Which of These Two Cover Finalists Do You Prefer?

At the risk of wearing you out, I want to ask for your input on this cover one last time. More than 750 people voted on the four covers I posted earlier today. They left almost 300 comments. I read through every single one. They have helped me clarify my own thinking and will influence the outcome.

Final Round of Life Plan Book Covers

The top two choices were very close: The GPS Cover took 40 percent of the votes. The Sail Cover took 30 percent. I also polled people as to their gender and then cross-tabbed the results. The results were almost identical for the GPS Cover. Men and women voted the same. However, among women the Sail Cover and the Tree Cover tied for second place.

The biggest complaint with the Tree Cover was that the imagery is over-used. People pointed to The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren as an example. The Ruler Cover received very few votes. Several noted that it looked more like grammar school imagery than architectural.

Personally, I could go with either of the top two finalists. Each has their advantages and disadvantages. So, I thought I would get your input one last time before making my decision.

We have not changed the GPS Cover at all in this last round. However, we did use input from my readers to change the Sail Cover. Specifically:

  1. We changed the saturation of the sky to make it lighter blue.
  2. We changed the title font from serif to sans serif.
  3. We added a longer version of the Maxwell quote.
  4. We adjusted the vertical spacing.

I have also added an “age group” question to the survey. This will allow me to see which option is popular among specific age groups.

So, which of the these new cover comps do you prefer? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://conniereece.tumblr.com conniereece

    I still prefer the GPS one. The blue/sailboat one bores me; I wouldn’t take a second look at it in a bookstore.

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

      That is what I like about the GPS one, it grabs your attention. I think it also speaks to people in this technology driven society. when you see a GPS you think “directions” or something along those lines. 

  • http://www.brianjones.ca joshaidan

    Unfortunately I can’t vote for either… I hate the overly technological focus of the GPS one, and I’m not a huge fan of sailing. Sure sailing is fun, but I’ve had too many bad experiences with yacht club members and owners.

    Of the previous four, I like the tree one the most.

    • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

      I hated the tree cover. I once fell off a tree. 

  • Anonymous

    I voted for GPS, but re: the sail: I don’t like how the John Maxwell quote is awkwardly divided into three lines. If it can be, it should be two lines or four. As it is, it interrupts the natural thought flow.

  • Anonymous

    My vote is for the sailing cover.  It is simplier and more beautiful; I found the GPS one too…shocking, almost gaudy.  I am a male, and I am 39.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=609963555 Nancy Watta

    Love the blue one. Partial to water, boats. For me it represents freedom in the planning.

  • Mike Paddy

    Disappointed because I liked the one with the design/ architect rulers on it mainly because of the sub-title….

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Unfortunately, that one only got about 6% of the vote.

  • Riete Nijdeken

    Still in love with the blue one! I would look at it immediately (the GPS reminds me too much of a study book I had, lol)

  • http://rachturner.wordpress.com/ RachTurner

    I think both are very good.  #1 feels more fresh, new, current.  I would buy either one.

  • Spiritlifeministries52

    GPS One caught my eye and will catch a younger generations a well.

    • Cameron L.

      As I said in a comment on the previous post—not realizing the discussion had moved here—as a member of a slightly younger generation (recently turned 30), the GPS already seems outmoded to me. Most people I know, of my generation, use their smart phones to get around. But the bigger problem I have with the GPS is that it connotes passivity and an almost mindless submission to something “that does all the work for you.”  Maybe it’s just me, but I wouldn’t trust a book that saw itself as analogous to that kind of experience. But giving me help charting a course through the vast “sea of life,” forgive the metaphor–I don’t know, it just seems there’s more intention, freedom, and adventure in that. I want to be in control, not controlled.

      • Jasen Hatten

        Great point – I agree

      • Michelle Owings-Christian

        You said it much better than I did!  Thanks for the “intention, freedom, and adventure” — yes, that’s what I meant, just didn’t have the words!  (Guess I’m just tired because I’m usually good with words!)

      • http://twitter.com/mama_kass Kass

        “I want to be in control, not controlled.”

        Ultimately, you are in control of a GPS. You input the addresses and it guides you where to go. A GPS cannot guide you unless you control it first.

        • Cameron L.

          Perhaps the user is initially in control of the device, but most folks I know simply do whatever the GPS tells them to after inputting their destination. Commuting often becomes a nearly mindless exercise thereafter, as the electronic voice barks its orders and the driver obeys. Seems a poor analogy for what life actually requires of us, if you ask me. I also dislike, as well as distrust, the notion that we can know exactly what a better future will look like, and what the outcome will be, just by planning. I rather think the journey is much more exploratory, and life much more vast, requiring greater spontaneity and adaptability than the simple A-to-B construction of a GPS-guided journey. 

          This is the problem: We want to believe that our life course can be as simple as plugging in coordinates. But the reality is much more complex and surprising and takes a whole lot more intention and creativity than that. So, there may be some control in using a GPS, sure. But not nearly as much as there is in charting your course through the Pacific.

      • http://twitter.com/flyingawesam Sam Andrews

        I didn’t read this post before I posted my comment.  Honest!

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

        I love what you said! I like the charting your course and taking control of your destiny aspect too. Of course I’m way late to the discussion but I like to have my say :)

  • http://www.faithfulchoices.com Paula

    I decided to think about my gut reaction to each.  The GPS one has a cheery tone.  It seems comfortable and happy.  (just the gut feeling)  The blue sailboat seems serious and aimed at older people.  I’m a content person.  If the content interests me, I open it….that simple. 

    I wonder if other gut reactors feel the same way I did?

    • Kay

      My gut reaction is exactly opposite. The sailboat seems cheery, happy, adventuresome, forward-looking. The sailboat seems uninteresting, boring, lacking in color.

      I am drawn to the sailboat, but would buy for the content–if I see the content, but the title should get me there.

    • http://twitter.com/mama_kass Kass

      Paula, I felt similarly about the sailboat. I thought of 60-year-old rich men at an exclusive yacht club. I wouldn’t give the book with sailing imagery a second look in a brick-and-mortar store.

  • Chad Jackson

    If I was in B&N and saw the blue book, I would not even take a second look.  Too plain.  In fact, I had no idea what the book was about I would not even recognize that as a sail.  I don’t really think the GPS cover captures it either but I voted for it.  I am a marketing director at a healthcare company.

  • Dave Groenenboom

    I think the SatNav image is a little cheap and cliched. I like the cleaner image of the sail on blue sky. This would attract more with professional aspirations, I believe. To me, it carries the thought of respectability and experience.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It is amazing how deeply people feel about their choice. Thanks.

  • http://www.piecesofclay.com ClayofCO

    I still vote for the GPS cover. The image is more contemporary and appealing, especially to the 20s/30s demographic thinking about life planning, and it is universally accessible and gender neutral. I’m 60/male and love the cover. My only caveat is that, based only on the image, it might be mistaken as a book about tablet computing. I think a good graphic artist could insert a 3D GPS image of a road with the lines of the road extending through and beyond the tablet/GPS image to suggest that the book is about life.

    The Sail cover is good, and the san serif really helps. However, my first impression is that the book is about retirement planning (just based on the image and design, not the words). The cover art feels older, more corporate, and not at all young (I still think it suggests old wealth, as in yacht ownership). If your target market is 50+, I would say go with the Sail cover. If you want to reach the younger market, I would definitely say go with the GPS cover.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Based on the results this far, you are right about the Sail cover. It is losing in every age group except 50 to 59 year olds. The GPS cover is winning in the younger than 50 crowd and, interestingly, in the 60 and above crowd.

      • Jocelyne Sade

        This is all so fascinating.

      • Wanda W. Brewer

        Would the decision then be based upon which demographic will actually buy the book?

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Ultimately, I will make the decision, informed by the data. The votes are about evenly split.

          • Ruby Brown

            Color is more attractive to me in the GPS cover, even though I am in the 70 plus age group.  The lines indicate movement and growth and excitement.  But I’ve always heard you can’t tell a book by it’s cover.  The cover may open the door, but the content is what keeps me coming back to read your wonderful information.  Will I make a purchase?  Eventually I will. 

      • Pasordharris

        Young people aren’t big”life planners”. Live much more in the moment. GPS is old to them already. IPhone 5, etc but only for a short time too.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Personally, I have not found any group I would consider “life planners” until they are exposed to the idea. Based on my experience, young people are as responsive as older ones—perhaps more so.

  • Gammell

    Aesthetically, I prefer the sail cover, but it is a bit too abstracted for what is a very practical book. The GPS cover conveys ideas of “practicality” and “direction” very cleanly and quickly. So I voted for the GPS cover.

  • http://twitter.com/kpmiracle Kenny Miracle

    GPS one appeals to the young adult fun side of me, but if seeing in a book store I wonder how seriously I would take it…

    Boat one feels more serious & semi-business-like, and I’d probably treat it as such.

  • http://byphyllis.com Phyllis Dolislager

    I never knew that was a sail.
    I still vote for the GPS.

  • Patricia Raybon

    Why not use your photo? With your name in your familiar blog font? You’re recognizable, that is.  Admired, too. Not sure I would pick up either cover if it didn’t trigger an association with you, the “Michael Hyatt” we all read and follow. Either way, thank you for asking. (I voted for the GPS cover since you asked us to choose.)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think that would make the book more about me, and it is really about you, the reader. Thanks.

      • http://twitter.com/flyingawesam Sam Andrews

        Michael, your picture goes on the back of the book…right? 

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          It’s just an e-book, so technically, there is no “back.” Thanks.

          • http://www.markmoskovitz.com singerguy0

            If its just an e-book, then its more about the comment, descriptors, and review for the Kindle edition than the cover. The cover is interesting, but if it won’t be on display, then its more about having a high review, which is based on content.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Actually, the cover will still be the first thing people see on a web page. The won’t get to the content, the Kindle cover, or the reviews until they first get past the covers. Not that those other things aren’t important.

          • http://www.markmoskovitz.com singerguy0

            True. I’m just saying that it won’t be the only thing they see first (as it would be in a physical bookstore).

  • Jack

    The GPS one.

  • Jason

    I prefer the sailing cover. The GPS cover implies that you are being told where to go. The sailing cover reflects the “Set your own course” theme. With a GPS you punch in your destination and you are led there. With sailing, you must chart your course. That involves making decisions. In my opinion the GPS theme is an over simplification of the process of planning your life.

    • Cathe

      The GPS one says:  How to get from here to where you want to be.
      The sailboat says:  Chart your course to a better future.

      To me, those are different topics.  Whichever book you choose, you might want to think about that subtext and whether the reader is supposed to already KNOW where he wants to be  or if he is supposed to be deciding on what that future might be.

      • Jhammer1014

        Great point, the book is a start, but the work has to be done by the person not plotted out for them (GPS). Loved the original ebook cover including font and water. I still like the sail cover but it is a little more generic now.

  • http://bryanallain.com Bryan Allain

    I’m late to the party, but I voted for the sail. The GPS cover feels like the content is going to be more rigid. “Here are the 12 directions to follow”. The sail cover, conversely, feels more freeing. “Here’s how to harness the wind to get where you want to go.”

    Totally subjective, of course, but to me the sail cover is much more inviting.

  • http://twitter.com/mariachong mariachong

    Michael, I like the sail cover better. I think the GPS cover is great, but has a more limited shelf life. It’s going to look outdated in about a year or so.

    The sail cover might need a little more “pop” to surpass the GPS cover. How about some kind of gradient (e.g., light to dark blue, or the opposite), some kind of graphic device like a starburst or other texture (it’s very plain right now), and some color (important text could be brighter, yellow, somehow called out for emphasis like the red of the GPS cover). Even perhaps a blur on the sail. Love this design, but it’s a bit static.

    This one also looks to be designed as fourths or something else–have you thought about making the sail bigger, so it’s almost one-third? The thirds are way more pleasing to the eye than any other proportion.

    Lastly, this cover is right justified. Right justified is the weakest alignment…hardest for people to read. If you go with this cover, perhaps think about left justified?

    These are just quick ideas.

    I’d hate to see it get any busier. The simplicity is graceful and helps convey the true thought that this is a simple, well-written book that’s well edited. I just think that there needs to be more of a hierarchy to make it more attractive. Even making Life Plan bigger and shrinking the quote might help.

    Hope that helps! Free advice from a designer/writer. :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Actually, the right justified was used to convey a subtle sense of motion, from left to right. Thanks for your input.

      • Anonymous

        hmmm, maybe that’s why I didn’t like it right-justified, it’s making me seasick?

  • Cathe

    Based on my personal gut reaction and not the book’s content or target audience… I think the GPS one is kind of  “cutesy.”  I am more serious by nature, and to me the blue one looks more professional and probably more thought-provoking.

    I am a 48 year-old woman.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Veronica-Jones-Brown/100000079863939 Veronica Jones-Brown

    The hue change with Option #2 improves the appeal. It suggests success and experience, an invitation to esoteric knowledge. Something is still a bit off. I know the graphic is a sailboat, but I still have to think about it each time I return to it. “What is that and how does it relate to the title?” It’s the mood, tone and expressed promise the color blue offers, more than the graphic that draws me to this cover. The sail causes slight dissonace.

    Option #1 seems a bit cliche. The red font for “Life Plan” detracts from the smooth, understated elegance of the design. Instead of read maybe you should play around with more muted  colors that compliment the lower green strip that contains you name.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think what the designer was trying to do is pull the colors for the fonts and other design elements out of the graphic itself. Perhaps the words “life plan” need to be the blue used in the graphic. Hmmm.

      • Marysol

        I also was wondering about the color choice for Life Plan. Worth a look at a few options. Maybe even the green?

  • http://profiles.google.com/susyflory Susy Flory

    There’s some mystery and beauty in the sailing cover. There are shapes and ideas and metaphors to be teased out. The GPS cover is too literal. It could be a handbook that comes in a GPS box.

  • http://thebookangel.com Renee

    Voted for #1,  however. . . I like the longer quote on the blue cover. The second part of the sentence is powerful. Quote needs to be only 2 lines—with the line break after the comma so the full thought is on one line. (it … purpose,) then (achieving … life.)

    Still would like the GPS to be realistic rather than clipart.

    Would like the sailboat theme if the boat was actually on water, with land and sky in the background or perhaps with sky in background instead of the solid blue.

  • http://bit.ly/brandonrobbins Brandon Robbins

    Love the GPS one. It draws me immediately. If I saw it on a shelf, I would pick it up. I feel it compliments the topic better than the sailboat.

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

    Both covers are good.  But I wanted to tell you that I finally read my copy of Creating a Personal Life Plan today and I loved it.  Thank you so much for making it available to us free of charge. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You are welcome!

