The back cover of your book gives you an opportunity to sell the content to a potential reader, but what elements do you need to have upon it, and why should you spend more time that you may think in getting this right?
First of all, the book’s back cover is a sales opportunity for you as an author, it enables you to give a clear reason as to why the reader would want to delve into the pages within and buy your book, the message you have upon the back page will differ slightly from fiction to non-fiction, but it’s job will be the same.
Looking at fiction first of all, the back page should contain a short synopsis of your story, giving some tantalizing details where you introduce the main characters, hit the reader with a hook to make them want to find out more, set out the landscape (time and location) and be aimed at your target audience (the language you would use in a historical adult fiction novel will be different to that of a children’s book for the under 10s of course).
And if that’s not enough, you’ll need to try and fit all of this within a word count 200-250 (depending on if you’re placing a bio and profile pic upon the back page too).
For non-fiction books the details are a little different, you should tell the reader what benefits they’ll gain by reading your book, this can be in both a headline and bullet points listing several positives, you should give details as to the contents of the book and who it is aimed at.
You can get more details on how to write a great blurb for fiction and nonfiction from our other article.
The blurb will make up the main content for your book’s back page, along with a well-crafted blurb you should look at getting quotes added, now this can be difficult at first, many authors use ARC copies along with promotions to get the book into reviewers hands quickly, this can be a great way to get reviews and quotes for your back page, see also ‘how to get reviews for your book’ for more ideas on getting those quotes.
Ideally you would like to have at least two quotes upon the back page, they can really help you with convincing a reader to buy your book, and they are very important for authors publishing in non-fiction (especially if the quote is from someone well known within your genre/field).
The next element to go upon the book’s back page would be an author’s bio, this is more important for non-fiction than fiction, the reason being that for non-fiction it gives you an opportunity to tell the reader why you are qualified to write the book. For example, if the book is on how to become a successful manager, and you have managed multiple multi-million-dollar businesses successfully over the past twenty years, it tells the reader that your advice is worth taking seriously.
Bios for fiction are still worth considering, but keep it brief, professional, giving some details of you as an author, and reasons why you write/wrote this specific book, if you want to give a lengthier bio, consider adding this to the last page of the book’s interior instead. Remember, the main goal for your book’s back page is to help sell the book, using the space for a quote or your blurb would be a better idea.
The Profile Image
Profile images, again, this is more important for non-fiction that fiction and should go alongside your bio, make sure that they are professional and belong, for example, if your book is on how to play golf, then it makes sense to have a profile image of you in your golfing gear and on the course, however, wearing a suit and being sat in an office, if your book is on business management would fit the specific genre.
At the bottom of the book’s back cover would be the barcode for the ISBN and price, this you would normally see in the bottom right corner, although in some cases you may see it centered, the ISBN is the International Standard Book Number and you will normally have one for each edition of your book, depending upon your country of residence/publication you would expect to pay for each one (however, in some countries they are available for free).
The Logo & Links
Along with the ISBN barcode would be the price, now this may not always be the case, many authors and publishers like to leave this blank as it enables them to change the price for promotions etc. without the need to update the book’s back cover each time.
The final elements upon the back cover will be your publisher’s logo (if you have one) and details for your author’s website (or even social media channels), these are normally at the bottom of the page and opposite the barcode, but don’t try and cram countless links in here, just your website is a great one to use (they can find your social media and email from there).
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