Help me choose the cover of my new book!

Okay friends, I’ve come to a crucial stage in book number two and I need your help in moving forward!

But before we come to that, a quick background on the journey so far in case this is your first time reading my blog – in which case, welcome! (If you already know the story, or you’re really impatient, scroll down to see the book covers and vote)

About a year and half after writing my first book, 7 Keys to a Winning CV: How to create a CV that gets results (published by Harriman House in September 2011), the idea for my second book came to me on the bus on my way to work!

This idea was to write a book which would be a complete guide for jobseekers on absolutely everything you need to know about getting a job in today’s job market – not just how to put together a winning CV.

“Genius!” I thought, “After all, this is what I’ve been writing about on my blog all this time!”

So the decision was made – I was going to write this book and have it completed and published in 2013.

A change of direction

Six months from that ‘eureka’ moment, I had managed to complete just the content pages and the introduction – how disappointing!

So I changed direction with the book.

It was now going to be a book for young jobseekers that would help not only the young people I work with on a day-to-day basis at Salmon Youth Centre, but the close to a million young people in the UK who are currently unemployed and looking for work.

At the beginning of this year, instead of making new New Year goals as I do every year, I decided to focus instead on the unfinished business I had from last year – one of which was to write this book!

So a few months ago I put out this call for contributions and got lots of great responses from some fantastic ‘young and employed’ people.

Another change of direction!

I set about writing this new book with fresh zeal (in between a full-time job and running a CV makeover business!), and I got a little further this time – content page, preface, introduction and a few chapters…oh yes!

But something wasn’t quite right – the “flow” just wasn’t there as it should be, and it wasn’t long before I ran out of steam again.

What on earth was going on? My first book wasn’t like this at all!!!

I had no choice but to stop everything and take some time out to reflect and evaluate.

Then I remembered a story in the Bible that you too might remember from Sunday School, about a guy called Balaam and his donkey.

Balaam was on his way to do something he wasn’t supposed to and because he had his heart so set on his mission, his ears were blocked to hear of any other alternatives. So the way God got his attention was to make his normally well-behaved donkey act up, to the point that Balaam gets so angry and beats the poor animal several times with a stick!

At this point God then opens Balaam’s eyes to see that actually, the only reason his donkey was misbehaving was because God had put an obstacle in his way in the form of a big ol’ angel with a drawn sword!

Balaam then has a conversation with God, repents of his actions and gets back in alignment with the original master plan, and it all ended happily ever after (well, sort of – you can read the story yourself in Numbers 22:21-39).

Back to the drawing board

But anyway, what does Balaam and his donkey have to do with me and my book?

I realised that, like Balaam, there was something I just wasn’t seeing and something that was blocking the flow of this book. And then it hit me! I needed to go back to the drawing board with the original plan!!!

That plan involved writing a book that would benefit all jobseekers; a book that would contain practical advice about everything job hunting related, and written in a way that anyone can read, making use of some of the best content from my blog from over the last two years or so!

Now when I hit the keyboard on this revised plan, the book literally flowed out of my pores! I couldn’t stop writing – so much so that I’ve ended up with over 50,000 words in the finished manuscript – more than double the size of my first book!

Presenting the new book…and the title

So with my journey now complete, I would like to present to you the book that I’ve been working on over these last 18 months; the book that has taken a lot of travailing to get out; the book that will absolutely change the situation of ANY jobseeker who picks it up and systematically applies what’s written inside it…

This book is called………

The Science of Successful Job Hunting: Practical strategies for landing ANY job you want

That’s it! I’m really excited about this book and I can’t wait for you to get hold of it!

But first I need your help in choosing the cover…

A choice of two book covers…

So, here are the two finalists for the cover of my new book (click the cover to enlarge).

The Science of Successful Job Hunting by Mildred Talabi - cover 2

Cover 1













The Science of Successful Job Hunting by Mildred Talabi - cover 1

Cover 2

I need your honest opinion on which one you prefer, and most importantly, why. 

I want to know…

  • Which one appeals to you more
  • Which one would you be drawn to pick up at a crowded bookshop
  • Which one makes you want to open the pages and keep on reading ’til the end
  • …pretty much any (constructive) thoughts that come to you about any of the two covers!

You can leave your thoughts in the comments box below, or email me privately if you prefer.

I’m looking to get back to the designer this weekend with my decision, so if you can let me know your preference by midnight on Friday 11th July, that would be incredibly helpful.

Thank you! 🙂


  1. Dein /

    I prefer the second book cover as it appeals to any professionals or graduates. The first book cover may suggest to readers a scientific research based on CV writing. I hope it helps!

  2. Hi Mildred, it’s Cover 1 for me because it’s modern, cool and I love the liquid stream. Not only does it double as the ‘i’, it’s a great visual on ‘glass half full’. Cover 2 looks like a boring academic textbook (sorry).

    Good luck with the book which I know will be a fab success!


