Today, I thought I would share my views on that important part of the book, which some authors ignore at their own peril. I, of course, speak of the back cover. Many authors, particularly first-timers, feel their job is done once they have written the book and handed it over to the publisher. I submit that you the author have a huge role to play in making the best use of the back cover.In this post, I have in mind works of fiction and pitch this largely for the relatively new author.
The buying process of a book, and here I mainly speak of physical copies, rather than e-books, consist of potential buyers looking at books in the bookstores and deciding which are the ones they would like to buy. Very often, as might be you own experience at the book store, we see many, but buy a few, if any. Typically the front cover is the one thing that someone sees. The title of the book too plays a part in the buying process. Some buyers will buy a book because the title suggests something interesting, if not intriguing.
If the front cover is not appealing, the chances are bright that they may move on. Assume the front cover is attractive, and/or the book is by an author, they are familiar with, the next thing the potential buyer does is to study the back cover. Here is where she expects to find more about the book. This is what she reads, before making a decision to buy or let it pass.
The back cover copy is a huge influencer in the buying decision. This is the text you have on the back cover of your book. Does it grip the attention of the potential buyer? Is it enticing enough to make the person want to know more, which pushes her to buy the book? The secret is for you to write about your story in not more than 200 words in the best and most succinct way possible. This is going to be the clincher for the sale. Make every word count.
If you are a published author you may like to add something about your previous books, especially if they received wide acclaim. A few quotes from book reviews would add to your credibility. People often like to see if others have appreciated your work before they actually buy your book.
You should have a crisp author bio, more so if you are not already a well-established author. In this, tell us about yourself as a person. The buyer is not looking for a formal bio-data or your life story.
To conclude, my suggestion is for you to concentrate much more on the back cover than you ordinarily would. Sure you have toiled over those 80,000 to 100, 000 words but of what use is that great story, if no one buys your book?
2 thoughts on “Ignore The Back Cover At Your Peril”
An eye-opener for wannabe writers. Sometimes one misses out on crucial factors that influence a buyer and the back cover copy is the most essential face of the kind of material inside – a sort of nutshell with critique.
Thanks, Aishwarya. As they say “God is in the details.”