript! ;-)

  • http://www.orangedads.com Jesse Smith

    It looks like #3 is leading in the comments and in the polls, but I wouldn’t pick it up. It’s far to in your face and antiquated at the same time. In my mind, no one uses a bullhorn anymore so how could someone using that image have something relevant to say?

    As for number 4, it isn’t bad, but walk around the book store – it looks like all the other books on the shelves.

    My favorite of these is number 2. It catches my attention quickly. I would change the font on the other words so that once I am drawn in I will clearly see that the book is about getting noticed…perhaps same font, just bold?

  • http://www.wol.ca/staff/lyons Charlie Lyons

    Option #2 is by far the best in my opinion as a male Millennial who fancies himself in tune with these kinds of things by virtue of both position (work-related) and passion (hobby). The simple, clean-cut design is appealing. The broken/folded look of “Platform” is the very first thing I noticed; actually, I assumed there was a loading error in the image file. :) Out of all four designs, the fold is what’s going to make it stand out, both from 5 and 30+ feet away.

    The image of a well-dressed businessman with a fog horn is WAY overdone these days, the speaker with supposed sound waves runs a close send in the “WAY overdone” category and the thought bubble in #1 is too “retro cartoon” for the message it appears you want the book to convey.

    Only way to improve #2 (again, IMHO) is to brighten the hue of the red; more Detroit Red Wing red and less Phoenix Coyote burgundy. (I’m a hockey fan too, BTW. :))

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Unfortunately, #2 is running dead last. Most of the comments about it have been disconcerting. It was my favorite, but I don’t think it’s going to make it.

  • William J. Spencer, IV

    Option 4 is most attractive for those seeking real knowledge.

  • http://www.piecesofclay.com ClayofCO

    My vote: #3

    Cover #3 made me want to look, and want to buy. The other covers did not. Here’s why (I think):

    1. It has a real person on the cover. That immediately suggests to me the book is about something personal. The other covers feel too much like impersonal reports about something technical called platform. I know some feel the megaphone is dated or overused (although I just saw one on the news), but I think it works well with your subtitle.
    2. It is not “in your face” red. The stand-alone term “platform” is not a red concept. For red to be effective as a dominant color, the title would need a strong action verb. The color palette on #3 is much better matched to the word “platform” (using red for the font color works well, but I think maybe a darker red).
    3. It is great graphic design. It is the only cover of the four that I find myself actually admiring the design. It’s visually well-balanced with eye-appealing design elements. Excellent. The others, not so much for me (see below).
    4. “Michael Hyatt” is up top and visible. Because “platform” is not a universally known or understood term, I think your name really needs to be at the top of the book. Your name might be the bigger draw to the book than the title.

    Cover #4 is a distant second, but I just can’t get around that the design uses a quote box, and yet the content is not a quote. Also, a quote box should not have a non-quote iconic graphic in it (how does one “say” an icon?). Cover #2 is visually interesting, but since “platform” is not a universally known concept I also find the font treatment visually confusing and unclear (is it a step, or a ledge, or what?). Cover #1 just doesn’t do anything for me at all.

    • http://tonychung.ca tonychung

      Yes. You articulated my thoughts exactly!

  • Tyler

    To me number 2 has visual impact and will stand out on a shelf of other covers. you understand what the point is from a glance and it invites you to engage with it. I feel the other covers would blend into other covers and garner no engagement by a viewer and they seems text heavy even though there is the same amount of text. Basically option 2 is most accessible and least intimidating.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lexgilmore Lex Gilmore

    Hi! #1 belittles what your title is conveying.
    #3 & #4 are predictable, we’ve seen similar covers before.
    But, #2 is just different enough, it catches the eye and forces one to read all of the type on the cover.
    I understand why many are choosing #3, but if they were to see it in the bookstore amongst all of the other books, I’m not sure they would be as drawn to it. #2 is very unique.

  • http://www.jessicakirkland.com/ Jessie

    I should still be paying my bills (where’s that book on time management)? Apparently I’m obsessed with your covers. I could do this all day and be content in life. haha The only one that slightly appeals to me is 3. The red covers remind me of the Dr. Oz YOU series.

    If it were my book (and it’s not)…here are 2 ideas that I think are cool. 

    1). A close up/slightly blurred shot of a stage (main component red curtain in the background). 
         Title: Platform
         Subtitle: Giving your message center stage or some spin from that.

    2). White background, black words in crossword format are all over the cover..magnifying glass laying on top of the word Platform (which is the only red word on the page) as to highlight it. Or it could even be circled like you do in crossword puzzles.
          Title: Platform
          Subtitle: A strategy for magnifying your message

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Really interesting ideas. Hmm.