  • http://www.wescomer.com Wes Comer

    I see I’m in the minority again, but glad to see that the sailing visual has at least made it to this final cage match. :)

    Things I don’t like about Cover #1: The GPS image feels gimmicky, I’m not a fan of the color blocking for the testimonial and author areas, and I feel that Gotham is overused (that’s part confession — I tend to gravitate to it more often than I should. Thanks, Obama.).

    Things I like about Cover #2: See my earlier comment on the previous post. It just feels more sure and I feel like I can trust this book written by this more accomplished man because it does, in fact, use unfamiliar visual metaphors. If my life isn’t intentional and I’m looking for a resource that takes me from what I am to what I want to be, would I trust a familiar image (GPS, iPhone, cell phone, laptop)? Or would I want something that projects where/what I want to be (sailboat with a sure course, compass, navigational tools, etc)?

    I know I’m in the minority, but for me, the latter is my choice.

    One thing I DON’T like about Cover #2 is that you’ve lost the visual interest of the mixed fonts. I really liked the serif/sans-serif balance you had in the previous iteration. Bonus thing I don’t like: the second half of Maxwell’s quote is redundant and takes more space than it should. I’d go back to the shorter blurb.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I am impressed that you knew that font was Gotham! I may try to go back to Requiem Display for the word “Life Plan.” Personally, I love beautiful, serifed fonts.

  • http://www.inspiremuse.com Peter Hoppe

    With the designs as they stand, I have now changed my previous vote for the sail to a vote for the GPS cover. Here’s why:

    The GPS cover better utilizes the contrast and proximity design principles. Proximity: each element is nicely separated from the others, leaving clean white space. Contrast: Life Plan pops out from the cover, your name is nicely set off by itself with a green background, and John’s recommendation is set in black. Again, very aesthetically pleasing thanks to good use of the fundamental design principles.

    Personally, I’m still rooting for the sail cover. As others suggest, I believe this one may have a longer “shelf life” and appeal to even the younger if tweaked just slightly. Suggestions:1)  limit John’s quote to 2 lines + his name, 2) perhaps include a slight opaque background behind John’s quote, 3) add more contrast between the title and subtitle (since this color scheme will not work well with color variations like the GPS theme does, varying type font may work best…how about a slightly creative SCRIPT font for “Creating Your Personal” and perhaps a similar script font or simply italics for the subtitle)

    These changes should fix the proximity and contrast challenges facing the sail cover and even the playing field between the two. Right now, it’s just not a fair fight. The character has been removed from the sail theme and feels bland.

    Thanks again for opening this up for discussion. This is fun!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for you input. Excellent.

    • Anonymous

      This is exactly what I was thinking but couldn’t find the words.

  • Jce3g1999

    I like the blue sailing cover.  First, I think it look better aesthetically.  Second, the GPS cover seems amateur or “a novice” would have done it.  Third, the GPS speaks to my life now and the sail boat to where I would like to be, hence I need your book to help me get there.

  • http://www.thebiblicalbookshelf.com/ Daniel J. Mount

    I didn’t even realize that #2 was a sail in the last round, until I saw the bigger image and you explained it here. So I voted for #1.

  • http://www.wescomer.com Wes Comer

    Just a couple more quick thoughts if you DO go with Cover #1:

    1.) Adjust the kerning in the main title to move the characters closer together (maybe -30/40). This will break up the kind of mono-spaced, mechanical feel that Gotham tends to have, and may make it feel a little less overused in the composition.

    2.) Consider losing the red in “Life Plan.” As I’m sure you’re aware, red in business is bad (urgency, failure, financial loss). Maybe consider the blue from the arrow in the GPS unit.

    3.) The GPS unit itself kind of bothers me because the arrow points straight up while the device is tilted. A minor thing I know, but little things like that are what makes people sometimes say, “Something seems off,” even when they can’t put their finger on it.

    4.) If you change the “Life Plan” text to blue, maybe consider using the grayish-tan from the GPS for the author color block rather than the green. It’s a little garish.

    Okay…I’m done. :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Kind of like this? Note: I didn’t change the kerning of “Life Plan.” Thanks.

      • http://www.wescomer.com Wes Comer

        Absolutely — much better (in my opinion, that is). The only other thing you might want to think about tweaking is the Maxwell quote. Give it a smidge more margin, and maybe drop his name size down just a touch. Like this: http://wescomer.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/LifePlan.jpg

        Also increased the size of the GPS unit, and the font kerning is moved in a bit (I might be wrong about that, but it’s there nonetheless).

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Thanks. I made some adjustments to the quote as you suggested. I also centered his name. I still think I like the green background on my name. Garish but arresting. ;-)

          • http://www.wescomer.com Wes Comer

            Haha! Indeed. Actually, I just threw the green in there in Photoshop and it looks much less offensive with the title text in blue. My strong attachment to the sailing imagery is beginning to lessen…but not much. :) Design by committee is always a challenge, and you took it to the next level with these posts. Thanks for letting us all be a part!

      • Jhammer1014

        Much better but would angle the directional arrow up at a 45 degree angle vs straight up, rarely does that happen in life.

  • Matt

    You know the answer to your own question.  The blue is lifeless.   I wouldn’t pick either of them though.  I think you need a better design.

  • Gloria

    Is there a way you could publish your book with both covers?

    The GPS cover looks like it might read like you write– instructive, precise, friendly.

    The sailboat cover (by de facto) looks like it might read like you write as well– with wisdom, experience, maturity.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No, I think I have to pick one or the other. Two many other graphics, including the interior design, will be dependent on the design. Thanks.

  • Julie

    My first gut reaction was the blue one.  It has vision.  It leaves the mind to wonder a bit on where this ship is sailing and to draw you to the book.  (More right-brained).  The White cover is much more left-brained with a “road map” feel.  Being right-brained, I was drawn to the blue one.

  • BethMcKamy

    I know the GPS appeals more to the younger generation, and those over 60, but I still love Option 2. I love the sense of adventure that sailing brings to the journey. Life is never smooth like the road of the GPS, but it’s about changing directions, and making corrections along the way. Maybe that’s way it resonates with those in the 50-60 range. Personally the roads I felt God leading me down in my 20’s are totally different than the ones He has me on today. I truly feel like sometimes I have lived 5 or 6 different lives and journeyed down tons of roads.

    On another note if I were just going into a store to browse (as I often do), I would be more drawn to option 2 because of the colors. For me white covers get lost in the lights of the bookstores, and if the book is no longer on display and just sitting in the shelves, then I will be more prone to pull out books that have color because once they are on the shelves you can’t even see the front covers.

    Besides Option 2 makes me feel good. I did, however, like the way it was before…it was more balanced and not so right heavy.

    Bottom line is it doesn’t matter to me which cover you choose, I will buy it anyway because you wrote it, and I have learned a lot from you. I have a list of writers that I buy everything they write because I like what they do, so covers don’t make me buy or not buy. Covers might entice me to pick up a book by an unknown author, but content makes me buy!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for you input and kind words, Beth.

  • ElleX

    I prefer the sailboat cover.  The GPS is boring to me. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000224867816 Doug Doolie

    Yuck – neither. Sorry. I don’t like either of these.  I like the tree one.

  • http://somewiseguy.com ThatGuyKC

    Go option #1!
    I’m looking forward to the reformatted book. I experienced some of the issues you addressed and think the new format will be much better.

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

    Sorry, I don’t like either one of these. I feel like they look more like desktop publishing (ie amateur) than professional book covers. And neither one inspires me to pick up the book or see what it’s about. Just my opinion of course :-)

    Since you didn’t have a “neither one” option, I’m abstaining from the vote.

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

    Wow Michael, if you aren’t confused yet, this round ought to send you over the edge. I liked the first sail image better than this one. It had more contrast and a simpler quote. I still vote for the GPS. It appeals to a wider demographic, and I like the tag line better. If this were a paid product, it would be interesting to do an A/B landing page test and see which one actually converts better into actual purchases. On that front, the more expensive looking blue one might have the edge.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I may go with the GPS, simply because I have had 25,000+ people download the sailboat. I may draw in a whole other crowd with the GPS. Tough call!

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

        That’s a great idea. You can see how a different cover works along with a new format. One thing is for sure, you can’t please all the people all the time. Some really strong opinions here… Wow!

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Yes, strong opinions. It is amazing how many of us (and I include myself) think we have infallible opinions when it comes to evaluating art!

  • http://twitter.com/dougpetch Doug Petch

    The GPS version would work well as an eBook “cover”; the sail version would look better on a hard copy.

  • John

    Sail one looks like a college textbook.

  • God’sCountrygirl

    I chose the 2nd “sail” option because:  It gives me the impression I’m looking up to God to chart my course, not myself.  It is colorful and refreshing. Is more spacious and gives more freedom for creativity from God our Creator. There are no boundaries and you know where to start, you have focus. It’s more inviting and it’s never outdated. Sailing is refreshing and adventurous.  The other cover is a bit drab, complicated, constrained and too busy. Can make a person wonder where to start. Using technology to draw a younger crowd doesn’t matter. The Holy Spirit will draw them no matter what age.

  • http://www.mattandjesskelley.blogspot.com/ Jessica Miller Kelley

    It really must be close, because I keep changing my mind. I voted for the sextant, then the GPS, and now the sail. I like the freshness and the subtitle of the GPS, but the sail just feels very classy. Good thought on adding the age question. I’m a 30-year old female, and I imagine if your target audience is younger adults, the GPS would be best, but I imagine the sail appealing more to established businessmen (and perhaps to me too). 

  • Dw150

    sail boates relates to more people…I love the blue.
    Go with the sail boat..

  • http://goodcheapeats.com FishMama

    I voted in both surveys today. Missed it yesterday. I wouldn’t have know that was a ship (at first glance) unless you had told me so. 

  • http://www.dianestortz.com Diane Stortz

    Haven’t changed my mind; I still think #1 is it. All the different takes on what each cover signifies to different people and why has been fascinating. But no one stands in front of a book cover or views it online and dissects it like that. It’s all about the first impression and whatever else we bring to our perceptions at the time. I learned a long time ago that when you start tweaking a cover to death, it’s the wrong cover.

    • http://www.dianestortz.com Diane Stortz

       HAVE been fascinating…not has

  • Tracy Hoots Hoexter

    I voted for 1 again, but still feel the main title is underwhelming when considering viewing it from a bookstore shelf. If interested, I sent you an email earlier today with a jpg suggesting a revision to the title.

    A good test is to print them both out actual size, mount them and trim them, and put them on a shelf at a bookstore. See which one pops out of the crowd… much like you advised on your blog recently. Does the title pop? I feel the white background will jump best. 


    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The main place this cover needs to work is on the web, since it won’t be a physical book. It is just an ebook. Still, good advice.

      • Tracy Hoots Hoexter

        Doh! Sorry I missed that! ;-D

  • http://twitter.com/pastorbrett pastorbrett

    The GPS catches the eye quicker due to the brilliant colors, but it will also need to be replaced sooner as technology is moving so fast. The sailboat concept is timeless, transcending eras. Following a GPS is thoughtless and implies a rather short-term trip guided by an often annoying voice; sailing makes one think of a romantic, adventurous journey that requires thought, action, adjustment, and can be charted using tested and true methods sailors have used for centuries.

  • http://twitter.com/johnlambert John Lambert

    I’m 35 years old and I’m back in forth on this one.  I love the clean look of the sails and blue.  I like that it says stability.  But I also want fun! haha.  I guess it depends on your target group.  Most guys under my age may not be thinking about a personal life plan, but need to be thinking about it.  I used to write my own type of life plan based on the Covey system when I was in my 20’s and now I am living that plan!  Time for me to re-plan, re-vamp for the next stage of life, so I am going to choose the sails, option #2

  • http://twitter.com/bigmet Metric

    I like option 1 better but I chose option 2 because I feel like the GPS image will date the book in years to come and that’s the last thing you want to do to a classic!

  • JWeaver

    Female, almost 50. GPS cover all the way. The sail cover feels tired and old and the analogy not as fresh as the material you present.

  • http://www.redsky.info Jason Taylor

    The GPS one.

  • Anonymous

    Still liking the GPS cover.  It’s very current with the audience that will be buying the book now. I wouldn’t worry about the technology changing in a year or two.  You’re selling the book now. You can change the cover if you wish on subsequent revised editions.

    • Anonymous

      And thanks for making this process so public.  It’s been fun!  And the process itself has been educational.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        It’s been fun for me, too!

  • Anonymous

    Sail boat, hard to verbalize why, but it speaks to me, something out the whole “captain of fate” element, vs. a the seemingly lack of emotion in letting a computer telling you where to go.

  • http://danielsparks.com Daniel J. Sparks

    If the sail were a picture of the entire boat, it might be more attractive. I think it has the mist attractive colors. Like others, I think the spacing is also visually disruptive. Still going with the GPS version.

  • Bobseymore


  • Tim

    Blue.  It is classy and a lot of people either have them (the blues) or sing about the blues!

  • Ian Whitfield

    i like the colors and cleaness of the second option but i love the use of technology in the first and feel it will resonate better. People intuitively understand a map … you just made it much more current with this rendition! … ps Michael will you be bringing some of these to your speaking engagement with us in November? Ian

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Unfortunately, this is ebook only. I am working on an expanded print book with Daniel Harkavy. We hope to have it out in 2013.

  • Delphiasimmons

    I would be more attracted to the GPS cover.

  • Diana

    The GPS one. :-) I agree the Blue cover is a snoozer….

  • Anonymous

    I voted for the sail cover this morning but now I’m voting for the GPS one…the changes on the sail cover make me feel the gps one is more “clean” and the idea is portrayed more clearly. I’m sure either would be fine but it is funny to me that the two ‘finalists’ are really so different.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Oscar-Varghese/512490553 Oscar Varghese

    GPS! GPS! 

  • Alyce_jones

    GPS cover is more eye catching and modern- sail boat left me thinking it was a retirement book…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000077656553 Shirley A Burns

    Although I am not a sailing -type person, I prefer the blue/sailboat over the gps, as the subtitle and image convey that *you* are charting your course as opposed to punching in some info and having a computer give you directions.

  • http://www.cathybaker.org C Baker

    GPS cover has my vote.  Ample white space is always refreshing.

  • Anonymous

    The sail cover is still my favorite. It makes me think, “The sky’s the limit!”

  • Nigelh

    The sailing one is cleaner and clearer, and gives a sense of open space.
    I’ve also had bad experiences with GPS misdirecting me! 

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

    Of the two finalists, I really like the sail cover. It gives you a sense of adventure and freedom, something that a life plan will help you have.

  • Jjamesthegaytonkirk

    I am staying with the GPS one. It is inviting, has energy, makes me want to pick it up. The sailboat looks staid. 

  • Brad Haven

    GPS is my favorite.  I think it goes with your title.

