While it’s true your self-published book’s front cover is an important point-of-purchase marketing tool, the back cover of your print version can also play a vital part in convincing readers to buy your book. The experts at Self-Publishing Relief know your back cover should hook potential buyers with a brief, intriguing plot description, your author bio, and, if possible, a rave review or two. Here’s how to design a back cover that sells your book.
Back Cover Elements That Help Sell Your Book
Book blurb: Your back cover book summary should draw readers in with a captivating premise and vivid descriptions—and be read in seven seconds or fewer. It should encapsulate your story and appeal to your targeted audience in about 150 words. Book blurbs that go on and on will lose readers’ attention. The best back cover copy offers a succinct summary that hooks the reader and makes them want to read the book to learn more.
Author bio: Your author bio should focus on your writing career and include any academic or professional accomplishments. Don’t be afraid to brag, especially if you’ve received publishing industry awards. You’ll also want to add a personal touch to appeal to buyers—mention your hobbies or interesting tidbits you want to share. Finish your bio with a link to your author website and your social media handles.
Reviews: Social proof and good word-of-mouth are some of the most powerful sales tools. Positive reviews can help you build book sales, especially if the reviews are by authors who write in the same genre as you. Including testimonials from reputable sources will help boost your credibility.
Tagline: Your book’s tagline works as its official slogan. It should intrigue and encourage buyers to read more. For example, the tagline on the back of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games is simple and straightforward, yet chilling:
“Winning means fame and fortune.
Losing means certain death.
The Hunger Games have begun…”
Headshot: Many writers include a headshot with their author bio. While it isn’t necessary, readers often like to see a book’s author. Whether you’re hiring a professional photographer or relying on a friend to hold the camera, you can make the most of your author headshot photo shoot by following these simple tips: Say Cheese! 8 Modeling Tips For A More Flattering Author Portrait Or Headshot.
Design Tips For A Great Back Cover
Typeface style and size: Although you may want to include a lot of text on your back cover, legibility should be at the forefront of your design. Hard-to-read fonts can make book covers look wonky, and buyers won’t want to deal with text that can only be read using a magnifying glass. Your text size should be at least 10-point, and ideally 12-point. If your back cover copy doesn’t fit within these parameters, you should get out your red pen and start editing.
Color scheme: The color palette of your back cover should mirror your front cover. For example, if your front cover is predominantly black and white, this monochrome design should continue onto the back cover (including the book’s spine if there is one). This will create a polished and seamless look when readers crack open your book.
Graphics: Illustrations and images are a welcome addition to back covers, but should not detract from your written copy. They should be smaller in scale than your front cover and nonintrusive to your overall design.
If you’re ready to self-publish your manuscript but don’t want to try to design your own book cover, the professional designers at Self-Publishing Relief are here to help! We have a great selection of affordable predesigned covers and can also custom design a cover for you. And each of our packages includes a cover design! Check out our portfolio and learn how Self-Publishing Relief can help you navigate the entire process from start to finish. Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation call today!
Question: What do you like to see on a book’s back cover?