  • http://www.helpmeselfpublish.com Andrea Bandle

    Definitely, Option #2. I didn’t even hesitate. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of it. The optical illusion was so facinating and definitely stands out in a crowd, which corresponds with the tagline, beautifully.

  • Chris

    #3, but change the text box to red and the “Platform” to another standout color

  • http://www.romeoclinic.com Dr Chris

    I’m someone who needs the infor in your book on Platform.  To me, a 40 year old male, the bullhorn man speaks of old methods (suit, old bullhorn technology).  When buying a book by a thought leader, I want new stuff and things I’m not good at yet (like using social networking, web to build a platform).  The old way of platform buidling, real life hand shakes, in-person relationships, business cards, telephone book ads, etc. are reflected in bullhorn man (#3). I like #4 because it has a computer icon and speaks to new methods for new times.

    • http://tonychung.ca tonychung

      ooh! maybe a digitized bullhorn or old fashioned ribbon microphone! Hmmm i’ve seen that before somewhere.

  • http://twitter.com/AndreaAresca Andrea Aresca

    I like the colors of #3. The image is clear and captures attention, even if the “megaphone” can evoke sometimes unpleasant feelings (…too loud!)

  • Rob Sorbo

    I voted for #3, but I like #4 as well. 

    I see that #2 has the popular vote right now. I personally think it’s kind of hard to read, but I like the image of the platformed.

  • Joy

    #4. Bold, clean, concise – that’s what I’m looking for in this noisy world. Plus, I see your name (trusted) immediately and that’s enough for me to take a first and second look.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      Exactly!

  • Anonymous

    None of them really stand out to me if I were browsing a bookshelf.  What about a person in the middle of busy people – maybe even people in a crisis situation (nyc, chicago, stadium, classroom, huge auditorium) holding up a huge sign with the book title and information.  That person would be the only one in color to(depending on the location they could even be on a platform making them stand out more).  Everything else would be black and white.

  • http://www.lionstand.com Jamie O’Donoghue

    I wasn’t a big fan of any of them actually but option #1 stood out to me the most mainly because of its minimal design. However option #3 seems like it is more in line with who you are and your audience.

  • http://www.OurStoriesGodsGlory.blogspot.com Elise Daly Parker

    I love the way option 3 speaks through the visual and enhances the message. It’s intriguing. I wanted to know more. It caught my attention immediately. I think it really resonates with all of us right now. How do we get attention in such a noisy world? Definitely want to know the answer! And that means I want to read this book!!

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      I didn’t choose #3 because it’s the image used on Michael’s FaceBook platform page, so I see it all the time.  But I agree with your comment, it does grab one’s attention.

  • Brina_harwood

    Option 3 I think is the most clear, though it does give me the impression of the individual on the cover seems to carry a slight negative connotation.  The guy seems bossy to me.  But, it’s clear. 

    Option 1 seems a little lacking and unclear. 

    Option 2 takes a second or two to process and then you go, “Oh, platform.  Got it.” 

    Option 4 kind of makes the sound seem small.  The conversation bubble and the sound also don’t relate to one another, so it’s a bit disjointed. 

    • Brina_harwood

      Ok.  My comment on Option 3 seems disjointed.  But, I hope you gather my meaning, it was a mistake in the editing.  Didn’t fully edit the sentence. 

      Option 3 I think is the most clear, though the impression of the individual on the cover seems to carry a slight negative connotation. The guy seems bossy to me. But, it’s clear. 

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    I really like #4.  #1 and #2 just seem to hurt the eye, especially #2.  #3 would be my second choice.

  • Ben

    I am torn between #2 and #3. 
    #1 is eye-catching and I love the simplicity, but I don’t know that it makes me want to take the book seriously.  It looks more like a cover for a short pamphlet.
    #2 is clever.  I have never seen a book cover with type that bends up like this, and I think this uniqueness would make it stand out on the shelf.  That may be where its appeal ends, however, as beyond that it’s not very interesting or relevant to the topic.  If this was used I would make the subtitle a different (less tall) font – all of the letters on the cover are tall and this makes it hard to take the whole thing in.
    #3 is the most safe.  The circle shape of the megaphone and the photo of a real person make it very eye-catching (though I agree that the color scheme might be changed a bit).  The design causes me to take the book seriously.  I am just a bit hesitant to totally recommend this one, because it and #4 seem the most normal, like things that have all been done before.  But stunning innovation may well not be the top priority here.
    #4 is boring and normal.  It is also not very eye-catching, in my opinion.  The main title font should at least be changed from being so cliche.

  • Colleen Coble

    I absolutely HATE #2. It gives me a migraine just to look at it! LOL I chose 4 because your name is bigger and stands out with the white band. :)

  • http://profiles.google.com/jessica.a.kent Jessica Kent

    Seems like the stock photo on Number 3 has been waaaaay overused.  Number 4 has two different kinds of imagery working – the speech bubble and the amplifier – and they don’t necessarily work together!  Number 1 or 2 has something original and eye-catching going.