  • RLM

    Not sure which cover change influenced my change of mind but this time around I prefer the sailboat.

  • Anonymous

    I prefer the sailboat (option 2).  I already voted in the poll, so don’t count this comment as a post.

    Reason…it’s just easier on the eyes.  The GPS cover just has too much color for me…it’s distracting.

    But…that’s me…

  • Darleen Witmer

    The GPS version definitely

  • Tammy Owens

    I like the GPS one the best because it is current and it appeals more to today.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Greg-Oonaugh-Wood/532511954 Greg Oonaugh Wood

    I prefer the GPS cover.  The sail is actually lost on me as I just glance at it.  This morning I was not really sure what it was until I looked closely at it.  I can’t see this cover drawing my attention.

  • Sean McCool

    I like the blue and the sail boat. Jonathan Livingston Seagul sold a few copies with a similar look. It’s very simple and clean to me.

    The only thing I would change is to change “chart” to “charting”so that the Life Plan and not the reader is doing the work. (yes, I am a copywriter)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I tried that, but I didn’t like having both the title and the subtitle starting with a gerund.

  • Jocelyne Sade

    Is it possible to make the GPS photo larger? It seems so rinky dink. And really, it’s a piece of machinery. Not so warm or welcoming. I love the sailboat one, still,  but I understand those who don’t. I’m a lover of water… I’m a lover of almost anything  blue… I’m a lover of the blue/white combo… I’m a lover of sky blue, so clean and crisp. But the GPS is more current, unfortunately. Oh, and I love the longer quote by John Maxwell, that was a good decision. Bottom line: The sailboat. I’m a young female at 58.

  • http://www.checkmatesystem.com/?page_id=20 Mary

    The sailboat.

    I want my life to count for more than a road trip.  The sails point upward suggesting something much higher.  The colors and graphics are strong.

    The GPS is cute and catchy.  But it tells me this is just a cute exercise.  I wouldn’t pick it up again (fair disclosure – I’m a serious person who has to work at play.)

    My personality type comes up for just a small percentage of the population so you may not want to listen to me!

  • Angeliquevw

    I like the GPS cover, it really caught my eye.

  • Edi Balian

    Again I still the Gps cover is better because it:

    1- Cataches your attention right away.
    2- The Font and color use makes the title and subtitle stand out clearly.
    3- The Sail – don’t think it is globally clear motif or retirement goal.
    4- The sail cover only two colors and makes it harder to read because of the white text.Takes longer to read and less chance to make we jump on the product.

    I hope this helps.


  • Ccleahy

    RE: the GPS (which I voted for), I think you should reconsider the black block behind the Maxwell quote.  The dramatic black is visually beating the crap out of the green.  And while we’re on the subject, why have the quote at all?  I’m not anti-Maxwell, but I am pro-Hyatt.  I would rather read one of your quips.  Ok, one last comment.  The GPS graphic appears to be icon-ish.  I’d prefer more depth in the graphic.  Thanks for letting “us” have input.  Fun!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your input!

  • Ray Eickhoff

    GPS Michael. It had me at first glance.

  • Wendy Nelles, Toronto

    Hi, Michael. Great idea to do this focus group. I used the quick glance method which is the split second all books get on bookstore shelves.

    Go for Option 1. It looks much more contemporary.
    Option 2 has a classy but much more conservative look. I actually did not realize I was looking at sails initially. Because the boat itself is hidden, I did not recognize the white triangular objects as sails, nor the blue background as sky. Yes, after you study it a bit and read charting your course, you catch on that it must be sails, but for people who aren’t familiar with sailboats, I think the analogy might be lost.

    Even non-techy people who don’t have iPhones, iPads, GPS units etc can recognize Option 1 as a road map.

  • Amelia Clements

    I have to say I like the sailboat as it gives me the impression writing a life plan is a pleasurable/leisure activity. The GPS one reminds me of being lost and stressed out, not knowing where to go.

  • Dave

    GPS cover definitely.  I like the sail imagery but it’s a little dated, and although I can’t put my finger on it, I feel like it’s been used for a similar book…maybe something Bill Hybels did.  I know he’s really into sailing.

  • 67firecracker

    Sailboat has my vote.  Blue sky captures a beautiful day.  Sailing captures being free.  In contrast I’ve been frustrated many a time by GPS as it sent me to strange locations, took me the long way around, told me to turn the wrong way onto one way streets, and other unplanned and maddening adventures.  I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who talks snotty or yells at their GPS.  Sailing is so much more refreshing.

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

    I notice the GPS is about to lap the sailboat. These two both stand above the other two. I voted for the boat but I think, in a bookstore, I’d notice the GPS before I’d notice the sailboat. It looks crisp and clean to me.

    Interesting to see how the pros do it as far as choosing a book cover. It’s not about you. It’s about your reader. Good lesson to learn.

  • http://www.heavencantwait.org Joy Media

    The blue .. it’s sleaker and more modern .. the garmin is even old with smart phones .. that cover looks dated.
    Good Luck! 

  • Dawn Wilson

    I like the GPS cover. Captured my eye immediately. Relevant-looking. I have books in my library like the second one that I never read again… but ones like the GPS cover keep me coming back for “re-reads.”

  • Edwina Cowgill

    I love the openness, the expanse of the blue – to me it represents the opportunities that are boundless and the sail represents the freedom that we have to pursue those opportunities.

    On the other hand, the GPS is less flexible – once the route is set, it’s not always easy to change.

  • Guest

    i like the idea of the gps better than the sail (metaphor a bit overused – like the tree), but the cover is too stark…might need a bit more…something. Thanks for asking btw, and just ignore everything i’ve said if you want!

  • Wally Grant

    I prefer the gps cover

  • Joyce Harback

    Both are great but GPS gets my vote. It puts me in a city, surrounded by others on my way to a certain destination. This is my life, I use GPS every day. However, the subtitle may set up unrealistic expectations. A life plan gets me *closer* to “where (I) want to be” but it isn’t a sure thing. 

    The sailing cover is gorgeous but feels like I’m on my own. True, I’m the captain of my life-ship (life-boat?) but it feels lonely. Relaxing, but lonely; away from people and shore and supplies and commitments. That’s vacation, not daily life. However, the subtitle is more realistic. I’m on my way to a “better future.”  

    I’m a 53 yr. old female.

  • Jknull

    The GPS would grab my attention on the shelf at first glance, and if you want me to buy it, it has to first get my attention so I’ll pick it up and look at it.   I also like the sub-title.  We all have to start “here” and if we weren’t a little dissatisfied with “here”, we wouldn’t be looking for help on how to get “there”. 

  • Brandon Riley

    gps one is fun and exciting….the sailboat one reminds me of a leadership book by john maxwell…..i like john maxwell but this may not be the tone you want to use to attract a wide audience

  • Pdarrenalc

    The GPS cover tells us the time we are in it will need a new cover in a few years. The sailboat cover is great if you like sailing. I would rather see a map on the front of your book. I like you as an author so I would get the book no matter what. Possibly maybe even a cover that is one solid color and then your words in a certain font. Thanks for asking for input.

  • Andrew

    Male 39, Sail Cover although GPS may appeal to younger audience.

  • Kelly

    I liked the sail. I liked the contrast of the blue and white. I voted for the gps first, and I still like it. Just kind of like the sail one a little bit more.

  • Kristy Ensor

    I was quickly drawn to the GPS cover.  Very appealing, and the colors make it pop!

  • Lawmar321

    I prefer the sailboat – blue/white contrast.  The GPS cover seems cold and harsh. The white on blue seems to pop out and easier to read.

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

    I say this….  have you thought about generations??  I wonder if the youngsters like the gps, and the wise ones like the sail.  I’m a counseling student, not a publisher, but if you think “ink blot” you might have a different answer.  :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s why I added in the age question, so I can cross tab the results and see if there’s anything meaningful in the response by age.

  • Anonymous

    If you hadn’t have told me the blue one was a sail, I wouldn’t have known. I really had to look at it. To me the GPS is really obvious, catchy, and unique.

  • Jared Coe

    Unless you want to change it again in 6 months when stand alone GPS units are more outdated than they already are I would not use the GPS.  It might just be me but when I see outdated tech on a cover I steer clear.  

    I also like the blue behind the sail and have enjoyed sailing so it appeals to me.

  • http://www.checkmatesystem.com/?page_id=20 Mary

    A little off-topic but this whole process is fascinating.  But I wonder how we would react if it wasn’t an either/or decision.   I wonder if just one of the four was available and mixed up with other books in the genre, if we would pick it up and leaf through it.  (I guess you’d have to repeat the experiment 4 times.)

    It’s also teaching me that maybe I need a better way to pick the books I read!  Would I really pass over a good read because the cover pictured a colorful GPS that made the treatment of the subject matter seem trivial to me?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The process is fascinating to me, too. I am learning so much!

  • Pureace

    I prefer the GPS cover. It’s cleaner and  easier not the eyes.

  • Acrowson

    The GPS makes mr think of a journey that someone else has already mapped out, but the sail evokes a journey of discovery that is not all mapped out from the beginning.

  • http://www.godmessedmeup.blogspot.com pamhogeweide

    Love the GPS cover. One word : contemporary.


  • saf

    My preference for the sails and sky are:  1)I like blue better than bold, block colors.  2)The curves of the sail are artistic yet structured.  3)The GPS looks fake probably because of no writing (which, ironically, is probably the way it should be for this book).  4)The sails in the sky instantly bring to my mind “the sky’s the limit” and thoughts of aiming high.  That being said, I like the first sail picture better than the second, which cuts the sails shorter.

  • Rickkmac

    Sail boat with shorter Maxwell quote.

  • Mglodfelter

    Definitely the GPS cover. The overly blue sailboat cover does not grap my attention.

  • http://about.me/colinmichael Colin Michael

    Definitely loving the GPS cover. Even though it may become dated fairly quickly, I can just hear it saying of my life plan, “Recalculating.”

  • Marlene

    I think the GPS cover is the better one, metaphorically speaking. My only comment on the GPS cover is the bar of black running across the top. I wonder if that bar of color would look better if it was in the same green as the bar at the bottom.

  • http://www.SacredRoutine.com Jodi

    The only change I’d make with the GPS cover is the white background. The GPS one is more appealing since it seems more relevant. I don’t have one, but I know lots of people who do. I don’t know anyone with a sail boat. The sailing cover almost seems cliche. With that being said, the sail boat cover is more appealing from the standpoint that the blue is more comfortable / inviting. The white background on the GPS almost is sterile – like a cold-hospital-atmosphere. I think if there was a subtle color behind the GPS (even if you decided to maintain a white border like you do on your blog site), it would help.
    As you sort through the differing opionions, may you find this experience to refresh you, not deplete you. May you sense God’s direction and blessing as He uses your gifts and talents in this way.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your prayers!

  • http://twitter.com/wisemanb Barry Wiseman

    I like the sailboat cover. It reminds me of your first cover, and I don’t see why you need to completely overhaul the looks of your book simply because you can. Sailing is a powerful metaphor for life. GPS… meh… not so much. GPS can suggest direction. Sailing means you’re out there going. Can’t sail at the dock. You can mess around with the GPS forever and have fun with it without leaving your driveway. Sailboat, period.

  • Manfred Heck

    I originally voted for the ‘sail’ (seemed more ‘mature’ at the time), even though the ‘GPS’ was more visually eye-catching. I’m glad you gave me a second chance .. I voted ‘GPS’ this time and don’t think it’s really close.

  • Kylepierpont

    I like both but I think the Sailboat is a bit cliche and the GPS is more eye-grabbing. Just my two cents.

  • http://twitter.com/Michelle365 Michelle McKinney

    If I had to choose one, it would be the GPS one BUT I would be concerned about the longevity of  the book cover….technology changes so quickly which may make the reference obsolete at some point.  Also, people who are not as tech savvy (not necessarily those commenting on this blog who probably are) may not even get what the image is.  The sailboat is a bit dull and you can only see a little of it.  Just my thoughts! Best to you.

  • Phil Newell

    Option 2 has a more mature look to it–greater staying power.  Option 1 reminds me of a college career course.

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

    Voting for the first time. The sailing cover drew me instantly. The idea of sailing is so much bigger than the GPS photo one … setting sail for the horizon, uncharted waters, that sort of thing. And sailing is risky, as is creating a life plan.  I like the expanded Maxwell quote too.
    The GPS one is cliched. And it’s a smaller visual image, seeming to reduce the concept down. 
    The sailing cover says “more” to me.

  • Jared

    My first thought about the boat cover was that it looks generic. I think I’ve seen similar covers on books by Ortberg and Lucado. The GPS cover got my vote.

  • Jtrentboyd

    Once again. I am increasingly fond of the GPS cover. It has the stripped down Google pop.
    BTW- its filled with excellent content either way.

  • Jim Lewis

    I don’t think the GPS cover is what you want . . . a GPS “tells” you where to go, how far and when you get there, and where to get off. Not a good connotation – not your message. Go with the other cover . . .

  • Gwlw2002

    There is NO DOUBT that this is the best cover in my opinion.  It is so crisp, clean and attractive.  A perfect cover for the book!

  • http://www.ellenoutloud.com Ellen Lambert

    I am so passionate about Option 2 — the way it leads the eye up — the imagry — the way it ties with your mission and your message.  GPS doesn’t resonate at all. I know I’m in the minority.  But why not use both covers and reach the whole gamut of readers?

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

    GPS – God’s Perfect Sovereignty!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Love that!

  • Clahookem

    I realize that I fall in the ” the blue cover” age demo but the stark white technical gps doesn’t appeal at all. I don’t so much like the sailboat (didn’t even see it at first glance) but feel the blue is so much stronger than the white. Maybe the gps cover with a blue background?

  • http://rmabry.com Richard Mabry

    The GPS cover.

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

    GPS – God’s Perfect Sovereignty

  • http://www.masterworksdesignpro.com Linda

    I voted for the sailing cover, because I’d rather chart my course than have to learn yet one more software program, which is implied in the GPS cover for me.  But I’m sure the younger members of the audience feel differently.  The fact that my GPS had outdated maps for where I was headed today might have influenced my answer as well.   I have to override what it tells me at times.
    From a color perspective, blue is a color for authority in our culture.  So the blue cover also portends knowledge and expertise.  (Paint color consultation and color consultation for interiors is something I do have some expertise in.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1161581523 Darrell G. Wolfe

    I didn’t even  get that the second cover was a sail until you I read sail cover and looked back again… not as effective I think as the straight forward GPS. 

  • http://twitter.com/ventigrace Amy Riep

    I vote GPS.  I don’t dislike the sailboat cover – however, since I’ve been knee deep in creating a life plan and applying it for the last few months (thanks to your ebook) – it is definitely work and the process mirrors the imagery of the GPS so precisely – “navigating” your life intentionally. 

