So you just finished writing your novel, your query letter was approved, and you’re almost ready to publish it. But wait, what about the back of the book? Oh man, you’re in a pickle.
Why Is This Important?
The back of your book is one of the most important things to think about because it is a big part of book marketing.
Not only will it show up in your back cover copy, but it will also likely be the description of your book on Amazon.
The front cover and book title is what causes readers to pick the book up, but the back is what entices them to actually read it.
Of course, this is all but an easy task. Writing these 200 words for the back of your book can be daunting.
But don’t worry, after reading this article, I assure you that you will have a clear idea of how to start your back cover. Aren’t you glad there are articles such as this?
How to Write a Back Cover Blurb
The book blurb is the book description. It’s sort of like a summary.
This is the meat of the back cover, and it’s what people are most likely to pay attention to. Here are some general rules and guidelines you can follow in writing the book blurb.
Know Your Writing
Every author should start with identifying the genre. Whether it’s non-fiction or fiction is a place to start.
Next, find a few books with the same genre and look at the back of the book. Identify the common styles, and apply it to your own book blurbs. But don’t outright copy someone else’s work.
It’s important to do something your readers would expect in the genre of your book.
Imagine reading a book cover blurb that gave a romantic description, and buying and reading it only to find out that it is a thriller. That makes for an unhappy reader.
Pretend to Be the Reader
In order to get yourself in the correct headspace, you need to know who your target audience is.
A good way to do this is to pretend to be them, or put yourself in their shoes. When you do this, you can think of what would entice you to read.
Pretend you’re at a bookstore, and you pick up a book because of its beautiful front cover. Now turn it to its back and imagine exactly what you would want to see. Something that basically requests to be read.
Remember all those book backs you read in the previous step?
Try to recall which ones piqued your interest, and what exactly made you want to read the book.
You can apply those to your own book blurb, and then when you write it, go back to this step and see whether you would want to read what you wrote.
You can even get a friend to read the final back cover and ask them if they would like to read your book based on that.
Make It Short and Sweet
No one wants to read a long back cover just to decide whether they want to start reading the book itself.
Small words and long paragraphs can be a lot to digest. The reason they’re reading it is because they don’t want to read the whole thing yet! So making it short, 250 words max, is the way to go.
If you make a long-winded and boring back cover text, the reader will probably assume your book is too.
First impressions matter.
You wouldn’t go on a date and talk the whole night, trying to show them everything about yourself. You would just give a snippet of who you are, and let them learn the rest later on.
Think of the book cover as the first date. You want to entice them to learn more about the book by reading it.
Leave the readers with questions they want to be answered, which can be answered by reading your book.
Writing the First Line
The first line is the most important part of the blurb. You have to get the readers to want to read all of it. So it has to be something that catches attention.
It could be a question, a promise, a scene, or something else that’s attention-grabbing.
Fiction vs. Non-Fiction
A fiction and non-fiction book has very different ideal back blurbs. Feel free to skip ahead to the one that applies to you.
Authors would want to give a short synopsis. Include the hooks. Something else that would make readers want to read your book would be to end in a question or with a cliffhanger.
If you’ve seen a movie trailer that made you want to SCREAM because you absolutely have to watch it, that’s what you’re going for.
Fiction readers want entertainment, and many times want an escape from their lives. As an author, you should show them that your book will be entertaining with your blurb.
In this case, you would want to make a list, make it 3 or 5 bullet points. This will show what exactly the reader will learn from you.
You want to put the bullet points in the middle of the blurb, sandwiched by the introduction and the call to action.
The introduction should compel readers as to why they should read your book, as well as what makes you qualified. The call to action should simply make the reader want to buy the book.
What Else to Add in the Back Cover Copy
The book cover blurb is not the only thing that shows up on the back cover of a book. There are other elements as well to a book cover design.
Authors normally have a short bio on the back cover after the blurb. It should have a professional-looking photo of you, the author.
This is an optional step. You can include this if you have good ratings from well-known figures who can endorse your novel.
This usually comes in the form of a flattering quote from well-known writers or authors in the field. It can also come from significant publications such as the New York Times.
This makes the cover design look impressive. However, if you don’t have someone reputable, I would advise against this.
Other Important Information
You want to include a bar code with the ISBN and price code. You should also include the name of the publisher and the suggested price. This is important, especially if you are selling a print book.
I know most of us are authors and not graphic artists, so this is very daunting. But never fear, you just need a good template. You can find some templates for your back cover copy online.
All you have to do is make sure it looks aesthetically pleasing. You want something eye-catching that can grab the attention of your readers.
Take note of the font and font size of the text. The most important factor is legibility, so it has to be something simple and large enough to read.
Sometimes the way people layout their book cover design is to have the front cover and back cover flow into each other. This looks highly appealing, and you may want to design the cover of your book like that.
Even if you’re self-publishing, you might want to have an expert design the back cover for you. No judgment! No one is good at everything.
Time to Create an Awesome Book Cover
The cover of your book is what will grab the reader’s attention. The book cover design has to be nice in both the front and the back. Hopefully, I have helped with the back cover part of it.
Now that you have the foundations of knowledge needed to properly create a back cover for your book, it’s time to get started.
If you’re self-publishing a book, and you can afford it, get help. Authors can only do so much. A marketing professional or a graphic artist can work with you on this. You’re a writer, and writing is what you specialize in.
Last piece of information: Just have fun with it. If you have fun, chances are, so will your readers.
Good luck selling your book, whether it be on Amazon or a book store, I know it will do great.