  • JoyBrodt

    I definitely like a combination of 3 and 4 – I don’t know how that will work, maybe throw a red background, and put your name in the same spot as three? Hmm.

  • Anne Marie Gazzolo

    #4 is best. #2 is worst – almost dizzy looking at that one. Don’t like #3 – would rather see a person holding the megaphone as opposed to the megaphone in place of a head – that is too strange looking!

    God bless, Anne Marie :)

  • Steve Herron

    Michael, options 1 and 2 are my favorite with 2 being the most creative. I love the graphic treatment of the “step-up” and it commands attention when you scan the shelves. I would bump your name higher and increase the font size. Also keep in mind that some retailers place their price sticker in the top right-hand corner which I hate but not alot we can do about that. Publishers just have to make sure that important info does not get covered up.

     #3 and #4 are too repetitive of what I have seen done.

    Hope this is helpful!
    Steve Herron

  • Anonymous

    Option 4 is my favorite.  But Option 2 really grabs the eyes.  The problem is, once my eyes are there, they hurt.  I think it’s the angle in the middle of the word Platform.  It seems that many people like Option 2, so I may be outvoted, but that’s my two cents.

  • http://twitter.com/pastorbrett pastorbrett

    None of the above. But if I’d have to choose…#2. Good covers, but nothing great. The subtitle, “Get Noticed…” demands you have a cover that somehow breaks the mold. The current offerings fail at that, although #2 annoyingly comes the closest. 

    Would you consider an image that is a word picture, perhaps even with some humor?For example, Alex Haley had a framed picture in his office of a turtle on top of a fence post. When asked about it he replied that the picture reminded him that he didn’t get to where he was without outside help. Brilliant! That would be a great cover for a book on servant leadership.Last night in St. Louis, during the playoff game between the Cardinals and Phillies, a squirrel sprinted across the infield, right across the front of home plate, just as Philly pitcher Roy Oswalt threw an offering to Cardinal hitter Skip Schumacher. Yesterday, that squirrel was the most famous squirrel in the universe. He definitely “got noticed”!I’m thinking something along these lines.

  • Aherbel2

    I like #3 the best.  Option #1 reminds me of a comic book.  I probably wouldn’t pick it up off the shelf. On Option #2 the title is hard to read because of the bend in the font.  I understand the purpose behind it, but it isn’t working for me.  I selected Option #3 because the graphic grabs my attention.  However, I would like to see increased contrast applied to the subtitle and to your name.  Perhaps a darker shade of blue would pull those forward and make them easier to read.  On Option #4, I like the contrast and the type style.  In addition, it was the only option with an easy-to-read subtitle.  Option #4 is definitely my second choice.

  • Anonymous

    Option 3: the image communicates better than the words, without detracting from the words. Further by staying away from a glaring red cover, you avoid any unintentional political association.
    Option 4 (2nd choice): Glaring red colour bad, however the image again enhances the words; However, I don’t like the large author name (almost as large as the main title); Are you selling you or your message? I know, it’s both, which again brings back Option 3 as first choice, your name is top-billing, but not over powering. The main title stands out in red (without being political), and the image, while dated, conveys the message and supports and enhances the title.

  • Ivanhoe Sánchez

    I like #4 basically because of how PLATFORM stands out.   In the other 3 is not as clear. 

  • http://www.piecesofclay.com ClayofCO

    Cover #3 suggestion:

    After reading other people’s insightful thoughts on the megaphone, I had an alternate idea for that graphic. In the place of the current image, use a 2-D image of people (discreet photo images, not a photograph) across the full width of the bottom of the book. They are all (maybe a dozen people?) standing, walking, and talking, and their images are all slightly blurred to suggest motion. In the middle of that band of people, with space on either side, is a lone individual standing (not blurred) on a small platform, holding a tablet (OK, an iPad), and looking out and up as though talking. Maybe you could have some of the people in the crowd unblurred and looking at him/her. If you really wanted to be creative, you could have two covers: one with a male individual, one with a female in the middle. OK, that’s my creative belch for the morning. I feel better now. Back to work.

  • Sara Rassler

    I like option three and option four, but probably three the best. I think the other options are just too red. I realize that it helps a book to stand out, but I feel like “your colors” are blues and grays, so the red just doesn’t seem “Michael Hyatt” to me. It might be a weird thing to think, but that’s just my opinion. I’m excited for the book, though!

  • hudson5107

    I like the empty space of #1. It draws the eye to the information “balloon” and causes more curiosity for me than the others.