  • Jeret Wimpee

    I think version 1 is the best option for this day and time.  Most people are more familiar with a GPS for guidance and direction versus a sail.  I like the color combination…intriguing.

  • Cfamktg

    As quickly as technology changes the gps may date your cover very quickly. I would not want to rely on that image to remain fresh for long. The sailboat blends with every other bookcover. Your best design, coloration, copy and overall appeal was the architectural tools. I agree the instruments should be changed to other tools that help research or map out other aspects of life, In my opinion you should keep the same colors and clean look to the architectural page (and the same copy) – you stopped too soon developing the cover which could be THE one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=624719921 Kevin Cooper

    I agree with other comments that I like the Tree cover the best.  Instead of a GPS on the cover for the 1st option, what about a Tablet with Maps displayed or a smartphone with a map?

  • Jasen Hatten

    I say keep it simple.  The GPS has like 6 different colors and my eyes don’t know where to look – should I be drawn to the GPS device, the name Michael Hyatt or to the bright red letters that say “LIFE PLAN” or the bright green line on the cover.  I like the simplicity of the sail boat design – only 2 colors – blue is known to be a color of vision and hope anyways – and the immediate response that I got from looking at that book was hope.  And in all honesty, you could put “John Maxwell endorsed this book” and it would be a winner.  So short quote or long quote by him – who cares?  I think overall I would like the GPS if the “LIFE PLAN” letters weren’t red.  Red speaks of passion – okay – but it also reminds me of a stop sign.  Should I stop reading this title and put the book down.  I’m no expert but colors do speak louder than words sometimes…

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Do you like this one any better?

  • Apollojetick

    not a fan of the GPS (30 year old male here).  I probably wouldn’t check out the sail boat one either if I didn’t already follow you.  I would like something along the lines of this:

    But I know you are far along the process here.  Good luck!  And I will look for the book!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I can’t see what you are referring to. Sorry.

  • Amy in MT

    Definitely now, the sailboat. Improvements obvious from earlier and it just pops. I still like the GPS cover, but for me, it’s now running farther behind the sails.

    • Amy in MT

      And Michael, I AM in the 50-59 y/o, female demographic.

  • Josh Deng

    Just off-hand, the GPS cover catches my eye more, and it provides more of a mental correlation in my head.

  • http://twitter.com/gljones01 Greg Jones


    I think the GPS imagery is spot-on. People are looking for direction. Your book will help them in that regard. A sailboat seems more like a retirement thing for the wealthy. f you were writing a book about the Kennedy family, I’d make that my cover emblem. But, a GPS is something most everyone can relate to. Now, when you get to a second edition, you may have to revise the cover (which you would do anyway), but I like the imagery the best. 

    Please feel free use this on the back of the book jacket. haha. 
    Greg Jones

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You make an important point. Since this is an e-book, I can revise the cover whenever I want. The book has only been out six months, and I am already revising it! Then questions is, what works NOW?

  • http://annebingham.wordpress.com/ Anne Bingham

    Blue is classier. However, I like the copy on the GPS version a lot better.

  • Jeffsmithnc

    I like the GPS cover AND if you send me a copy, I’ll tell you how much I appreciate it.

  • ljjasper

    Definitely the sail. It looks clear, intriguing and not like a hard core business book. It invites me to pick it up. Something about the GPS cover looks just too “businessy”. It looks like a technical manual or a slick marketing campaign for a motivational speaker. The sail looks softer, more human, less predictable. The GPS looks lifeless, hard-edged and technological. I didn’t see the earlier options but anything that looks more “human” and less like a technical manual gets my vote!

  • Mark E.

    I liked the sail cover over the GPS–the GPS looked cartoonish.  Would have liked the sail more if there were a pendant or windvane at the top indicating motion or movement–the idea of moving to a new destination.  Could also have added a spot of color other than the blue and white.

  • Manaase

    I prefer blue anyway but, in design, the yellow and red combination (such as is used by McD’s and Wawa, etc.) attracts people’s attention but makes them uncomfortable so that they “leave quick.” I know you want a cover that attracts people, but am not sure if the color combo couldn’t be adjusted if you opted for the GPS design. 

    I would also adjust the image to be even more architecturally creative, like the GPS more flat, with the roads and buildings/trees/bridges rising out of it in a 3d representation (some of them even in ‘sketch’ style or with subtle architectural markings around them)… that would fit my taste more. 

    The arrow perhaps 3d, pointing inward (toward the inside of the book)?

    All the best!

  • Dee M.

    No contest – GPS!

  • Timvandlen

    i am male 36 with no connection to boating but i love the simplicity of the sail cover. the gps cover struck me as very old school, maybe even a little stale (no offense intended – just gut reaction).

  • APB

    If I had to be attracted based solely on the cover image, the GPS would not garner a second look from me.  I would pass it over without a second thought.  If someone recommended the book to me and I saw the GPS , there is a possibility that I might purchase it but it still might be a deterrent.

  • Jennifer@SurprisingJoy

    As a woman, the GPS cover appeals more to me. It’s a tool that makes life easier and helps me get where I want to go. The sailboat seems more masculine, and sailing is a heck-of-alot more work than typing in an address. The easier the life plan, the better.

  • SharonW

    I vote the GPS cover with a catchier background, maybe a wide-ish blue band/banner behind the GPS. I agree with many comments, that the sail cover is just too boring…I would not look twice at it in a bookstore.

  • Ramon Presson

    The GPS is certainly the more attention-getting of the two. BUT…( Question #1) who is the bull’s eye of your target audience?  The GPS cover is more light-hearted, less professional.  A college student or 20-something will definitely respond to GPS cover. A seasoned professional is likely to respond to the more serious professional cover of the sails.  Question #2: Which group is more likely to WANT and actually DEVELOP a life plan?  I’m not really sure, but it’s an important question to ask.   Question #3: 70% of Christian books are bought by women. Which cover invites women to the book while still being masculine enough to draw men?  (and professional men and creatives WILL be drawn to this book.)
        So I realize instead of ANSWERING your one question I have RAISED three more. But I think they are vital questions to ask and answer.

  • D Beard

    GPS, clearer direction not dependent upon changing winds

  • Michelle Owings-Christian

    I really like the Sail one.  It is lovely and implies the work that living on purpose requires.  The GPS implies automatic, mechanical, no human input.  (at least to me!)

  • Jason Davis

    I have no negative reaction when I see the sailing cover so I voted for it. I really dislike the gps image to the point where I wonder if I would have gotten past the negative reaction to click and download it. GPS seems so cliche and overused and will date the book. I only have one friend of dozens of tech savvy friends who still lug a GPS around instead of using a smartphone. Just my opinion. Great ebook by the way and thanks.

  • Suebie


  • Nkemsells

    Life is a journey and for most of us, a holistic life plan is need.  The GPS concept portrays it best.  Godspeed on whichever you decide.

  • everydaytrigirl

    Not much analyzation tonight. Gut check and go. I thought you were slowing down? Don’t work too much on the weekend. Chill with Gail & enjoy the cold fall days.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Gail is in Africa. However, I find this kind of work exhilarating. It’s like painting or golf for me. ;-)

  • Brian Mayfield

    I think the GPS cover is going to appeal to a much younger group of leaders. The sail cover is going to make Bill Hybels happy – that’s about it. The GPS for sure!

  • Phillip

    The sail boat.  The activity is recreational so it has a touch of fun to it, yet overall it better represents your professional standing.  Your blog is somewhat sophisticated information MADE SIMPLE and ENJOYABLE for all of us.   The sail boat just connects with your brand better.

  • Scott Knight

    It’s a tough one, I kept going back and forth but I had to choose option 2 because it is timeless and has several meanings with the sailboat.
    The GPS on a tablet looks better and first glance but there’s some sort of disconnect I’m not sure of (maybe just that gps and tablets are very current tech and it seems like the book would be about that technology if you didn’t read the title etc.).
    The only other thing I would suggest is to try to mix up the colors a bit on option 2 so it isn’t so monochromatic.
    Can’t wait to read the book!

    • Scott Knight

      Reading the other comments I realized that option 1 is supposed to be just a gps device not a tablet (ipad etc) which I thought it was at first.

  • Ryan Dembeck

    I enjoy the sailboat one, as the GPS, although bridging the gap to a younger, tech savvy generation, makes me think the lifeplan itself is overly technical and systematic instead of a journey, which the sailboat image lends itself to.

  • Roxywiley

    Even though I voted for the GPS earlier today, the sail cover captured my attention this time. I found the new shade of blue intriguing and a great contrast with the white lettering and sail. Also, the longer version of the John Maxwell quote drew me in. Bottom line, I think the blue will look better on the book shelf at Barnes and Noble.

  • Ed C

    Originally liked the sailboat, but now that it is down to these two . I like the GPS better, current culture will relate  to this cover. With the white background the GPS stands out on the cover good indication of having a planned route to travel.

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

    I think I should add some constructive comments to my earlier non-vote. Option #1…so much white space draws your eye not to the title, but to the gps. A device which even in this artwork here is outdated already and makes it seem as though the book is about old technology vs. what it truly is about. Most people will glance over that artwork and move on, thinking “I don’t need a book on GPS devices”. They will never find the title. Even in red, that white space around the art is far more powerful. And let’s face it, GPS just doesn’t say “life plan”. At least not to me. 

    Option #2 has an abundance of white space too, although it’s colored blue. Blue is a great color, it draws the eye. However, the sails…don’t look like sails. There isn’t enough of the boat showing for the casual glance to identify what the heck that is. You have to really stare at is and let’s face, nobody will. There’s also far too much type on the page, so once again the title does not stand out. 

    You should decide, is the title important or not? If not…then make your name the selling feature. If it is, if THAT is what you want people to notice, then feature it. Not the artwork. I’m not saying make it just white with a title on it. I’m saying feature it, make it jump out at me when it’s a tiny icon on Amazon. Put this artwork at icon size and look at it. Can you honestly say you can tell what it is? 

    A quick tip on typography: san serif if you are reversing the type because if you ever print this, serif edges will fill in and get lost. Serif looks better if the type is not reversed because our eyes are used to reading serif. It will look more professional, and after all isn’t that what you are selling? Professional advice? Serif does NOT have to equal boring…

    For an example of this type of book with a cover that works (at least for me) check out Switch by Chip Heath. Not saying it’s the greatest but look at what catches your eye first. Even as a tiny icon. Not to mention the artwork completely GETS the title. I get it, from a distance, and I have a mental image that is relevant to the topic. That’s what you need. Not a tired GPS device that will be obsolete in a year. 

    Sorry, I don’t know why this is catching me so much but it is. I guess because I value the advice you’ve given and want to see you succeed. For what it’s worth, this is coming from two degrees and 15 years in graphic design and publishing and is meant to help.  Feel free to delete if it doesn’t :-)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Melinda. I do appreciate your input. I thought I would simply crow-source this, pick a winner, and move on. But people are SOOOO passionate about it—on both sides. It has been an education, to be sure.
      Thanks for taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment.

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

        :-), it’s funny when you start asking for opinions the sheer number of them that come spilling out! I don’t think you can crowd source this really, as you will never get a consensus. It’s like a Mac vs PC debate *grin. I do wonder if you are focussing on the wrong part of your title. Instead of finding artwork that symbolizes “plan”, you might find something that speaks to your topic better if you focus on the “life” part  instead. After all, you are hoping to help people change their lives, right? LIFE in big letters, and graphics to match that, would certainly catch my attention. It’s a power word. Plan? not so much. ;-)

        OK seriously, I’ll stop now lol. As you can see, it’s a passion of mine. And now you can also see why I’m trying to be a writer lol. I talk WAY too much.(talk, write, same difference). Again, no offense meant to whoever is helping you design this. In my defense…you opened the door by asking for opinions hehe. Best of luck to you on this book!

  • Amanda Nally

    I like the GPS cover but am also pulled in by the longer quote. Blend these two and you have it in my hands at the checkout counter!

  • Stephenvandruff

    Sorry, don’t like either. Nothing fresh, exciting, eye-catching or inviting.

  • http://twitter.com/JohannMurillo Johan Murillo

    I like more the GPS one. However I would test other color combinations. Specially for the green background with your name.

  • Catherine

    GPS cover. White space with color and image. Catches my eye and attention.

  • http://www.ourloveworks.com Graeme

    I believe that the sailing metaphor is much stronger than the GPS. With a GPS you simply enter your desired destination and the GPS tells you how to get there. Sailing, on the other hand, takes skill, commitment, knowledge, and passion. The journey is emphasized with the sailing metaphor whereas the focus with a GPS is usually getting there. I’m have been using the Life Plan for a few months now and the sailing fits it much better.

  • Momarian


  • Nkwebsites

    I chose the sailboat, not necessarily because I liked it better, but because I didn’t like the gps cover. Technology changes so rapidly that the gps image you chose could be irrelevant in a relatively short amount of time. Sailing has been around for hundreds of years and the image has stayed fairly consistent. In two years from now, if I saw the gps cover, I would immediately think, “wow, that book is old.” The cover with the sail would still look current.

  • Maryellie

    Something about the GPS cover says “blah” to me.  But wonder if the quote is too long on the blue cover. Still prefer the blue sailboat cover.

  • Kylee

    I like both, and would possibly have voted for the sail one except I really liked the gps subtitle.

  • Curtis O Fletcher

    I still think the GPS will score higher in the younger age ranges and the sail in the older ones. We’ll see what the results say! 

  • Melissa

    If you could update the GPS cover so it looks more like your brand image, I think it would be the best.

  • http://twitter.com/ctclarke Chris

    Orange instead of green on option 1

  • http://violetnesdoly.com Vi Nesdoly

    I prefer the GPS. The one thing I don’t like about it is the white background.

  • http://www.dailyreflectionsforsingleparents.blogspot.com/ Scoti Springfield Domeij

    Sail. This has been fun. You haven’t worn us out. Loved reading the comments after I submitted mine. 

  • http://twitter.com/deandeguara Dean Deguara

    The Sailboat Cover is timeless and classic looking…you’ll need another cover in no time with the GPS. The Green and Black is a hot color combo NOW, but you’ll be refacing the book again if you go that route (no pun in intended).

  • Leslie Mostrup

    For me, I’ll take the GPS cover. It has more life to it, it contains a contemporary visual metaphor  about guidance, and there is a freshness to it.

    Blue is also the colour of narcissism and whereas I understand the relationship between guidance & navigation vis-a-vis sailing, it’s not immediately apparent that there is a realtionship between the title & the design.

    • Leslie Mostrup

      It’s also not immediately apparent I can spell.  Sorry about that.

  • Matt E.

