I’m sure we’ve all been there, wondering which of two or more taglines is best, trying to decide between two covers, or even being uncertain about the title of a book. If you are running ads then you want to know what is going to grab your ideal reader’s attention, and while split testing is a good idea it’s not always easy or cheap. But now there’s a way to do it for free!
The Solution – Free Split Testing
Yes, really for free, except a little of your time. So what am I talking about? A website called Page Fight. The idea of the website is very simple – it offers a choice between two book titles, covers, taglines or blurbs and asks you to choose which you prefer.
Each time you choose is referred to as a bout, and ten bouts are combined into a tourney. Five books will be mixed in different combinations for those ten rounds, and the way in which the books are pitted against each other allows a rating to be calculated for each of them. That information is stored, and over time it builds up into a picture of how your particular title (or blurb, tagline, cover) compares to the other books that been uploaded. A rating of around fifty percent means you’re doing okay, seventy to eighty percent means you’re doing really well and twenty percent means you should really consider changing things.
Now of course nothing in life is truly free, but as with so many things in the indie author space all that is required for for you to use Page Fight is a little of your time. When you first sign up you can’t add your own books, and you’ll only be able to compare book titles. After around ten tournaments you get the option of comparing taglines, blurbs follows and covers come last. Then, at I think it is fifty tournaments, you get to upload your own books.
Fifty might sound like a lot, but you can easily blow through a tournament in a minute or two, so over a few days you can quickly reach the total number you need. And the thing it it doesn’t feel like work – it’s great fun but more importantly you can learn a huge amount just by comparing books and seeing what catches your eye and what doesn’t. I’ll dive into that more deeply in another blog post.
At the moment the number of people involved seems to be reasonably small. Not tiny, by any means, but not massive. That’s not exactly a problem, but once you split that number of people across the various genres it does mean quite a small sample size and so a less rounded set of stats, but if the site takes off and more people start using it that problem will soon disappear, and even with that caveat it’s still a hugely useful site.
Other thing to be aware of is that the site is currently in beta test. It works really well on desktop, and on mobile most of it works but on my Samsung S7 I found there were problems if the information to be displayed was too long. In those cases the first contender displayed without issues, but the second contender would sometimes be cut off partway down and sometimes, if the first was particularly long, hardly show anything at all. It’s not a problem for taglines or book titles, so you can happily rack up your tournament count using your mobile, but you may find that blurbs and covers get cut off on mobile. That’s a minor issue, though, and I’m sure it will be resolved at some point soon.
Go try it out!
So, why not try out Page Fight today? You really have nothing to lose, and whole load of insight again, and with the tournaments being so quick you can easily rack one up while waiting at the checkout or for a train.
I’ve been doing a lot of evangelising about Page Fight, spreading the word on writers groups and now this blog, so I wanted to make it clear that other than being a user I have no link to the site and nothing to gain. I just think it’s an amazing tool, and one that desperately needs more people to really fulfil its promise.