  • Rick Christian

    Option 3.  It needs to work in a thumbnail for Kindle, et. al., and in your post it’s the only one where the visual and words are clearly and immediately discernable.  I’d pop the title/sub even larger, though.  There’s room.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Rick. I appreciate the suggestion on the subtitle.

  • http://laurakmcclellan.tumblr.com Laura McClellan

    I picked option 3, but I also like Option 1’s quirkiness too. I just think the word bubble needs to be a bit larger so it doesn’t get lost on the page.

  • http://www.charlesspecht.com Charles Specht

    I preferred #3, but I would change the white background of the text box to the red color and make the text white and yellow.  It would stand out more.

  • Anonymous

    Michael…if I may be honest…I’m not real keen on any of these covers.  They do not seem to be conveying the dynamic of the intended content.  If “forced” to, I’d choose #4…but…would like to see your artists do a much better job.  For me…the covers do not say…pick me up…take me home…you will have a platform that will take you to new and better places…and that is what I’d like a cover on this topic to say…some how.

  • http://www.tonyjalicea.com Tony J. Alicea

    I like the 3rd one but I say lead with the title and not with your name.

  • Hans Schweizer

    None of the covers jump out at me, but I went with 2 for the simplicity, which has a timelessness to it.  Its interesting to see that 3 is leading right now, as that is the only one I really don’t like.

  • John Young

    You actually have 4 very good ones all aimed at a clear audience. At this time the color Red seems to be overdone and while attention getting I’ve discovered some of the weakest editorial is behind a red cover.  Cover 3! Clean and consise.
    Now here’s your challenge and payback to us. One day, tell us how many meetings, how many hours, how much second guessing, how much changing of the mind you guys at Nelson used to go through.  Then another day you can reveal how many meetings it took to get the title settled on. I’m betting many of us would never believe how far along you are in the process before asking our opinion.   

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great question, John. It is literally hours and hours and lots of rejects along the way. Posting them on the web really speeds things up, because other people—people who aren’t living in the bubble—see things you would never see. Thanks for your input.

  • http://twitter.com/brantley_d Brantley Davidson

    I like option 1 – no experience in publishing but it caught my eye. 

    Stood out.

    Different from normal covers, which I imagine may be a theme of book.

  • Eric

    I like the red. I’d use the first one – though suggest a blend of one and four. Lift, center, and enlarge the white speech balloon. And take your name out of the balloon – make it larger. You’ve got name recognition – use it. The white balloon can really pop – but it’s kind of hidden down in the lower left. On #4 the “speaker” image is distracting visually and a bit abstract. 

  • http://everydaysnapshots.com Dave Anthold

    I thought #4 accounted for everything that you were trying to say without an in-your-face way.  The subtly of the speaker emphasizes the idea of “something to say”.  I think the red gives you an advantage of sticking out bookshelves.

    I didn’t care for cover #2 with the step effect; however, if you were able to rework that some way to indicate some sort of platform build that might be able to work for you.

    I do think that the covers are modern in appearance & appealing to people as an attention grabber.

  • http://www.philippknoll.com Philipp Knoll

    Michael, I won’t judge the covers this time. I feel that I’d need a lot more input to be able to imagine what those books would look like on the shelf or in my hands. None of those covers is especially intriguing at first sight. BUT: It all depends on how it is printed and produced. If you go for some nice and fancy printing techniques the step in cover #2 could look and feel fantastic when you run your finger over the cover of your book. The speaker and the sound waves in #4 could really pop out etc.

    Do you have anything like that planned? If that is the case #2 and #4 would be my choices among those you let us choose from.

    Her is another suggestion – with such an incredible platform like yours, full of brilliant and creative people, why don’t you let your community actually create the cover art in form of a design content instead of judging options? Such a contest has the potential to really pull your audience in and get them even more connected. The results, I’m sure, will be outstanding and exceed anything that one agency could come up with or that you can imagine right now. You had approx. 10 designs done by one agency. Lets assume that 2 or three designers brainstormed on your covers. Now try to imagine what 10.000 people trying to come up with the most amazing result of all would come up with.

    Tim Ferris had such a contest for his last book. Judging only from the outside I believe it went extremely well for him.

    I hope you find that feedback valuable in sone way or the other.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your input, Phillip. We will likely use some kind of “cover treatments” like you mentioned, most likely embossing. However, 25% of the sales (at least) will be digital, so it has to work in a non-print form to be successful.
      We did think about the contest idea, but, alas, too late. We are up against a tight deadline with sales conference in a week and a half.

  • DustinWStout

    #3 & #4 were both my favorites, but I had to go with #4 due to my obsession with the color red.

  • http://about.me/ryanjriehl Ryan J Riehl

    Options 1,2, & 4 remind me of emergency vehicles with all the red and white. Also, option 3 is the only one with a substantial graphic.