    The GPS one stands out a bit more at first, but I think the sailing one is classier and fits better for the concept of a Life Plan. Seems less trendy and more substantial.

  • Anonymous

    The Sail is a classic look which does not date the book. 

    I think the GPS is one of the most over used illustrations for sermons and the look of devices are constantly changing with new technology. 

    Creating a plan for LIFE seems like you should go with something that won’t be outdated in 2-5 years. (Although I would read it no matter its cover) :-) Thanks for reading our opinions. 

  • Jason E.

    People usually sail into retirement, not into planning for their goals and dreams. For me, the sailboat conveys the wrong idea. I think of sailing as the end or the fulfillment of your life’s work, not an earlier stage where you still have much to accomplish. I favor the GPS.

  • Pammarino


  • http://www.thechadmatthews.com Chad Matthews

    When I see the GPS book cover, my first thought is, “oh no, some guy who has fiddled around with his GPS has written a book about his experience and now he’s trying to sell it on smashwords.”

    There’s not one appealing thing I see about the GPS one. My wife agrees, and she’s a designer. So if you don’t feel the need to listen to me, listen to her! 

    The sail cover is great. Minimal, lots of solid color, and the text fits much more attractively throughout the space. 

  • Sarah Lake

    I personally like them both, but I like the GPS cover better particularly because of the subtitle. It makes me feel like I am on a journey, but not one incredibly overwhelming. It seems like a book I would be more likely to be engaged in. I do like the colors of the sailing cover though; I feel like it exudes peace and purpose. Alas, the GPS cover won my vote only because of the subtitle.

    Hope that helps & thank you for all of the valuable information you share so freely with the world! I enjoy reading your work and have found many things to be incredibly helpful to me!

    Sarah Lake

  • Randyberry


  • Justin M

    Of the two, I like the sailboat much better than the GPS, primarily because I am drawn to the rich, soothing blue of the sailboat cover, and I find the GPS already a bit passe and kind of gimmicky. 

    But I would still consider going back to the drawing board if you are trying to appeal primarily to a 20s-30s audience.  Think about the life values of the generation, such as intentionality, community, etc.  Consider a photo of a group of friends thinking through life together at a kitchen table.  Or perhaps some image that suggests the ultimate benefits of creating and living by a life plan, an image that represents a sense of shalom.  These are just some immediate thoughts that come to my mind…

    I would also consider using a different “endorsement” quote or asking Dr. Maxwell to edit the current one just a bit.  My problem is with “It will equip…”.  It sounds as though he thinks that this book alone is all you need to “live you life on purpose” and “achieve what matters most”.  Maybe I’m being nit-picky, but I would prefer something a little less, um, bold.  I know that the book will *help* to equip folks for purposeful living and achievement, but it won’t do it alone.

    Additionally, I would think about coming up with a new subtitle.  I don’t think either of them is quite right. 

    I hope that you are okay with this “constructive criticism”.  I absolutely love the book and recommend it often. 

  • Lianefaneca

    I like both options, but prefer the peaceful tone set by the blue background of option 2 (the peace of having a plan). I think it would be even better with a little more sail showing.

  • Anonymous

    Definitely the GPS!  And…may I add that as potentially kind it is to have John’s quote on the cover, I, personally think it detracts…especially on the sail cover.  Though we’ve yet to meet, Michael (…and will at the DCW in a few weeks in Beaver Creek…), the John quote detracts from the excellence and strength of your material.  You need to stand alone on that cover…and the GPS cover allows you to do that exceptionally well.  Endorsements are valued and good…but in the case of what this tome is about…I long to see you and your own brilliance there…it’s strong enough for that to happen all on it’s own.  In the 20-40 crowd I mentor most, endorsements of this nature don’t really jazz them…they want you and me standing on our own merits and experience.  Just a thought.  See you up in the Rockies soon………..!!!

  • Alisha Sirois

    The sail is definately more interesting.  The blue/white catches your eye and it takes a minute to look at it and figure out that it is a sail.  I would think drawing attention and keeping it could be important.

  • Robin Stanley

    Sailing–shifting, tacking, catching wind– seems a stronger, more proactive metaphor for life planning in the way you present it. With sailing you must work within and in spite of the elements, relying on your knowledge and even intuition in response to achieve success. A GPS requires you to punch in data and react to the voice on the speaker. In fact, when I’m intensely following my gps, I often miss much of my surroundingss and it leaves room for very little personal input.

  • http://twitter.com/beeveedee Beth VanDyke

    I like the GPS cover best… most up to date conceptually. However I feel the balance of the elements on the cover is a bit off. I’d like to see the GPS unit bigger. OR I’d like the title a bit more prominent. At the least take the words “Creating Your Personal” a bit bigger? Break line similar to the other cover, but center or stagger the type. The cover is just a bit too spare. The sail cover worked better as the horizontal layout. This layout crops out too much of the sail for it to read as a sail. Conceptual tie to the title is a bit too obscure.

  • Rduncan

    GPS. It seems younger. The sailboat seems very much Boomer-istic. Go younger.

  • http://www.dwaynes--world.blogspot.com Dwayne Morris

    GPS…bright colors and relevant

  • Anonymous

    Having thought about the four covers, each of the covers that has been proposed is a bit lacking to me.  The GPS metaphor suggests that you just plug a destination in and that’s it–your course in life is planned for you. The sailboat (I still say if you’re going to use that, you need to show more so that it is more quickly identified as a sailboat) probably conveys the best metaphor (you plot a course, and you have to maintain that course in spite of winds and waves), but I think the cover lacks “I want to read this” visual appear. The tree, as mentioned in the previous post, gives the image of “plant it, and it will grow,” even if we understand that it takes things like water and sunshine (work). The drafting tools don’t suggest a plan so much as a pattern to be followed in excruciating detail.

    Did you consider something on the order of a mind map or flow chart image for the cover. I think the color/style of the GPS is good, but as one reader has said, the GPS is in danger of becoming a dated reference. However, flow charts and mind maps/brainstorms/webs/whatever, have managed to maintain their usefulness. To me, they say more about the *process* of creating a life plan.

    As an alternative to the GPS image (but using a similar metaphor), the “fork in the road” concept is fairly timeless (albeit cliche). You might extend that to a “web of roads” with a road constantly branching and a path being highlighted. This conveys the same idea as the GPS, but eliminates the “dated” component (the device) and makes it more personal by bringing it down to first-person perspective.

  • Matt McCoy

    sailboat for sure. never use technology as it will soon be dated.

  • http://twitter.com/davidbmc david mclaughlin

    I originally voted for the sail cover. it just visually stood out to me. But looking at just the two of them, I prefer the GPS cover. It seems more modern.

  • http://www.facebook.com/debra.l.butterfield Debra L. Butterfield

    I like the GPS cover. Until I read your comments about the blue cover, I completely missed the fact that the graphic at the bottom was sails. The GPS communicates instantly. All I needed was Life Plan and the GPS.  The other cover lacks that quick communication.

  • http://www.facebook.com/debra.l.butterfield Debra L. Butterfield

    I did not see all the designs, but of these two I like the GPS the best. All I had to see was the red Life Plan and the GPS and I knew immediately what the book was about. The blue cover did not accomplish that instant message. Additionally, until I read it in your post that those were sails at the bottom of the cover, I did really see them as sails, but just white space.

  • Misty

    Michael, again I picked #2 because I feel it reflects you in your personality from the way I have “learned you” from your blog posts and speaking videos and Chick-Fil-A Leadercast Event.  If you go with #1, since that is rated higher by far than #2, I am curious why you would not still use the saying “chart your course for a better future”.  I think that line depicts more what you are then “how to get from here to where you wan to be”.  Again, my opinion, but you asked!  I think if some people are too hung up on that sailing you can’t direct your course.   I guess I feel that is like life, sometimes you can’t know where you are going to end up on what path exactly unlike a GPS which clearly marks your route.  However, you are getting great insight from everyone and I am sure whatever you pick, it will be a HUGE success!!!

  • Mtlighthouse

    I like the sailing image best.  It reminds me as a Christian that the wind of the Holy Spirit helps direct my journey and it is my job to plan my life like a sailor prepares his sails for the upcoming wind.  

  • Klmead

    I prefer the GPS one, however I feel it should say “How to get from where you are to where you want to be.”  It is a little stark, but I am not sure how, or if to fix it.
    I like the beauty of the sailboat and the blue sky, but feel like many others it is more about retirement than life. 

  • Ellen Bell

    I vote for the GPS Cover

  • Les

    The sailboat gives the idea that we respond to God’s direction (as in wind).

  • http://twitter.com/samuelschoi Samuel Choi

    I voted for option #2.

    3 Reasons:
    1. More professional look
    2. Sail serves as better imagery for Life Plan = You can get your sail ready, but ultimately, it’s the wind that would get you where you need to go. (in real life, there are so many things that are beyond your control like wind)
    3. Personally, I like the color.

  • Dave

    The GPS version has some merit.  But overall, I think the GPS is too gizmo-ish and already is overwrought in marketing – I’m not sure about the “here to where” line.  I like the word “future” better. There is a comment that the sailboat cover is boring – agree.  But my vote goes with the sailboat if make some changes.  I’ll mention a number of options that might work. 
    First, you may want to consider utilizing the nautical True North compass image with the sailboat.  If you like the current text/image layout, the compass could be in the upper left quadrant as a bold image (not a light screen) – utilize a brassy/gold color – or perhaps even silver with black outline.  Second, I’d consider raising the sailboat sail higher on the page, make it more elongated/narrow looking, have a number on the sail.  The sail should look like it is soaring into the sky.  Third, drop your name lower on the cover (if you included a top edge portion of a hull you could put your name on the boat.)  The nautical motif does speak to adventure, breadth/depth, unconfined & limitless possibilities; but the need for creating a charted course on open water is probably understood by the many.  Fourth, I’d reduce the Maxwell quote to bet he same as the one on GPS cover.

  • Gtepro

    Option 2 is clean and sharp. Not so symmetrical, making it less like a poster/ad. Plus, the imagery of the GPS says “this will show you exactly where to go” whereas the singular point of the sail directing the eye into a vast blue of “you can go wherever you want” speaks very clearly to me.

  • Eduardo Petrecca

    The gps format is my election

  • kwjones

    I still hold on to the GPS cover….seems more current. I wouldn’t even notice the sail cover in a store. To be honest, and reveal how dense I can be, I couldn’t figure out why you were calling it a sail cover. When I looked at it yesterday, I thought it was some sort of building with strange shadows on a convergence of different-angled walls. Didn’t even notice the mast, halyard and such. :-|

  • http://www.serenityhunter.com Todd Hash

    The sailboat is far and away my favorite.  The sailboat and the outdoors screams life while the GPS metaphor is increasingly overused.  It seems cold and lifeless compared to the sailboat.

    However, I would like to see some tweaks to the sailboat version.  The top 2/3rds of the cover is just blue and white text which is a bit boring.  Try: 1) going back to the shorter quote, 2) lifting the sailboat higher on the cover, and 3) create a more interesting sky.

    • http://www.serenityhunter.com Todd Hash

      I just went back to look at the previous sailboat version.  I think the older version is substantially better than this newer version based primarily on the chance in text layout and color.

  • Jerry

    these were my top two choices however the sail has a much better feel to me and look. Unlike some others, I do like the GPS line, “getting from here..” but also like the forging your way as well. 

    The sail look and the color, I really prefer. When I sit and look at them, the blue pulls me in and certainly would get me to pull it off the shelf or open it were the two popping up on my screen, as they were. 

  • jonathan Kim


  • Marysol

    I voted for the GPS. Should you choose to go with it, consider inverting the black and green color bars. It might not feel as top heavy. Not sure until I see it, but worth playing around with a bit. I also vote for the longer Maxwell quote. Its stronger that way. Thanks for including us in the process.

  • K Dolder

    Option 2 a clear winner for me – Clear, dynamic – even liberating. GPS imagery just dull and boring for me, reminds me of being stuck in traffic with that annoying voice jabbering away at me!!!!!!!

  • Leadershipcoach Daniel

    Like the sail best. Value the “journey” concept of pursuing a worthy vessel.

  • Momma in Progress

    I love the sailing imagery . . . the GPS seems to convey “someone else is doing the heavy lifting” (to me, anyway). I would love to hear the results based on age. I also like the subtitle on the sailing cover better. And that the longer quote kinda forms a triangle at the top. I used to work in publishing and had input into what covers we chose. This is fun . . . love reading about the whole thought process.

  • Samvjr

    Still prefer and voting for the sail cover. The GPS feels like cold technology.

    I actually like the serif of the sail cover. I like the blue and the idea of setting one’s course.

  • MonicaR

    I love the sail cover.  For me the GPS version is stark and off putting.  A GPS tells you to go here, turn there and you’ll arrive at a given point where as a life plan to me is more fluid, like sailing. 

  • AngelaWR

    I’m still holding onto the blue sky and sail cover (#2).  The image gives a sense of movement and life where I can imagine God and I working together. The GPS image looks dead to me in its self-positioning. It confidently boasts human-made where I’m constantly putting my hope in it to reach my destination.  The blue sky/sail gives off a sense of enjoyment in the journey, but the GPS image reminds me of confusion, doubting (the GPS who then re-routes), and being stuck in traffic where I anxiously hope to be re-routed.  For me, the journey from point A to point B with the blue sky above and the sail below gives off a feeling of adventure, new performance, confidence within uncertainty, freedom, and the overarching feeling God is near.

  • Sjmagoo

    Love the sailboat – love the blue. Gets my attention.  The GPS is boring.

  • Sue

    I voted for the sailing cover because I don’t like the parallel of developing a life plan that gives GPS-like instructions on how to get there – too focused on the destination. The sailing cover with the “charting the course” is more subtle visually but the subtitle and longer version of the John Maxwell quote leaves more room for the journey.  I agree with the comment that the line breaks in the quote are awkward.  I liked the tree cover the best because that subtitle said something about “a more fruitful life,” which to me is about riches on the journey rather vs arriving at a destination.

  • Deaster

    The choice of metaphors leads me to the sailboat. Sailing is visceral and timeless whereas the GPS seems technical and time-framed by the next advances. Life seems less like a GPS and more like the need to be sensitive to the wind in the sails.

  • Louise

    To be honest, when I saw the thumbnail for the sail cover (on an iPad), I didn’t recognise it as a sail – I couldn’t tell what it was. The GPS, along with it’s ‘LIFE PLAN’ title was easy to recognise, even at that small size. I also think the GPS is the better design anyway – it’s more relevant to the content.

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    I prefer the GPS cover, mainly because it seems there already exist thousands of books that look like the Sail cover in color and style. 

