Back Cover Tips

When a buyer picks up your book in a bookstore or book signing event, he or she will usually look at the front cover first, then flip to the back to learn more about it. This is your chance to sell your book. You have a few paragraphs about the book and/or its author on the back (about 100 to 200 words) to hook the potential reader.

Back Cover Items:

  • About the book
  • About the author
  • Author photo
  • Publisher name or logo
  • Price
  • Barcode
  • Quotes from reviewers

About the book

Check out the library and bookstores for more ideas on what your back cover should contain. Below are a few suggestions for the section about the book:

  • Try to give the basic storyline or subject of your book in a few concise paragraphs.
  • Use the most persuasive selling languag you can to target key words and emotions you think might attract your potential market.
  • Give a sense of intrigue or ask questions to entice your customer into buying the book for the information inside.
  • For guidebooks or manuals, put the main topics in bullet form to highlight specific points.
  • Add a small excerpt of the book.

Quotes from Reviewers

If you have sent your books to reviewers, ask them for a brief quote in favor of the book. If you already have several paragraphs about the book, only include a couple small quotes. Or, you can have quotes instead of the "About the Book" section, but this is recommended only if you have detailed quotes from significant sources who would impress your potential readers.

About the author

People like to know about authors. It is customary to place a small paragraph with information about the author after the book or reviewer information. Brevity is the order of the day for this description, mention a few small details that might be pertinent to the information found in the book. For example:

  • Education or Degree. This will help give your book credibility.
  • Historical background. Describe an experience in your past that relates to the subject matter.
  • Hobbies and interests. Mention these if they have a relationship to your subject matter, or if you are trying to give a folksy, conversational style to the marketing of your book.

Author photo

A photograph of the author often accompanies the "About the Author" section. It is usually a "head shot" or small portrait of the author, and should be a recent photograph. Any good, clear photo will do; but make sure the background is plain or solid, and it is not overly dark or light. The more professional looking the photo appears, the more the buyer will assume the author knows what he is talking about.