  • Kathy Butryn

    I like number 4. Clear. Concise. Easy to read in a glance.

  • http://violetnesdoly.com Vi Nesdoly

    My eyes went straight for #3. The others weren’t even close for me.

  • http://www.bradandlindsey.com Brad Bridges

    The picture in option #3 is better than #4. However in #3 the font sizes of your name, title, and subtitle are too similar. Although option #4 doesn’t have the nice picture, it does come across as the most balanced cover of all, good colors (red couple perhaps be a little darker), and highlights the title well. Good work.

  • katty b

    #3 is my definite favorite, but it does still kind of look like an old-school business book. Maybe because the guy in a suit on a gray background. Red might be better, or a guy in business casual? #4 is my second choice but, have to say, the center graphic looks like a shaking boob. 

  • Tina

    I like option 3 because the megaphone is a good image of how it feels to be trying to get your message heard, your name is prominent (if people recognize it or are looking for it) but not too much real estate, the man in the business suit indicates that this book has to do with business (so if I was looking for say… info on platform bed furniture…this is not the book), and lastly, red in moderation gets my attention, but too much red causes me anxiety.  Good luck with the book.

  • Angelacgifford

    Something about #1 makes me want to…I don’t know…notice it? :D

  • Northgatefran

    I like the 3rd & 4th one (but the 3rd one is the preferred). I like where your name is on the 4th one-it seems to stand-out more than on #3.  I like the 3rd one’s Megaphone, but think that perhaps it should be flipped to the top for it to stand out more. So, maybe combining would work. ..Megaphone on top of#3 & your name on the bottom of #4. Then both will stand out.
    Or perhaps elongating (like a mountain top) the guy and having the sub-title right below.

  • http://joyfulmothering.net Christin

    I voted #3. It really stood out to me and captured the title real nicely.

  • http://theestherproject.com/ Lex

    None of them really strike me, to be honest.

    I feel like the imagery in #3 is done. Guy with a megaphone. I think I’ve seen that picture – or the side profile version – a million times. Although the rest of it seems to match your style. I voted #2 because the optical illusion is creative. I like the effect. It made me lean in when I saw it, and it grabbed my attention from the other three. I would probably never read whatever is in that black dot, though. 

  • http://twitter.com/keithferrin keith ferrin

    Hey Michael. While I like the third one, not sure about the white/gray background. Something about a rich color makes people notice (think  “Made To Stick”). Maybe go with the red…or even a photo a huge crowd of people fading into the background with the megaphone guy as the only one being heard. Looking forward to getting a copy…whatever the cover…

  • Anonymous

    When you have an idea or anything worth while that you think others need to or should hear you have to get a little loud sometimes and make sure your voice is heard above everything else.  You also have to say with confidence and clarity.  That’s why I like the mega-phone (option 3).  Make sure your heard!   

  • William Coker Jr

    I like #2. The shifting image of “PLATFORM” speaks to an underlying theme that I sense from the title & subtitle.

  • http://messywifetobetransformed.blogspot.com/ Venus

    I chose option 1.

    My opinion on:
    #2: the title is not easy to read although I understand the idea of it.

    #3: this was the first one that catch my eyes. But given that all the others are red, it is not difficult to see why. And I kind of suspect it may be the reason that this one is “ahead” in the poll. The reason I did not choose this one in the end though was that it reminds me of elementary school teachers trying to get the kids to line up. Not the kind of impression that I think you would like your readers to have.

    #4: It reminds me of those loud speakers in schools. Feels kind of old. At a glance, it also looks like an engineering or college math book.

    So back to 1. I honestly do not like the red. It felt “loud”. But I like the conversation box. 
    I keep thinking, if there is a way to put many of those boxes crowded but blurred in the background, then your title in one large and clear pop in the front that gives you a sense of tranquility. It might be nice. 

    Just my opinion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1453890794 Beth K. Vogt

    None of the covers grabbed me. Sure, red is a power color. And white words on a red background is striking. But none of the covers “sold” me on the book. Of course, based on your name alone, the book’s a seller. So, get your name up on the top of the cover.

  • guest

    This is easy.  #3 is the only one.   You get the idea without even reading the words.   #1 is too small – does nothing to grab my attention.   #2 is too distracting.  It gives the impression of an earthquake or feeling unbalanced – not unnoticed or unheard.    #4 is not as bad as #1or 2 but if the megaphone had not been in #3 – I would have thought the small circle in #4 was a button.   

  • Kbcollege09

    Option #2 was my favorite choice because it is so creative and does make the reader notice the cover.
    Option #1 is too dull and a little opaque.
    Option #3 is way overused and only stands out because it is viewed along 3 other RED options, rather than a red cover next to other white or gray covers.
    Option #4 immediately confused me because it reminded me of something else… which then came to mind as the Pokemon pods that Burger King used to sell in DROVES when the toys were popular.
    Love the color Red to draw attention (which is Color Theory basics), and the ingenuity of a ‘platform’ on the page – Option #2!!!

