How to design your books back cover

In book printing the front and back covers are massively important – the front cover is what will initially catch the eye of a reader, but it’s often the back cover that the reader will spend more time perusing and considering.

The back cover is a great marketing vehicle for your book and, if you are self-publishing, you are able to control the content and impact of this space, so it is imperative that you use the space wisely. Readers considering books on a shelf will most likely only spend a few seconds glancing at a book’s front and back covers, so it is important that YOUR cover stands out and attracts their interest.

Your book cover design should have a striking visual style and some compelling wording – something that immediately piques the interest of the reader.

Here are some things that you need to consider when designing your back cover:

  • Make an immediate impact with a teaser or tagline
  • The back cover content should be a snapshot of what’s inside
  • Show off your endorsements and reviews
  • Include some information on the author
  • Keep the design easy to read and uncluttered

Make and immediate impact with a tagline

To make an immediate impact on a potential reader you must present then with something which makes them want to know more – perhaps a catchphrase, a specific line from the book or present a character from the story. It should be one sentence and act as a ‘teaser’ to the reader – not a summary.

The content should be a snapshot of what’s inside

There is not much room for wordy text on a book cover, so your back cover blurb, or content, should just offer a snapshot of what’s inside – it should pique interest and spark some curiosity in the reader. It should address the central topics and themes of the book in a succinct manner – keep it short and use vivid, descriptive words that will grab the attention of the reader.

It is important to have correctly identified your target audience for your book – different genres will require different styles of language and phraseology – you would use a different style for a children’s book than you would for a fictional thriller and a different style again for a book of poetry!

Some extra ‘DO NOTS’ for your back cover

Do not get too ‘wordy’ in the description – there is little space available on a back cover so avoid lots of adjectives and adverbs – it will appear ‘over the top’ and inauthentic!

Do not use the same description of the book as used on a bookseller page. The bookseller page is written to deliver an objective overview to the customer – your back cover blurb should showcase a distinct point of view from your individual standpoint.

Do not summarize the whole plot of your story – you don’t want to deliver a complete synopsis of the book – there would be no reason for them to read it!

Do end on a high note – set the scene but leave it open-ended – you want to leave the reader dangling and eager to learn more!     

Show off praise by displaying reviews and endorsements

Testimonials are important – use this space to show off the praise other authors, journalists or reviewers have showered on your book. Try to garner quotes from other well-known or respected authors from the same literary genre as your book and lobby reviews from high-profile newspapers or magazines – testimonial quotes can be very convincing to potential readers.

Include a little bit about the author

You only need about two or three lines about yourself – there will be an extended version of your author bio inside the book. 

Make a visual impact but keep it uncluttered

Your book cover design should be clean and uncluttered to present the best visual impact. Using consistent colours and font styles will give a cohesive and attractive look to the cover and create a definitive hierarchy for your images and text – the tagline on top, then content or blurb with these features being in a slightly larger font.

Keep the text brief and concise and ensure that it is in a legible and easily read font and colour. In summary, use this important premium space to present your book as best you can – it is a valuable marketing space and opportunity!


We are an all round UK book manufacturing and printing service. We work closely with publishers, self publishers and authors. We have a state of the art factory, complemented by our sales and marketing office in Westoning, Bedfordshire. We have invested in the very latest digital and litho printing technology, to integrate with a fully equipped craftsman bindery.  The conclusion of which means we are offering both softback and hardback books, to a very high standard of quality.

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