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!
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