  • http://blog.rumorsofglory.com/ Lucille

    I don’t like the one with the squiggly words. It irritates me. I like the last one with the speaker on it. 

    Simple is best. 

    I make my decisions quickly, trying not to think too much. 

  • Daniel

    Option 3, loudspeaker

  • Samuel Eatmon

    In my opinion, the first 2 aren’t as visually appealing.

    The 3rd looks the best, but the megaphone seems a bit much.

    The 4th is my pick if you lose the little speaker icon and that phrase, “get noticed in a busy world.”

    It seems enough to me to just have the step-by-step line.  And maybe a platform is worth putting on the cover instead?

  • Jim Horton

    Option 1 is too “empty”
    Option 2 is hard to read, like the platform is shaky.
    Option 3 seems to be yelling in my face like an authoritarian (think police, fire, rescue)
    Option 4 with the vibration from the speaker reverberates with me the most. I also like the red / white color breaks, very clean.

  • Neil

    This was an easy one to pick… option 3: megaphone… Besides being interesting, the design communicates clearly and quickly what the book is about. If these were 4 books side by side on a bookstore shelf, I would pick up #3 first.

  • Alycia

    I was first drawn to number 4, but when I went back and looked at them again; number 3 seemed more appealing. More for the eye to look at.

  • http://tonychung.ca tonychung

    Here’s an edited version on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsIfntfLYPI

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Tony.

  • http://www.davidfmckee.com David McKee

    I see that Option 3 is “winning” this race, but #4 still seems better to me.  3 has too much bullhorn and not enough of the Title and Author, which 4 does very well.  I don’t see why you can’t combine the two ideas:  replace the speaker image with a bullhorn image (or something similar) so that you convey the visual: being heard over the crowd noise; and still retain what is most important:  title (and, maybe more importantly, subtitle/description) and author.  All that said, I agree with Jim Horton, below.  I prefer the #4 cover as it is, with the speaker graphic and the red/white color fields.  Very nice.

  • Isaiah J Hendricks

    I really like option number 3.

    thanks for the emails, really appreciate them! such a help!

  • Jim Danielson

    Definitely number 4 for me. Professional, interesting, but mostly because it would catch my eye in a “noisy” bookstore.

  • http://twitter.com/robertpierce Robert Travis Pierce

    Michael, I can’t say I love any of them (#4 looks the best of the three to me). Here’s my design take: https://skitch.com/rpierce/f67q1/hyatt-platformcoveridea (sorry, couldn’t help it :) .

    I do think you should pick up the three benefits of a platform from your article on the cover (Visibility, Amplification, Connection); the current tagline doesn’t resonate and seems phonetically awkward to me.

    I can’t wait to read the book!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Robert. I appreciate you taking a stab at it.

  • http://teenidentity.com Tasra Dawson

    Definitely #4. I probably wouldn’t even pick up the other 3 covers. Particularly #3 is unappealing to me because of the megaphone which often carries a negative connotation of me yelling at you, rather than sharing, teaching, helping. That’s not what you do, so it doesn’t seem to be a good fit. Plus, it’s a bit old school. 

    The design of #4 keeps me looking at it… I read the title, the subtitle, the description, then your name… then because of the way it’s designed I went back up again. That’s what a good design does… leads your eye and keeps it on the cover.

    I have to admit I didn’t get #2 at all. Maybe it’s because it was smaller and online, but I missed the “platform” and just didn’t understand why the text looked that way. It wasn’t until I saw that others had voted for it that I looked closer and saw. So, in a bookstore it might do better if you can see the distinct ledge, however so much of book buying and interest happens online, you really want something that absolutely is clear to the viewer.

    That’s my two cents. :)

  • Wayne Anson

    I maybe a little late opening this but it was a hard chose between Option 2 & Option 3. 

    I like the color and arrangement of Option 2 but the graphic makes me crosseyed when less than full size.  lol

    Option 3 – if people think it is you with the bullhorn (my first mindless response) then it’s an immediate turn off.  Otherwise it is clear, easy to read, etc. Perhaps if the graphic barely included the top of the shoulders, a touch of the hands, and the top of the tie it would change that first response.

    Option 1 has too much empty space.

    Option 4 – I like the graphic for communication and the red color but it needs a border around your name to help tie it all together.

  • Connie

    #1  gets your attention with the lightning bolt and color. #3 get attention with the megaphone. I also believe that the name of the Author is very important and it stands out in number 4.  I would choose number 4, because one of the first things I want to know is, who’s words are these.