  • Steve Sorensen

    To me, there is no comparison. The GPS cover is far better: Much easier to understand, speaks immediately to illustrate the title, and communicates a message that if much more purposeful. A GPS gets me from one specific place (where I am) to another (where I want to be). A sailboat implies too many things that are contrary to the message, particularly this: A sailboat is a pleasure boat, and it doesn’t matter if I get to my destination. Also, it has never been clear to me that this is a sailboat, and the perspective of the sky runs counter to the idea that I’m on a deliberate journey.

  • Mlandry

    I still like the sail much better and would be drawn to check it out on a bookshelf more than the GPS.

  • http://danbutcher.com Dan Butcher

    First, thanks for letting us in on the process–I find this most interesting and educational!

    Second, while both covers are nice, I voted for the GPS cover because it’s fresher and bolder–different. Sailboats and life direction seems cliched–I don’t know that I would give the image (or the colors) much attention. The red, green, touches of yellow–the GPS color has vibrancy.

  • Therese Manning

    I like the sail cover

  • Patmasek

    I prefer the sail cover.  That says alot since I love my gps but that cover looks too blah.

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

    I still like the Sail cover. It will be interesting to see which design wins.
    Thank you for letting us weigh in.

  • Jerry

    Love the GPS idea of moving to where you wnt to be. Red lettering pops. Clean design.

  • Cindy_robinson

    I prefer the GPS Cover.  It’s clean and colorful.

  • Antonio Farias

    The practical me gravitates toward the GPS (the colors are also arresting). The creative dreamer in me is lures by the infinite, open ended promise that the sails offer. You can’t go wrong with either – the idea (and the content, which I greatly thank you for – has helped me ‘sail’ in the direction I was most afraid of admitting I wanted to go) is golden, and a gift anyone who takes the time to go through it will appreciate immensely. Thank you Michael.

  • Jim Meldrim

    I prefer the blue cover. It is more eye catching and would likely capture my interest on a bookshelf

  • Jaime R. Tarog

    I choose the sail cover.  Looks more biblical to me.

  • Steve Young

    The GPC cover “pops” a bit more. I tried to go back to my initial impression and the GPS one immediately stood out. I like the blue one but had to spend a few extra seconds trying to figure out what I was looking at. (49-year old male)

  • Mariana

    GPS. It’s 2011, guys! We use the GPS to get somewhere for sure. Sailing around may be fun and relaxing, and I can value that. In thinking of my life plan, fun and relaxation are important however not as important as the certainty of getting where I want to get for sure, not maybe. Michael, I would use the Windows blue in the bottom, as background for your name…. Ties in with the arrow in the GPS  and people in general like blue better than green on school supplies, office products, (book covers?? maybe…).

  • http://twitter.com/juliahartlieb Julia Hartlieb

    The GPS one is great! The sailboat is gorgeous but makes me think of old men planning for retirement.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That about killed it for me!

  • Andy in Siberia

    I am going for the GPS, the sailboat can have two meanings: the need for navigation which
    is the first meaning or the second is a guy buying a sail boat and sailing away because he is having a midlife crisis-exactly the kind of guy who needs this book but might not read it.

    I think the subtitle needs some tweaking: How to get to where you want to be from where you are or keys to navigating your best future. This will take some time to sort out

    I am glad you are going to a portrait format. It is much easier. I have printed up a number of the landscape format and it just doesn’t work. The classic format of a book works because it has worked for centuries.

    Either way I am going to keep on using this book with as many people as possible.

  • Tom Boisclair

    Sailboat, cleaner and inspiring — I like the full Maxwell quote.  I might feel differently if the back ground of the GPS cover was not white.

  • ap

    I like the GPS…and the simple “How to get from here to where you be”.  As much as I like the sailing metaphor, it’s kind of tired/old.

  • Lynn

    I still like the sail cover.  As I was looking at the covers I also wondered about the age of respondent, I see you added that.  Before I went to the bottom of the poll I thought age might make a difference and while I prefer the sail cover I thought the GPS would ‘speak’ to a younger audience.  To me, the sail cover still seems aspirational, it also seems like it offers a means to fulfill a dream. Sailing, on a beautiful day is like a dream…of course when the sky turns dark & cloudy, I don’t think it would hurt to have a life course plotted either. 

  • Darren

    I like the metaphor of the boat much more as some others have noted in other comments. It denotes a wide open future to pursue and dream. However, graphic and design wise, the GPS is more appealing. I wish I could see more of the sail/boat to enhance that imagery.

  • http://kathyfannon.blogspot.com Kathy Fannon

    Option #2 is cleaner, and I feel would stand out more for me at the book store. Option #1 looks like all the other covers out there…too much color, too much going on and I would probably pass right by it.

  • Nancy Ferrin

    I have voted for the sail/blue cover from the beginning, but I preferred the way it looked for the last round of voting… It makes the process of charting the course seem smooth and refreshing rather than complicated and technical.

  • Lisa V.

    Definitely GPS cover.  It grabs your eye.  It says “destination” whereas the other cover says “relaxation”.

  • gregsidders.com

    Blue cover is more unique and subtly communicates more of the reason why we need a life plan … freedom ahead!

  • Lissa

    GPS still has no appeal to me. Thought it was gender. Maybe it is gender + age. Female + over 50? Sail boat has an emotional appeal – GPS has none for me. The sail boat projects calm, beauty, freedom and adventure. I know you have narrowed it down to these two, but since the tree was very popular, but overused, how about a close up of a branch and fruit, rather than the whole tree? Just a thought!

  • http://smallgroupbooks.com Ryan K

    Great options. Either one is a winner.

    Option 1 is more techy and young imo and 2 is more classy. Depends on your target market.

  • Cat Russell

    I PREFER option 2, but I would BUY option 1. I love the look and the metaphor in the sail option. But I am drawn to the gps option. I would definitely reach for it over the blue cover if they were side by side on a rack. It feels cleaner and stronger. The title stands out – even grabs you. The angle of the gps, the little shadow under it, and the orange and green location button (it looks like an olive juxtaposed on the map) give it a whimsical feeling.

  • Kathy Fuller

    I liked the tree one–but I’ll go for the GPS one now. The sailing one makes me think of retirement. It’s not that I don’t want to think about retirement, but it seems like its a guide to having a successful retirement. Hard to explain and now I sound redundant. I’ll just vote and keep quiet. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/KrisHopes Kris Wood

    I still like the GPS one best! It’s eye catching and the metaphor connects to a current audience.  Time will date the GPS model, but I still say go for it.   (I didn’t even notice the one with the sails last time.)

  • Robf

    Michael, I recommend the sail one. GPS will be replaced by the next new technology. Sailing and charting a course are timeless. Rob Froehbrodt

  • Carla

    voted again for option 1, GPS
    would use the longer Maxwell quote
    am currently using the free download with the old cover and notice I didn’t really pay attention to the cover until you started this search for a cover. just focused on the title and what you had said in your blog about how the process helped you and why you put it into a format we can all use…with web books I rarely look at the cover because I am more interested on what it contains than what it looks like.

  • Promobrain

    I voted for the gps version this time based on a better appeal to all ages. Young and old should see the link for a plan better through that than a sailboat (which I voted for the first few rounds).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=557102426 Steve Thompson

    I think option 1 is geared more for a younger audience.  I would think that more people would be thinking about making a life plan in that age bracket as opposed to people middle age and up.  The older people get – the less they would be thinking about mapping out their future perhaps.

  • Jeanne Doyon

     I prefer the GPS cover but  it needs a little more color. The white bleaches it out and camoflages it amongst other books.

  • DenLopp

    The GPS one is generic, an everybody is doing it. Where the sailboat (if that is only what it is) drew me in. What is it pointing to? Is that a road? An arrow? Swoosh? Where is it taking me? I need my sails filled too.

  • LarryClements

    I am 63 year old male & like the GPS cover.

  • Lucindamiller01

    I voted for the GPS cover but would add the longer Maxwell quote to it instead of the shorter version that’s there now.

  • Paul

    Sail cover is way better to me. Blue sky thinking, no boundaries, open waters and endless opportunities – got it all , and that’s what the life plan brings.

  • Anonymous

    I vote for the GPS.  It looks fresher and more contemporary.  I also prefer the Byline or subtitle “How to get from here to where you want to be more.”  It has a more upbeat, positive “you can do this” kind of tone.  

    As for the blue book, I know the white image on the bottom is a sail, but I may know it because I’m familiar with your other life plan cover.  Someone unfamiliar with the other cover might not get it at first glance…

    I’m 47, female.  Loved your e-book, which I downloaded and used.  Very helpful.

  • Camillebritt

    I am not excited about either although I voted for the sailing cover… the symbolizom is more exciting to me. However the wording “Chart Your Course to a ‘better’ Future” the “better” shoud be something more exciting better is a relative term… better can be something like I have $5 to my name… $6 is better… see what I mean… I want wonderful, exciting…

    Anyway… I think the GPS  cover looks to techy… I am interested in the subject but the cover would not get my interest… as I avoid techy stuff.

    Maybe a person on the cover walking on a path with a since of wonderment and excitement.

  • Ryanskoog

    IMHO.  The GPS is “trying”   The sail is really inspiring. 

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

    I still prefer the sail cover and nautical theme as a good metaphor for a life plan. If a life plan could give specific details, distance, and time like a GPS does, that might work. But none of our lives are that exact nor will they work out as well as a route plan from a GPS.

  • Jim Mather

    GPS hands down.

  • Shari

    I prefer the GPS cover. The sailboat photo suggests to me that you are planning a life of leisure or play, where the GPS image speaks to the journey and destination.

  • Kittycat0222

    The GPS version feels new and fresh, the sailboat version feels like it could be any one of a thousand other books.

  • Lwebster

    The GPS one would catch my eye more on the book shelf.  It seems like it would reach a larger audience, as the blue one has an ‘older’ feel to me.  47 year old female

  • http://twitter.com/calinvalean Calin

    I went for the option 2 because in life sometimes there are totally unexpected and “unplanable” things, the GPS things sends a message that we are totally in control from the human point if view, but the sale suggest that the wind can change in direction so we need to adapt. Also from GOD’s perspective in found in Bible in James, we should be aware that at the end of the day no matter how much we plan, we should leave room for God’s will.

  • Jhammer1014

    I opened on my Mac and Windows machines, I find the colors on the sail cut through the desktop clutter – relaxing to put me in the frame of mind to work on the plan. Knowing now this will be online only eliminates my thought the GPS one would get lost in the crowd on a table. But I do think the blue cover will stand out in various web pages or when inserted in other web pages or banners, where the whiter one will fade in.

    I still think the sail denotes the purpose if the book better than the GPS.

  • Laurapolk

    Even with the new changes, I think the GPS cover is better. It’s more interesting. It makes me think the ideas will be new. The sailbox one is too safe. It makes me think the ideas will not be as exciting. Like they will be a rehash of something we’ve seen before. Also, because you are so well versed in tech-marketing, the GPS one makes more sense coming from you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1165826953 Peter Claude De Run

    GPS cover – modern and simple. The other cover is too ‘heavy’ and old fashioned.

  • Ocfusna

    Mike, take the sailing picture and add a compass up in the left top corner pointing to true north.

  • Lori C

    A book has to catch my eye first, the GPS cover does that.  I like the sailing metaphor better, but the cover is a little to dull.

  • Matney Elizabeth

    I like the idea of the GPS as I relate 100% to it, 0% to sailing. A GPS doesn’t tell you everything (traffic accident that just happened and closed the road) and new streets may not be on the map yet. If you miss a turn, it recalculates a new direction for you. And when you miss that some, I hear a sigh, then “recalculating.” That’s more like life and the life plan. Something to go back and review when off track, and when you leave out information, the map/plan can’t help.
    Maybe do something with the stark white. The cover looks like you don’t like it, so it’s bare. You put a lot of color and interesting graphic angle into the sail cover.

  • Ryan Hathaway

    Personally, the GPS one gives me a feeling of workbook type material. Something you’re suppose to write in and take assessments in. The sailboat one simply gives me a feeling of just a good read. Something I can sit down with, not have to remember my pen and paper for taking notes, and just read. So for me, the content would determine what kind of cover I would use.

  • Billrattner

    The GPS cover is cleaner, more readable, and more visually engaging. Also, a gps is more part of most people’s everyday life than a sailing metaphor.

  • Victorya

    I say go with the GPS–speaks volumes just by the notion of the GPS. The sail is not clear of what it is at first and more masculine in nature.

  • Kurt Huffman

    Since you are selling a book, it doesn’t really matter what any of the hundreds of us think.  You need to predict what the thousands of book buyers will think.  The vast majority will go with the GPS because of the simplicity of the concept.  I like the sail better, but it is hard to tell it is a sail – especially among many people who have never seen a sail from that angle.  If you want a sail or a sailboat you will have to shoot it from a more obvious angle.  I’m surprised you did not pick a sailBOAT.  A “sail” in itself has nothing to do with your title.  A sail provides aerodynamic horizontal lift.  Period.
    Also, you asked the wrong question.  A better question is, “Which would my audience like?” You will get some intellectuals in this “survey” who like the sail for themselves, but if you ask them the right question, the answer is the GPS.

  • Mike Foster

    Your title is “Creating Your Personal Life Plan,” but a GPS doesn’t go the route that YOU chose.  It has been predefined by an algorithm based on your starting and ending points.  If that is what your book is about then I think it would be more appropriate than the sails.  The sails seem to invoke more freedom, i.e., I can plot the route and have control over the rudder.  (I recognize this is also the possible with the GPS, but it is a secondary thought.)

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

    yep, I get that, but I also have to ask a question for differentiation of sorts.  These are people who already know about you, is the cover more important to those who don’t?  

    yes, I buy a book by its cover.  Met many an author that way.  I’m wondering if this data is predictive or just reflective?

  • Ceevans

    The GPS image will be dated in time, as technology changes, most likely much sooner than the message in the pages.  I chose the sail.

  • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

    Hey mike,

    I definitely feel the GPS cover is the best. As I was walking through the airports yesterday, I was looking at the bookstores and thinking about your covers. There are a lot of blue covered books out right now and I think yours will get lost. The GPS cover though, should stand out considerably.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Chris, that is good to know. It is amazing how passionate people are about this. I appreciate the strong opinions.

  • Sterling6515

    I would definitely go with the ‘GPS’ cover.  It’s more interesting and draws the eye much better.

  • Johnny29coffee

    My wife look at both of the covers. Her comment was that she liked the sail cover.  She said in life if you are like a GPS you put into it where you want to go.  On the sail subject you are open to where God wants you to go.  His Sprit is the wind and your the boat, open your sails wide and let Him direct you where His will is for your life.  You just need to sail the best you can with the wind and direction He has giving you.