    • Thanks Dave, love your perspective on the “glass half full” aspect of the beaker which wasn’t a deliberate metaphor – until now! 🙂

  3. Joanna Oliver /

    Hi Mildred

    I prefer cover 1…eye catching and creative…appeals to the visual people! However, taking on board Dein’s comment, perhaps if the sub heading was a bit larger this would draw the reader’s eye to the fact that the book offers practical suggestions.

    Good luck and well done 🙂

  4. Mudiaga /

    Hi Mildred,
    Like the Balam and donkey story,I can feel both covers,from the title,science is a techique,an art,a breakthrough,I feel both covers are bland,but while not making it too science inclined,it should catch the audience..hope I made


  5. Mudiaga /

    Meant,I can’t feel both covers,sorry

  6. Siane /

    Hi Mildred, I like the first design visually as the graphic is also part of the title and also looks more like a science experiment and suggests tried-and-tested methods of job hunting

  7. I’m a designer so take that into consideration; I might be biased towards aesthetics rather than the better option. I’m going for option 1 simply because the image is more arresting than two. The bullseye in two put me off as well as the cream background. It says ‘target’ rather than science. Before you go to print see if you can get an illustration of something from nature rather than the lab. Oh, and check you have the right copyright in place to use either image WHEREVER you sell the book.

    • Thanks for the useful design perspective, Clement. We’ll definitely ensure any copyright issues are sorted out before publication. Thanks again

  8. Number 1…Is cleaner, fresher and looks up to date…Number 2 look too much like text book the colour is also dated…I Would pick up No1 looks far more interesting…

    Good luck and well done


  9. Cover 1 by far.

    Eye catching, attention grabbing, arouses my curiously wanting to know what it is about. It is then up to you to stimulate engagement to make sure that I don’t just look at it and move one. Engagement is the most important thing. Very well done. Proud of you.

    • Thanks Elaine! Once you get beyond the covers, the excitement and engagement cranks up EVEN more – you won’t be disappointed! 🙂

  10. Flora Awolaja /

    Sorry to the comment above….as a visual person the 1st cover
    Appeals because there is an image. Not necessarily saying the image
    Is the right one. But it is more eye catching than the second.

  11. Kamran Assadi /

    I think cover 1 is best. More eye catching, modern and vibrant. Cover 2 is too bland. Good luck with the new book and well done on getting this far with it.

  12. Cover 2. Mainly because 1 made me think of someone weeing into a beaker but also because I, and other people probably, find it difficult to read things where images are used to replace letters.

    • “Weeing into a beaker”! That’s a different way to look at it!!! 🙂
      Thanks for the feedback Ros, will definitely take it into account.

  13. Hi Mildred,
    Cover 1 is my preferred choice because I find it catchy and the beaker is both relevant to the title and playful.
    I also love the choice of colours … just makes the book more attractive and inviting…. promising to be a fun read.
    I feel as though I won’t get bored reading the book and I would certainly pick that up from a bookshelf (still love print books over e-books) 🙂

    • Thanks for the great feedback, Lara! I’m with you on the love of print books, and no, you DEFINITELY won’t get bored reading this! Will keep you posted on launch details. Thanks again 🙂

  14. Lorraine M. /

    I like cover #1, it gives me the idea that the title is correct, that I will be able to make or create a new career. It is also pleasing to my eyes versus the bullseye. Much Success!

  15. Bernice /

    If I am honest I don’t like either cover but no 1 is more modern. No 2 just looks so bland and it won’t jump off the shelf when someone scans across a miriad of job hunting books.
    I think your cover should have been brighter and more eye catching.

  16. Thank you everyone – comments are now closed for the book cover decision with Cover 1 emerging as the clear winner! My designer will make a few tweaks before we go ahead and publish the final version. Thanks again for your help; stay tuned for more details…

  17. Mark Woodward /

    Cover 1 stands out for me! Take the point from some re it maybe looking too science-ey but the 2nd is too bland. The cover has to stand out! Good luck- a photo for me always works best…

  18. Just seen your post today, Mildred. Firstly brilliantly well done on finally refining your book project. It is certainly an emotional roller coaster, isn’t it? I went through a similar evolution process with my first book, ‘Winning Through Redundancy’- Six steps to navigate your way to a brighter future’ which ended up as a 2 year project, very different from the original, new publisher, 70 pages longer than planned, new cover and subtitle, as not just about redundancy but also successful career change!
    For me it has to be option 1. I love the cover as it is striking and creates intrigue. Option 2 is the old style target approach, which is pretty uninspirational. As you know, it is also what will stand out on an Amazon thumbnail, as this is where the majority of books are now sold, so definitely option 1 for me!
    All the best for the book and look forward to reading it soon 🙂

    • Hi Steve, thanks for sharing your own book writing journey – it’s comforting to know that I wasn’t the only one to be challenged in this area! The great thing is you overcame it and wrote an incredibly useful book – once I’m through reading it (I had to temporarily pause all reading to focus on writing) I’ll certainly be reviewing it on my Pinterest books board.

      Thank you also for the feedback on the book – Cover 1 did emerge as the overall winner in the end, with around 80% of the total votes!

      The release date is next month so stay tuned for more details 🙂

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