  • Karen

    Hi, Michael.  I like #3 best; after that, #4.  BUT I found #1 boring, and #2 makes me feel dizzy and queasy just looking at it.  (Apologies to the designer… just my reaction.)  Thanks. 

  • Mariana

    sorry, voted for # 3 but none of these really appealed to me… kind of old looking… in the sense that it makes me think of outdated stuff… how about the windows volume design (like in the lower right of your screen…)? I think you’ve got to consult with a very good graphic designer… these 4 choices were not very clever… sorry, again!

  • http://krissiwyss.wordpress.com Krissi

    I see by selecting my faves for this & your Life Plan that I do not choose with the majority. And I still think I’m right :)

  • Marlene Molewyk

    I chose cover 4. However, I would actually vote for cover 3, if two changes were made:

    1) Show some portion of the person’s head, because he appears to be headless! Perhaps a side profile of the person speaking through the megaphone. Or maybe two people (male and female), each with a megaphone, competing to be heard? Or maybe the man standing in a crowd of people who are all shouting and looking frustrated, but he’s the only one with a megaphone, from which the title emerges?

    2) The suit and tie look way too stuffy. Have the person wear something more casual.

    Hope this helps!

  • DawnF

    I keep going to back #3, but then I just look at the megaphone instead of the words…    The coloring is great though.   I realize that you are a man and the image would convey that you are the one talking through the megaphone, but would it be best to avoid a specific gender on your cover?  Perhaps some women would overlook your book because they might think it’s male-focused??  It’s just a thought…

    I have to say I like #1 ~ my eyes are immediately drawn to the wording.  I wonder though if you could pull your name out of the word box and place it centered at the top to help alleviate some of the overcrowding of all of the words.

    All of the covers are fab though!

  • Anonymous

    After seeing the results of the survey (so far) and reading some of the comments, I definitely went against the flow and voted for #1. I like the red dominating the front cover with the conversation bubble in the corner, your eye is drawn immediately to the title words. 

  • Anonymous

    #1 is the best b/c the lack of a cover and when most people expect a cover it will get noticed. 

  • http://thebookangel.com Renee

    I didn’t vote for any of them.
    # 1 with the info crammed in a corner = someone is scared and tentative to speak up
    #2 comes across that a platform is wobbly and crooked, subtitle is important and waaaay too small
    #3 SCREAMING thru a megaphone = no connection = old paradigm (am sure that’s NOT what this book is about)
    #4 Your name name is going to sell the book. This one shows it the best. And the rest of the cover is boring.

    Robert Travis Pierce has come up with the best ones for both your books this week. Please consider hiring him. (I have no connection to him other than a fellow commenter here.)Mahalo for the opportunity to chime in.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t really care for any of these covers. Option 2 is the only one that conveys any idea of a platform, but it doesn’t give the visual context to overcome the optical illusion that it could be an overhang as much as a platform. None of the options really speak to the idea of being heard above everyone else. You might try something like this: http://petersondesigns.net/hyatt-platform-01.jpg.

  • Apollojetick

    Hopefully something about being unique will be a point you make in your book.  That being said, please don’t do number 3.  Everyone is doing that one…in honor of Steve Jobs “Think Different”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Laura-Krämer/100001481863376 Laura Krämer

    I voted for #3: it caught my attention the best and communicated what you are hoping to–even before I read the title itself. It just works.

    #1: Felt like an old marvel comic feel
    #2: No. I don’t know why–but definately not “it”
    #4: probably my 2nd favorite. It’s very minimal.

  • Rajiv Bhagwat

    #3 is too loud, don’t like the load-hailer in my face.
    How about modifying #4 to split “Get Noticed” “In a noisy world” in 2 lines? (Note it is not “Get Noticed In” as in #3.

  • http://dmbaldwin.wordpress.com/ Dave Baldwin

    My option is two. However I’m an old gomer so it’s good you put the age option in the poll. That gives you an idea about how the younger people are thinking. 
    Thank you for including us in this process.
    Blessings,
    Dave

  • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

    Option #3 seems to be more You and what you represent. It goes well with your blog layout. 

  • http://twitter.com/annieteich annieteich

    Anyone who knows you will pick up your book whatever the cover. If your goal is to reach a broader audience, then Cover #3 is the best choice. Everyone relates to a megaphone and the words and the image work together seamlessly – one reinforces the other.

  • Samvjr

    I like the way that “Platform” really pops out in #4, and seems to immediately my grab attention and pull me in. The bending in #2 is a cool effect, but it takes a moment for my brain to process “Platform” and I seem to get hung up on that processing. #3 would be my second choice, but I find I’m getting stuck in the bullhorn image. I just really like the way #4 pops and immediately grabs my attention and draws me to the rest of the copy on the cover.