  • Bgoff

    Mike – Just amazing to see this come together. I’m going with the sailboat.  But you know what? There’s not a bad pick in there.  That’s because who you are shouts a message of hope and love and encouragement so profoundly and explosively that no binding and no cover will ever hold it. If you could get the publisher to just dog ear the whole book when they print it, that would save a lot of us some work….
    You are a treasure.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Bob. You are a gift to me and to my family!

  • elliottfamily5

    I am a mostly stay at home mom but also part-time preschool teacher. I prefer the blue cover – the GPS seems outdated even to me at 40. Either way – it will be a great book!

  • Anonymous

    I still prefer the blue sailboat. those wide open white spaces on the GPS one terrify me I’m not sure what’s missing. Perhaps a little more colour.

  • D Stack

    GPS is preferred

  • theresa anderson

    I prefer the GPS cover. It think it has a greater appeal & relevance to the masses, than does the sail.  I like the colorful quality and the  subtitle with the GPS cover, but prefer the quote from the sail cover.

  • Diane

    I really like the layout, colors, and crispness of the GPS cover – my eyes are drawn immediately to it.  I just wish the GPS wasn’t there – I feel like it trivializes the importance and depth of developing a Life Plan.  I love the sail on the other cover – but just find it to have too much blue – if the top 1/5 or so could be white or a lime green color similar to what’s on the bottom of the GPS cover I think it would give it some pop and interest.  Something to break up the monotony of the blue.  One other idea is to use a turquoise – a more eye-pleasing and exciting blue.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Brooks/100000468548450 Robert Brooks

    I favor the GPS, although I resist the idea that a Life Plan can be automatic with a few presses of buttons.  I’ve used the GSP enough to realize that it is often incorrect. My church is on a country highway; it you follow the GPS it puts you 15 miles down the road, every single time.

    I do commend you for letting us help you make this decision. I do recommend that at the end of the day,  use your own judgment for the final decision. Data is helpful but human wisdom needs to also be in the equation.

  • kyledsomers

    Gps for sure. Grabs my attention w white background and red letters and overall layout is much better.. The picture makes u think and is more thought provoking than the blue cover.. I also like the shorter jcm quote. The “how to get from here…” is much more grabbing of a statement than is “chart your course…”

    Good work!!

  • Susan

    The GPS cover.  It’s more relevant to today.  Attracts the younger generation.

  • Linda Whitlock

    Of the two, the sailboat one draws my eye more, but I preferred the archictectural cover. Guess I’m just an oddball. :) 

  • Lynda

    Out of these two covers, I prefer the blue one. The cover with the tablet image will be a hangup for people who do not care for all the advanced technology. Also, the tablet gives an impression you cannot create your life plan without a tablet or advanced technology.

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

    The GPS Cover – This cover grabs your attention much better visually, looks much more “trendy”, and will appeal to younger audiences much better than the sailing cover. However, conceptually the GPS doesn’t fit as well and the color scheme is a little busy/chaotic. The red “life plan” screams “stop” or “emergency”.

    The Sailing Cover – Not as much of an attention grabber but conceptually fits better. It also doesn’t look as “tech-focused” as the other one. Could this one somehow show as part of the picture where the boat is heading? How could you make it look more “hip” and innovative?

    Hope this helps in some small way.

  • TalkYourWalk Org

    GPS! John Maxwell Quote! A+ Love Where to There!

  • John

    I chose the sailing cover because it is an image that has been around for years. Who knows, something might take the place of a gps in 2 more years. That would be my fear in choosing the gps cover…

  • Wanda W. Brewer

    The GPS cover is riskier in the long run.  Who knows how quickly GPS will be replaced by a new directional system whereas a sailboat has been around for generations.  Further, your book is not dictating where to go in life, it is helping the reader figure out the best route to take.  Sorry if this is redundant but I missed your earlier post inviting readers to vote.  Thank you.

  • MM

    Reaching twenty-somethings is easier with option 1 and it speaks to our digital age.

  • Diamondscribe1

    I like your GPS Cover and I would use the longer quote from Maxwell on it.

  • Anji Storrs

    The tag line  “chart your course…”  goes better with the sailing cover because sailors use charts to navigate.

  • Lissa

    If you are still taking suggestions, have you ever thought about a maze as a cover? Could use the same subtitle that you have for the GPS cover. Since there are such strong opinions on the two final designs, maybe there is another option that would have wider appeal.

  • Anne Marie Gazzolo

    Definitely the GPS one – that’s the best of them all and the one that most speaks to make a plan, road trip, journey, etc. which is what life is.

  • http://twitter.com/JasonRBennett Jason Bennett

    I voted for the GPS cover. I wouldn’t mind the GPS being bigger, or more of a Google Earth-ish looking map without the actual GPS device. A thought on the tag line- given the topic, what if it read “How to get from where you are to where you want to be.” or even just “Get from where you are to where you want to be.”?

  • David

    Here’s the thing with a GPS vs. a Sailboat. The GPS can only take you someplace that others have already been. It’s can’t take you to a new and undiscovered place. But a sail can. It says there are places no one has ever been but you can go and chart a new course. 
    That’s why I like the sailing theme.

  • http://www.gayleveitenheimer.com Gayle W. Veitenheimer

    Blue sailboat!

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

    I would go with option 1. GPS picture looks more elegant and attractive.

  • Mariemorris

    I think the GPS one is far more modern – the other one looks like a textbook and I would never chose it in the store.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Vesna-Bailey/100000478216635 Vesna Bailey

    I love sailing but I think more people will connect to your message if you tap into the symbolism of the GPS.  It looks like it will be a great book!

  • http://www.jessicamccracken.com Jessica

    The first one seems more modern and relevant to life right now.  The second one – honestly didn’t catch in the first glance there was a sailboat so probably wouldn’t just looking on the web or on a shelf.  Also sailing is something that many people have no reference point for and may seem out of their league (price range, interests, social-economic status) where as the GPS just about everyone can relate to.  Even if you can’t afford one or wouldn’t use one that often so don’t see the point, you get the point of having one and have been lost so you know how useful they can/could be.

  • John Young

    GPS is better in part because of brighter colors and the subtitle. GPS tends to make the book look like a current gimmick. Or put another way, knowing how technology is changing, in ten years does the GPS immediately date the book?  The GPS might appeal to a younger audience but the Maxwell quote ruins it. The younger generation aren’t into John Maxwell. Great guy but he’s now redundant without new insight.  Strong past and convincing agent..that cover is too cool for Maxwell.  Change front cover rave to a current “in” name like Seth Godin or Patrick Lencioni. Maxwell immediate puts you in the older demo category.   The sail cover is predictable. Sell value of the book. I’m not convinced this is life changing stuff.   I loved the book but I wonder Mike if people “in” to this genre have already been exposed to similar titles and content. While knowing you’ll sell I think you have  stronger content that in you that will be a new voice not another voice on a topic I’ve seen before.   

  • Debbieyoungbar

    I definitely prefer the GPS!

  • Gary Runn

    I have to go with the Sail cover-looks more professional in the long run.

  • Anonymous

    I had preferred the Sextant cover, because it evoked timeless principles rather than new gadgetry. If you know what you’re doing, you can find your way with a sextant, a compass, and a map just fine.

    So, this time through I voted sailing. Probably because out here in the middle of nowhere, my GPS isn’t helpful. So, it’s a nifty gadget sometimes, but not all that applicable or reliable.

    And I’d want my life plan to be reliable.

  • Rsr777

    I love the life-giving color combination on the GPS…Its bright and appealing..I like the sail…but feel the colors are traditional and overused…let’s just replace the GPS with the sail.  (-:   I will have to cast my vote for the GPS …the colors are refreshing and new.  I think the world and those of us that are in it are in transition and hoping for freshness and newness in every area…even in new and exciting BOOK COVERS.  Michael, thanks for letting us give our input and being a part of your life.
    Sharon Roam

  • Butterfliwing07

    I found the sailing one more appealing to my eye – I think largely because of the color scheme and my love of water.  But I think the GPS one is closer to the characteristics of the blog – being more business and technologically oriented rather than focusing on recreation.  Personally, the GPS cover wouldn’t catch my attention enough for me to even sift through the contents – I would pass right over it whereas the sailboat image would be more likely to appeal to me.  

  • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

    I voted.  Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your project.  

  • Kurt

    GPS Cover.

  • http://www.facebook.com/greg.vance Greg Vance

    I really prefer the GPS cover. It has more vibrant colors on it that catches your attention and gives an uplifted feeling. And a feel of action. The Sail cover is just to monotone and lacks any inspiring quality. I really want to like the Sail cover – and it is fine. A 1st glance though, the GPS cover captures ones interest much more quickly and positively. Good luck!

  • Ginger Tabot

    GPS wins – hands down!  If you want people under 30 to read the book, which are the very people who most need to develop a life plan, then you want to go with the GPS cover.  It speaks the language of the 21st Century.

  • Kathryn

    I still like the blue cover.  The GPS leaves me cold.

  • Andrew Larrimore

    I think the GPS is more relevant to today’s society.  Would peek my interest more.

  • Yvesjennifer1


  • Chris Elderkin

    The GPS cover has a lot more “pop” to it. The colors draw my attention much more. And I like the GPS metaphor.

  • Dmboehmler

    GPS one for sure.  It is more modern… The blue one has been over done and is too dark.  Trends today show customers are drawn to white background with bold colors almost everytime over anything else.

  • Rob

    I like the gps cover. However, I would tie the blue color of the route in…either “life plan” in blue or the subtitle in blue. With the red title, it brings out the road too much. I think the “journey arrow” is what you want to highlight.

  • Anonymous

    GPS one stands out the most.  I agree with others….the sailboat thing is over-used.  Just doesn’t capture people in the first 5 seconds like the other one does.

  • Leslie

    I far prefer the sail one — it gives the impression of limitless possibility and sunny skies — great optimism as you’re planning for whatever stage of your life comes next. The GPS one, while fine, appears to confined or limited to me.

  • Jay Weygandt

    The Blue Sail boat offers more depth and desire.

  • http://peterpollock.com Peter P

    Number one all the way!

  • http://twitter.com/mama_kass Kass

    Because I am a part of the Millennial Generation, I think it’s fair to say that the imagery of a GPS (electronics and gadgetry) would really resonate with my age group (32 and younger). Many older people don’t believe in something called a “quarter-life crisis,” but I think that’s because of the disconnect between 25-year-olds today and 25-year-olds 25 years ago. People who are 50 now are more likely to stay at the same job whether they like it or not. Today, 25-year-olds, fresh out of college aren’t content with having any job that pays the bills, and they are also less likely to stay at the same job for more 3-5 years. Adults in the Millennial Generation seek meaning and crave purpose and direction for their lives.

    I think your book would appeal to people my age (I’m 29). In fact, I began regularly subscribing to your blog posts because the title of your eBook appealed, and even though I’m not a leader in anything, I have found your posts valuable and worthwhile.

    While my generation seeks meaning and purpose, we are also still very superficial and vain. (Sad, but true. It’s why the Kardashians are famous for beauty, and celebrity news is popular.) That being said, the cover and the subtitle matter. The GPS cover is relevant, not only to Millennials but also to a wide range of adults. The subtitle, “How to Get from Here to Where You Want to Be” provides a connotation of precise direction and instruction (like a GPS) rather than “Chart Your Course to a Better Future” which may fall flat with people who are not familiar with sailing (like me) or find the subtitle to be too generic and lack “punch.”

    The GPS cover, to me, is a clear winner. It speaks to a wide audience, has a subtitle that draws people in, and the graphic provides an air of importance and immediacy over the sailing cover which (to me) draws a limited audience and provides an air of casualness and recreation.

    My apologies for crafting a thesis.

  • Familywaldorf

    GPS–clear, bright, simple.

  • Nettie Fick

    like tree the best
    would read cover of  GPS
    wont buy sailboat

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

    Do I dare give my opinion? At first glance I didn’t like either one but it might be because I’m female. I’m a scanner and I didn’t see the sails at first on the blue one. And the gps one doesn’t appeal to me at all but made sense once I understood what the book was about. What about an antique compass and antique map and a forked trail? Just opinions of course, but you asked! :-)

  • http://twitter.com/flyingawesam Sam Andrews

    The sailboat cover.  To me the sailboat is a bit less regimented and represents a vast horizon.  The word offing comes to mind.  On a boat with charts YOU are responsible for where you want to go.  It is much more personalized.  With a GPS you put in a coordinate and it takes you there.  No personal interaction, no input regarding the shoal waters you may encounter, just you and the cold steel of technology.  Granted it is a book about creating your personal life plan and some may prefer a more rigid step my step plan, and I haven’t read the book.  It just seems to me that it is a no brainer.  The sailboat.  It’s  a much more refreshing mindset to have when setting out on a journey.  A looking forward to what’s over the next horizon sort of mindset.  Charting the course of a Life Plan….you’re going to have shoal water.  Much better to start with a fresh, encouraged, ocean breeze, left hand on the wheel, right hand on starboard rail, sitting straight up, circumspect sort of attitude.

  • Patricia

    GPS cover should appeal to the younger crowd who are “hopefully” busy planning their lives. Tech device on the cover fits today’s world for the rest of the potential readers. My vote is cast for the GPS cover.

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

    The sub-title in the first one reminds me of Andy Stanley’s Principle of the Path “How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be”.

  • TomSiller

    Hi Michael. Please choose the one with the GPS, because one of my life goals is to write a similar book with my experiences for the german/european markte, so I can take the one with sailing that I like more for my book … :-) Jokes aside: I think it depends a lot from your target group. For me as a CCO and business-like thinking person, fits better the sailboat one, because persons like we are thinking the hole day in objectives and leading. Other persons or groups may have other thinkings depending on their environment. Good look for this interessing book. I am waiting for …

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dan-Ward/1259937566 Dan Ward

    The GPS has a modern look, but I prefer the cleaner look of the sailboat

  • Timothy Fish

    I don’t care for either of them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1661027053 Greg McAfee

    I like the GPS and it just makes sense! When I initially glanced at the sailboat cover, it took me a few minutes to see that it was a boat.

  • Ktwilson

    In less than five years, that GPS cover will be outdated.  I encourage you to look at the giant laptop on the cover of the book link below.  Probably cool once…now, it’s just funny. 


    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This is an e-book. It doesn’t have to last five years. I will probably change it again in another year.

  • Teresa Bakker

    I like Option 2 due to the color, it really pops.

  • guest

    The GPS catches attention. The sailboat makes me think of retirement not life planning.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gsatterwhite Greg Satterwhite

    I like the one with the sailboat best

  • Pamela Gilley

    GPS…makes me ask what this book is about – to want to pick it up and explore more.

