Updated: Nov 21, 2022
The Back Cover
by Kate Rafferty / selfpublishingUS.com
People are usually first attracted to your book cover or the title. After your cover catches their attention, they will turn the book over to the back cover. Great! This means they’re interested and are looking for more information. However, many back covers are an afterthought with minimal to no relevant information. A bad back cover could lose the book sale.
TIP: We recommend that authors write the text for the back cover before they start writing their book. Or as soon as you speak with us about self-publishing your book.
What should be on the back cover?
The back cover of your book should include a short book description, a brief author bio, a picture of you, the author, and possibly some book reviews. What we often see are long author bios, unprofessional photos, and book descriptions that are not exactly an overview of what the book is about.
1- BOOK BLURBS
A good book description is critical to your book marketing. It can help people find your book when doing a search. Imagine someone who doesn’t know you or your book, what would type in a search query and find your book? Also, imagine how someone who knows you and your books might conduct a search. Character names might not be that useful unless you create a mystery series with the same character. If it’s a children’s book perhaps mention the age range and the fact that the book is filled with a seagull’s travels at the Jersey Shore - this could appeal to some searching for kids' seagull books, kids' travel books, or children's book Jersey Shore.
Before your start writing your book, write a book description to provide an overview of what you are planning to write about. That book description can be crafted into:
a. Long Description (200-300 words)
b. Short Description (150-200 words), and
c. Back Cover Book Blurb (100-150 words)
The blurb should be written to attract your ideal target audience - your readers. What are your readers interested in?
It should be written in the tone of your book or the genre and include terms identifying the book category and genre. The category refers to fiction, non-fiction, and children’s, whereas the genre is history, crime, mystery, and memoir…. Mention details about the genre and book category - for example: is it a historical fiction filled with intrigue and time travel? If you think that your readers are attracted to fictional archeology crimes, then it will probably help to mention those words.
Mention the location, the city, state, or country where the book takes place. Some people like to travel and read books that take place in regions they’re traveling to. Some people like to support local writers.
2- AUTHOR BIOS:
Again, I’d suggest crafting your bio before you start writing your book or at least in the early days of your writing. You can include a much longer author page in the back of the book (this page should include your website URL). The longer author bio can be reused for other books, but the short bio can be tweaked and made unique for each book.
The bio on the back cover needs to be short, approximately 100 words. Don’t reflect on your entire life history. What will the readers of your genre be interested in? Where are you from? Or where were you when writing this book? What is your writing experience? Or are you a subject-matter-expert? Both fiction and non-fiction books can show your experience, and why you are an authority on the topic. Possibly consider writing about something that inspired you to write this book.
And get a high-resolution photo! Or better yet get a professional photographer to photograph you. You will probably use this image for your website, social media, and future book back covers.
Your book cover design of a printed book includes the back cover.
Don’t let this very important part of your book get the least amount of attention.
SelfPublishingUS offers book cover designs for those authors that print with us. https://www.selfpublishingus.com/book-design-for-authors