284: Unleash Your Book’s Success | Justin Chen

Tried-and-True Strategies for Writers Who Want to Shine


“Choosing by the book cover is more true now than ever because as you’re searching on Amazon, you’re really just scanning all these different things, right? You’re searching for a certain topic, book, and it’s really got to stand out.” — Justin Chen

Justin Chen was a serial entrepreneur who ended up co-founding the company PickFu out of necessity. Justin and his partner were working on a different business rebranding and redesigning the website and realized they needed feedback from their actual target audience, not just family and friends. Over a Thanksgiving weekend, they designed something to help them, which is now PickFu.

In this episode of “Authors Who Lead,” I talk to Justin Chen about his entrepreneurial journey and how PickFu, a micro survey platform, is designed to help authors and businesses make data-driven decisions.

Validate Your Book Concepts

Traditional focus groups for market research can be inefficient and costly. Tools like PickFu democratize consumer insights, allowing authors to test various elements such as titles, descriptions, bios, and writing styles with real people to make informed decisions.

Iterate and Test

Authors should approach their work as a product, testing simpler concepts, identifying underserved niches within their audience, and tailoring their content accordingly. Justin shared examples of authors who refined their content based on specific audience needs and achieved success.

Fun and Productivity

I believe it’s important to align with your truth and understanding of your audience. Having fun and enjoying productivity can be key to success. PickFu offers demographic information and detailed explanations from respondents, providing real data from real people to boost confidence in decision-making.

In this podcast, Justin also shares with us:

  • That you have to let go of your personal opinion when it comes to book covers
  • Most authors are terrified of consumer insights: they’re afraid everyone will hate their book
  • You should test opinions on author headshots on bios as well
  • If you don’t know your true audience, you’re working too hard to impress the wrong people
  • Knowing what your audience really wants can help you niche down your topic

What was your biggest takeaway from this episode? Are you struggling to figure out who your audience is or what they want? Share in the comments below!

That’s all for this week. If you have a message inside of you that needs to be written, today is the day to start. Don’t delay — take action.

284: Unleash Your Book's Success | Justin Chen284: Unleash Your Book's Success | Justin Chen