  • Landa

    Option 3… It’s much more visually communicative of the subject…  I love red, but the other books seem a bit *too* red… and I look away instead of taking the time to soak up its subtitles and “spirit”.  

    Can’t wait to read it!

    • Landa

       I also liked Carlo’s contribution below.

  • http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/ Beck Gambill

    This is fun! I like #1 but it seems a little plain, I don’t care for #2, I really like #4 but all I could think is Cambell soup label. I like the mega phone image and voted for #3.

  • Byron Spradlin

    Byron Spradlin here, Mike:  What a great way to get input.  Did you use Survey Monkey?  Great to receive your blog !!!  Keep it up.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Byron, yes I do. Survey monkey is great. I also use PollDaddy for somethings.

  • Deborah3498

    Number 3 is the one that stood out for me.  I like the cover very much. The theme of the cover would make a reader curious to see what was inside. In Roget’s Thesaurus the word curious also means to be inquisitive, an eagerness to know.  This is what this cover says to me. 

  • Dan Lunt

    The job of the cover is to get people to pick the book up and look inside. How aesthetically pleasing it might be is irrelevant if it doesn’t stand out. To me, options 1, 3 & 4 are clones of the thousands of other business books already on the shelves. Option 2 has a 3-dimensional aspect to it that grabs my attention and implies a platform at the same time. It might make me dizzy but I’ll probably notice it and pick it up.

  • Med1212

    I think No 4 has a little more visual impact but the title “Platform” doesn’t tell me anything. I think the title should be “Getting Noticed in A Noisy World”

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The word “platform” is the buzz word in the publishing and music world.

  • http://twitter.com/gullchasedship Peter Scholtens

    I’m sorry, but none of them send the message that title does, resulting in disjunction.

    A platform is a soapbox, and none of the title pages imply that in anyway. Change the title (Be Heard?) or change the graphics.

  • Bryan Klobe

    I chose #4.  The cover looks modern and the Title is in a prominent place.  The cover grabs my attention and i know what the book is about with a quick glance.  #1 looks too plain.  #2 is my second pick.  I like the way that “Platform” is imaged but it took a second for it to sink in that it was a platform.  #3, which seems to be the favorite, is my least favorite.  To me it looks like something from the 70’s. 

  • Becky Deuel

    Maybe it was because the white cover stood out against the three red covers.  Among other books, one of the red ones may have had more impact.

  • TheSingingNurse/Dawn Ginese

    I chose # 4, but was not really crazy about it. My 1st thoughts of a platform would be someone getting ready to jump off a diving board into the blue waters of a swimming pool… or maybe a cannon ball in mid flight. How to make the biggest splash and be noticed…Love your blog and advice. Dawn

  • Vonabell

    I believe the mega phone is a great word picture …the red title pops ..  which is important  if you were just perusing books … the imagery works…

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  • Guest

    Okay well I voted for 4 because it seem visually simple yet felt “complete”.   However I did not feel that any of the covers really sent me the message or at least what I perceived to be the message: “GET NOTICED”!  I really see the cover as needing to send the message that an organization or individual is standing out from the noise.

    To me highlighting the “loud effects” or other “noise” is highlighting the problem not the solution.  So one options would be a busy back ground that fades in comparison to a highlighted but simple foreground or a cover that shows the noise being silenced by a clearer “Vision/Focus”

    Good Luck!

  • Dan

    Hi Michael, I’m a book designer so I find this idea of putting covers on your site for people to react to an interesting activity. I’ve seen you mention that it’s such a subjective thing (picking your favorite cover) I’m wondering if it gives you any clear answers. As a cover designer I’ve had authors do this and the comments usually come back and ad more confusion to the process. With your experience in publishing though I’m sure you recognize those possibilities. So I guess I’m writing hoping that someday you might write a post about what you gain / get from this process of having people vote for your covers. I’d be interested in reading it. BTW, my vote is for #4 but I don’t think you’ll go wrong with any of them. Thanks for doing what you do with this blog.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Dan. The process was hugely helpful. My readers saw things that we didn’t. As a result, we were able to make changes that I believe really helped deliver the best cover possible.
      Personally, I would never yield control to “the crowd.” In other words, this not simply a popularity contest. Instead, I let the crowd inform the decision-making process, but still make the ultimate decision myself.
      Hope that helps.

  • http://magneticverb.com/ Jay Thatcher

    Because 3 are red and one is not, your numbers might be skewed by the effect choice sets have on decision making. Subconsciously, it’s like saying which one stands out, causing more to pick the non-red cover because of the choice set. Here’s an article that I did not write and have no association with, but it’s an interesting article. http://uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2011/02/the-nature-of-choice-sets-and-their-affect-on-decision-making.php

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  • jack

    most gripping and unusual, commands attention – which is what a megaphone is for !