  • http://twitter.com/cpletschet Christophe Pletschet

    I prefer the sail cover one. Although the GPS is a nice image to present the topic/content, I find  it more “cheaper” than the sail cover which is more stylish/distinguished. I’ll exagerate a bit but the GPS cover is more lika a “Dummies” cover, the sail cover is more aspiring to me but that’s very personal…  Both covers are excellent designs.

  • Bryan Klobe

    I like the GPS cover.  It is simple and it’s easy to grab all the info with a quick glance.  The written text on the Sailboat cover seems a little cluttered to me.  It is all in one space on the cover.  My brain has to sift through too much.  That, however, may say more about me than the cover.

  • Libby

    Neither captured me to want to purchase the book. Personally if I saw reference to “Break the cycle… ” incorporated into the cover it would peak my interest. You know, the concept of insanity is doing the same thing but expecting different results. Or how processionary caterpillars when placed on a rim of a glass will follow the one in front of them even though there is fresh green vegetation in the bottom of the glass. I voted for the GPS as a preference… I know this is important so hopefully my feedback will help. Certainly not meant to discourage. The cover is so important since so much energy goes into writing the content of the book.

  • Anonymous

    Like the GPS one. I agree with conniereece.

  • Geoff Little

    Sailboat one is stronger.  Better befits something as austere as one’s life.  GPS systems are notoriously screwy (though I use one regularly). 

    Veni vidi… !

  • Dstoia

    While I like the blue/sailboat cover (because it reminds me of vacationing / relaxation and because I think it looks really classy), I get a “stuffy” type feeling when I apply it towards life planning.  Quite possibly, it might be the “white space” on the GPS cover that really helps me focus on planning.  I did not like the ruler/protractor cover at all…it felt too architechtural in nature.

  • Elizabeth

    Like the subtitle in the GPS one but like the sails better as a visual.  It’s more peaceful and it’s consistent with your original cover.  Voted for the GPS mainly because the subtitle is much stronger.

  • Paul Wells

    Please use the GPS cover. As a parent of a college student, an exchange student, and a high school sophomore, I believe the GPS cover will speak to their generation much more than the sail cover. They would be able to relate, and take the contents of the book seriously. I would be comfortable buying each of them their own copy.

  • Nancy

    Although I’m in the demographic that has actually sailed for more than hobby, I like the timeliness of the GPS. It may become dated quickly, but perhaps that not as important as is engaging with the reader now.

  • Arthur Rasco


    I like the sailboat cover.  More timeless.  Elegant.  

     The GPS/iphone look is a bit more cliche.  And that look is here today, and gone tomorrow.  

    Love your work.  Great job.

  • Lisa

    The colour and layout of the GPS format looks more fun to read, the other more serious, like planning your will. I would be more likely to pick up the GPS version hoping that I would find some simple steps inside to help me create my life plan.

  • Deedub84

    I prefer the sail cover because it is a closer representative of what’s involved in getting to your destination.  With a GPS Unit, you put in your destination and the machine tells you exactly where you need to turn and so on.  In sailing, you need to decide not just where you want to go, but all along the way you need to assess the changing wind, sea conditions, and a myriad of other small choices.  Thus the process of sailing is more akin to the many decisions in creating and living a life plan than making the simple choice of destination and then following the directions of the GPS.

  • Fjhill

    If I have to choose one, I’d pick the Sail – If I was to create one I would base it on your architectural idea, but use an image of the ACME – Pen (forget the name) which is designed to look like a set of architecturally dimensioned drawings. Fits both designing your future and writing it down.

  • http://www.markmoskovitz.com singerguy0

    I voted for the Sail cover, however I agree with below comments that the GPS one will stand out more on a shelf. The sailboat cover also reminds me of “If you want to walk on water you have to get out of the boat” simply because of the Blue color and similar theme.

    Either way, I’ll be getting a copy when it is released.

  • Anonymous

    I would be WAY more likely to pick up the GPS cover than the sailboat one.  It doesn’t create enough interest visually to grab my attention.

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

    I think the sailing is a timeless theme. Having a timeless cover is more complimentary to the material you’ve written.

  • Randy Taylor

    I Vote for the Sailboat, calm planned adventure is better than following the direction of a digital voice. 

  • Anonymous

    The sail cover has the most visual impact because of the simplicity and high contrast. As an artist, I almost ALWAYS choose a book by its cover! I choose to pick up and browse briefly before deciding to read based on its content. It is that “first impression” thing. . .

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QLGTSFDSP6LSWSSFBGZ35J7C2Y K Dot

    Sailboat is boring, but it’s also very calm (thanks to the blue), which is nice. THe GPS is more visually interesting, but the colors are sort of alarming and, to me, off-putting. I’d recommend pulling the blue  (for the title) and maybe the yellow (for the bottom) out of the GPS image rather than the red and green. It would certainly still be bright and attention-grabbing, but I think it would feel a little more pleasant and a little less panic-inducing.

  • Lori Deyoung

    I just voted for my favorite cover for the book “Creating Your Personal Life Plan.” I love the sail cover because I feel so bombarded by the technology – seeing the GPS makes me feel bombarded and that creating a life plan would be one more thing to add to that bombardment (when i know in fact that is NOT the case).  The sail cover makes me feel free and entices me to create a life plan. I love the white text  – it seems clean and pure. The red on the GPS cover comes at me like an attack.  One thing about the sail cover, I would like it better if it was a softer blue in the backgroud. Blue is not my favorite color because it’s a cool color. I like warm colors. They make me feel good. I would like a softer shade of blue behind the sails!

  • Scott Henderson

    I prefer the GPS cover to the sailboat.  The GPS cover is more attention grabbing.

  • Neil

    GPS… overall design fits the subject matter better… I would go with the other if you are writing on boating techniques… 

  • http://twitter.com/CrissyManwaring Crissy Manwaring

    While the GPS is fun, it is going to date the book cover very quickly – the sailboat image is much more timeless.

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

      Interesting… I hadn’t thought of that angle…

  • truthseeker

    I prefer the sailing concept as it indicates clear personal responsibility in the process and from a spiritual aspect the blue sky/water represents/acknowledges God’s presence in the process. 

  • Chuck

    The sail cover takes a minute to figure out what it is; also, relatively few people have experienced sailing, so may not be able to identify with it very well. I vote for the GPS.

  • Tim Whitacre

    Combine the two:  Put the blue background inside the GPS.  Add the sails to the right and a compass rose to the left.   Then, make the black strip at the top the same color blue as in the GPS.  I would also consider bringing the fonts and verbiage over from the blue cover.  It is more professional looking.  Make the title in red and change the rest to blue.  Leave the layout as is; just copy and paste it on the cover.  I think it will offset nicely and the line about chart your course will compliment the sail and compass rose inside the GPS.

  • Mike McDade

    I think the audience would relate more to the GPS because of the prevalence in our culture. It sticks out, and is a useful metaphor in uncovering your calling.

  • Anonymous

    Between the two cover choices, the GPS cover caught my attention right away.

    • Anonymous


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

      Mine two.  I love the imagry of the sailboat, but the GPS is more eye catching.

  • Lindsayb Anderson

    Michael, thanks so much for including us in the process, it’s real exciting to be a small part of it!

  • Janet

    I’m voting for the GPS cover. I like its simplicity and straightforward graphics that depict the book’s benefit. 

  • Innatris2

    I prefer the Blue/Sailboat.  The GPS seems like a book of road maps. Even thou both look like covers of vacation books, The Sailboat is more stylish.

  • Shannon

    If I have to choose one, then I vote for the sail cover (maybe because I lived on a sailboat for 2 months). Personally and at a glance, I think the GPS cover looks like an ipad commercial… But I actually prefer neither cover because they are both impersonal. You are writing about people’s life plans, so I think there should be at least a person or a hint of a person and his/her life decisions being conveyed on the cover. Nothing grabs my attention to pick of your book with either cover. What age bracket are you writing to? I am in my 30’s, and it’d be a good idea if 30 somethings discovered their life plans. Although I appreciate your blog, a short summary of these covers is “Boring and Impersonal.” Sorry.

  • Shannon

    If you used a different sailing image of someone at the wheel of the sailboat actually sailing it, this might help and make the cover more Personal.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your input.

  • http://lifeengaged.net Joseph

    I like the quote on front of the book. I love John Maxwell

  • http://www.johngallagherblog.com John Gallagher

    Mike,  I am a fan of the GPS version.  I wonder if rather than the red dot and arrow, you could replace the dot with a “stick” figure of some sort to make it look more like a person’s path…

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

    I’m a huge fan of life planning, being a Building Champions client for many years.  For me – writing a life plan has been more like charting a course (ie – setting sail!) for my life – rather than plugging in a GPS – but maybe I’m just old fashioned! 

  • Leanore

    I recently composed an advert for my husband’s business which had to be based on his franchiser’s model and it was based on two banners, top and bottom, and a big gap in the middle, similar to choice 1.  Having worked in graphic design, I felt that there was too much white space, which might be a la mode at the moment since I have noticed it a lot recently.  My other reaction was to the GPS itself, a piece of technology where you almost hand over your choice of route to someone / something else.  Maps are a representation of reality, a construct of someone else’s imagination, not yours and perhaps I am quite old fashioned, but there is something inorganic about the blocky style of the map.  The second choice was subtle, alluding to a limitless sky, the white sails pointing to the life you want to make through your own choices.

  • Svanderzicht

    I would vote for the GPS cover because it is more colorful, fresh, and contemporary; however, I do think that the image needs to be changed to a phone.  I didn’t even recognize the image as a GPS at first,

  • Joyful_ecn

    After seeing them both several times, I’d prefer the GPS one. I’d stop and get curious on the content when I see a book like that in the bookstore.

  • http://jhwist.tumblr.com/ Henrik Wist

    Love the modern look of the GPS cover. The sailboat cover is too boring/elite in my opinion.

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

    I voted for 2 – I’m just not into GPS or such devices but I’m going to buy the book anyway :) no matter what it looks like!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=725796710 Greg Duke

    blue – I like the simplicity of the sail

  • Sarah-Anne K.

    I definitely like the sailboat cover better. The gps cover looks too much like a manual or guide (in the techy sense, and far too dry), yet the sailboat cover seems more boundless, open-ended, inviting, and beautiful. I’m a female and 29. I like the Maxwell quote, and I like the subtitle better on the sailboat cover, too. Regarding the quote, could you bump “purpose” to the first line, and “most” to the second line? Seems the quote/thought would flow better.

  • Sarah-Anne K.

    I definitely like the sailboat cover better. It seems welcoming, boundless, open-ended, beautiful, and inviting. The gps cover looks too techy, dry, dull, boring, and like a manual or guide. I like the subtitle better on the sailboat one, too. The Maxwell quote is good, and I like that it’s longer. Could you keep
    “on purpose” together and pull “purpose” up to the first line, and put “matters most” together on the second line?

  • Pingback: Help Me Choose a Platform Cover (Round 1) | Michael Hyatt()

  • Kathy Marker

    I like the GPS; because it caught my attention first. Electronics are on everyone’s mind right now, and it seems more visual.

  • Sal Thayer

    I much prefer the sail, because to me it matches the tone of the book which is about priorities (as opposed to control) which is an important distinction/potential misinterpretation of the book. That being said, i feel that the design can use more work in both graphic placement and textography. i am female, 24 years old. 

  • RebeccaL

    I’m surprised that the voting is as close as it is. I voted for the GPS cover because the image is such a strong and immediate connection to the idea of “directions” and “going somewhere.” So strong that it makes sense without even having to think about it. The sailboat works with the subtitle shown on that cover, but the imagery is more lofty and abstract. 

  • Pastordharris

    GPS will be obsolete in matter of few years or less with the pace of technology. Fine for now but most want to build life on something stable .ie Christ the solid rock!

  • janeto

    I chose  the blue/sailboat because it will not look as dated as quickly as the GPS.
    Of course you being you……can have the cover changed in a few years :)

  • Sue

    The primary reason I voted for cover #1 is that I think more people can personally relate to the concept of a GPS guiding you to where you want to go/need to be than can relate to charting a course for a sail boat.  I personally don’t use an actual GPS unit but do use the map/directions feature of my iPhone quite a bit as well as Mapquest or Google maps on my laptop.  In my middle class world, there is only one person I know who sails quite a bit … but countless people who use technology to “chart their course”.   Bottom line…the GPS concept is more relevant to most people I know than the sailboat idea.

  • Cathy

    I like the Sail and endless possibilities of the blue sky… :)

  • Snyder Guy

    One (half-)blind guy’s opinion: I think you should mix the two. I prefer the GPS, but like the blue and left align. I jus don’t think the cover should be entirely blue, but not convinced about having white or black bands across it. The Maxwell quote should cross the page, I think, on two or three lines total.

    I also like the “subtitle” on the blue cover better.

  • Wendy Boyd

    The GPS cover limits your demographic to those who actually know what “it” is.  The blue one is my preference.  It is peaceful but strong.  However, I would recommend that you add a third color for symmetry and impact and it would be nicer to see your name stand alone from the title.  Good luck and thanks for all you do!

  • http://simplemom.net Tsh @ SimpleMom.net

    You might have moved on from this, Michael, but for my $.02… I definitely prefer option 1. It’s cheery and optimistic. But I do agree with some other comments here—it should be directions on a smartphone, not a GPS. I’m afraid this cover will get outdated too soon.

    The sailboat reminds me of older rich white men. Not my demographic at all. :)

  • Trina

    The first one is more gender neutral and more timely.  The second one is masculine — nice design, but more old school and masculine.

  • http://manupstudy.com Jackson

    GPS Cover to me is more Eye Catching.


  • Jim Mozdren

    @font-face {
    font-family: “Cambria”;
    }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }

    I’m a graphic artist and I’ve designed covers for a number
    of books. I saw your request and thought I’d add my thoughts. Based on the post
    date it’s probably too late. Both covers are nice and would work fine but
    neither are home runs.

    Book left:
    What’s good- clean, nice white space, colors grab your attention (good for
    shopper recognition), headline jumps out.

    What’s not so good-color on the bottom might be a little trendy for long shelf
    life and might not appeal to serious business leaders (who are probably in your
    reader demographics). GPS will look dated in a few years and it takes the book
    into a more fun/light-hearted look which might not be the best for a serious
    topic like creating a life plan. I’d be glad to show you a quick option (no
    charge) if your decision hasn’t been made.

    Book right:
    What’s good-Strong color, clean design, nice image (not the overused sailboat

    What’s not so good-Monotone colors (not good for shopper recognition). Blue appeals
    to men but might leave the ladies out. The overall look is a little sterile and
    unexciting, I think this topic needs to have more life in the cover.


    Overall I’d go with the left design with minor changes.

  • http://www.mactonweb.com Web design London

    I prefer the sailing cover. The GPS cover implies that you are being told where to go. The sailing cover reflects the “Set your own course” theme.