Authors: Learn How to Write Copy for the Back Cover of Your Book Jackets

There are three top elements of a book that really capture a consumer’s eye.  They are listed here in order:

  • Book Cover Designs
  • Book Titles and Subtitles
  • Back Cover Copy of Book Jackets

If you have succeeded in designing a killer book cover, created an outstanding book title and subtitle that really hooks your readers, then you’re ready to reel them in with the back cover book jacket.  Move in for the kill with the back cover copy!  Awesome book jackets and book sales go hand-in-hand.

Book jackets have to be created correctly from front to back.  Every inch matters.  The back should be given just as much attention as the front, so don’t lose steam now.  Remember back cover copy of book jackets is the close of the sale.  It is the difference between the prize catch and the one that got away.

Consider these things and keep them in the front of your mind when brainstorming copy to be used on the back cover of your book jackets:

  • Use it to communicate your USP (Unique Selling Proposition).  What is the one thing that makes your book different from all of the rest?  How does your book stand out?
  • Clearly express your unique message or perspective.  Express what your book will deliver to the audience.
  • Share any new insight(s) that you have.  You need to be unique and captivating and come across as needed.  Make your target audience feel as though they need to buy your book.
  • What new message do you have?  There are so many messages out there, so many how-to books, self-help books, etc., what is your book offering up that is new?  What is the need you are addressing?
  • Consumers are reluctant to spend their money on a book that they don’t know enough about to decide if it is worth buying.  What is in it for them?  What will they get out of it?
  • You not only have to convince the consumers that your book is worth buying, you also have to convince them that your book is worth their time to read it.  In this fast-paced world, you have to show worthiness for someone’s time or you won’t get it.  Period.
  • You not only have to convince the consumers that your book is worth buying and worth their time to read it; you also have to convince them that your book will somehow change their lives for the better.

The design of your book jacket’s back cover should compliment and flow with the front cover and spine.  All of your book jacket should be uniform and work well together.  A good graphic designer should have no problem with keeping the layout of the entire book jacket the same.

Follow these guidelines when actually writing the copy for the back cover of your book jackets.  Keep the matters above in mind:

  • Well-written back cover copy usually offers one short paragraph that clearly articulates to the reader what they will gain by reading the book.  When this paragraph is followed up by a bullet point listing of key information that is presented in the book, it makes for powerful bait.
  • Endorsements from prominent individuals just make that hook all the shinier.  These can give you added credibility and help seal the deal.
  • A very short biography and photograph of you, the author, may be included.  Keep your credentials stated within one to two sentences.  Remember your audience isn’t interested in the least about whether you are married, have kids, own a dog, swim four times a week, or enjoy your ranch house in Montana.  They only care about your credentials and why you are qualified to author the book that you did.
  • When in doubt, endorsements out.  Adding more prominent endorsements over your biography and photograph is not only good etiquette, it’s just smart.  It keeps your credibility rising.  Just make sure these endorsements are from very prominent people.  Not every one of your endorsers warrant having back cover billing, so be careful who you choose.

Now that you’ve hooked them, reel them in, and enjoy the rewards.  Now may be a good time to start thinking about your next book.

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