The back page of your book is the next thing your buyer will see after picking it up from the shelf, so having a blurb which sells is just as important as having a great book cover design.
So here are SEVEN elements you should consider before writing your non-fiction Blurb.
1 - Remember that the copy for the back page does have a job to perform, as mentioned before, this is to sell your book, if you can keep this in mind you should be able to create content which uses this limited space wisely.
2 - Don’t try to write War & Peace, you have a limited space and filling it with 400 words plus will put the reader off, you should also consider the trim size of your book, if it’s only 5x8” then your surface area will naturally be smaller too (remember you will have margins to keep text within and also a barcode).
3 – Also with space, you have the size of your font, most publishers and designers will tell you that the lowest size you should go with is 12pts (any smaller than this and the text becomes very hard to read). Along with the font size is the font style, it is always best to play it safe and stick to something a little more basic (either serif or sans-serif), having an elaborate font will work well for your title and sub-title, but using it for your blurb will make it very off putting to your reader.
4- Your copy for the back page has to inform the reader what the book is about and why they should buy it, this breaks your copy into several sections.
Firstly – What is the book about?
A short description of the book’s theme and contents, telling the reader the subject matter.
Second – Why should they buy it & What they will gain by buying and reading it?
Detailing the benefits that this book will bring within a statement along with listing the key elements using bullet points, the use of bullet points helps to very quickly catch the eye and attention of your reader.
Third – Does anyone (with relevance) recommend it?
This will be quotes from respected people within the field of your chosen subject, ensure that they are relevant (any quotes from an unknown or dubious sources can have negative effects).
Forth – What qualifies the author to have written it?
Your reader will expect to be shown why you wrote this book and why you are qualified to do so, if the book is on brain surgery and then you would expect the author to be a brain surgeon, the same goes for every other field.
Fifth – Who is the author?
This should give a little more detail on the personal side of the author, people buy from people they like, so this gives you a small space to show the human side of the author (again, keep it short and succinct).
5 – These five elements make a good layout to follow, but of course they can be juggled about a little, you can certainly move the quotes to the top of the page, in some cases where you have more than one quote it’s good to have one at the top and another halfway down.
6 – When you are using a profile image for the back page (and we would recommend doing so), make sure the image is professional and of a good quality, taking a selfie from the back of your cell phone may be fine for Facebook but not for your book cover, again, keep in mind that the back of your book is a sales page too.
7 – Give further details of how your readers can keep up with what you are doing as an author, you can add Facebook, Twitter and website details to the bottom of the cover, just make sure these pages and sites represent you well as an author and your brand.
A book cover design is more than just the binding and protection for your book, the cover design becomes the ‘face’ and advertising for the work, and this is something that every author should consider prior to publication. However, sometimes there is a strong desire to design your book cover with too many elements or a greater focus on a detail which is very personal, this could be something which you alone understand or appreciate and runs the risk of being lost upon the viewer.
Creating a design is a fine balancing act of knowing what to put in and (just as importantly) what to leave out, stripping the elements of your book back to their bare bones is a great place to start and will of course help with preparing your synopsis. For this you do need to look at your book with a fresh pair of eyes (and this really is easier said than done), but stepping back and looking at your book in an objective manner will help bring in to focus the primary elements of the book itself.
The objective is at first to have a clear understanding of its overall theme and message, being able to boil this down into one paragraph which clearly relays this to the reader will enable a more effective book cover design to be created.
So, start by writing your synopsis and then look at how much you’ve written, is it five hundred words? If so, then you need to start condensing it down, keep going until you can get it down to a couple of paragraphs, this should start to reveal what the key message for your book is. Please note, if your book cover needs to include characters within the design then you can add those details later, the key is in first finding out what the main focal point of the book is.
In some cases you can strip the book down to a line of text, for example: ‘The re-found love between a man and woman in later years, a story of hope, love and forgiveness’. From this short line you have an understanding of the theme and focal point of this book.
Once you understand this first you can then start to work upon the rest of the cover, from here you take this brief synopsis and flesh back out again, but only with relevant details. So, knowing that the book was about a re-found love between a man and woman you may need to get details of their description, location and era (if you wanted to add the characters to the book cover). Or, you could look at metaphors to represent the theme of the book instead, having stripped it down to the short paragraph you’ll find it easier to design to what is important.
In designing your book cover, remember to condense it down to truly understand those key focal points of the book and then flesh back out (don’t go too far) and only use relevant details.
Book cover designers.