While the front cover design of a book includes the title, main cover image, and possibly a catchy quote, the back cover often includes more substantive information such as your author bio, a short description of your story, and words of praise from your writing peers. Use these suggestions to help you decide what information to include on the back cover of your book.
Why Is a Book's Back Cover Important?
A good front cover should entice a reader to pick up a book, but a good back cover should entice them to open the book and begin reading. This is due to the fact that good back cover copy contains just enough information to pique a reader's interest and pique their curiosity. It accomplishes this through smart design—from typeface to color scheme—and just enough text to entice a potential customer.
5 Things to Include on Your Book's Back Cover
A book's back cover text communicates to potential readers what they can expect from the book. Consider your back cover to be the written equivalent of a movie trailer: You're giving your target audience a taste of what's to come, and if it's catchy and eye-catching enough, you might just make a sale.
Here are some things to consider when designing your book's back cover:
Your author bio: Include some personal information, information about awards you've received, and references to your previous written work. Always err on the side of brevity. First-time self-publishers may make the mistake of using their bio to summarize their entire resume. This appears to be unintentionally desperate. When it comes to self-description, published authors will advise you to follow the rule of less is more.
A book blurb: Your blurb should describe what's inside, often including a quote or a short excerpt. Consider structuring your blurb as a character introduction (for example, "Meet Jack Ryan..."). It's a good book marketing strategy to tease out the contents of your novel or nonfiction book in the blurb without revealing anything that would spoil the reading experience.
A tagline: Unless your book is a work of literary fiction—the type of reading assigned in high school and college English courses—a tagline, in addition to the other written elements on the back cover, is often beneficial. A tagline could be a brief, pithy description of your book, no longer than your back cover blurb.
Words of praise: Include quotes from published authors or excerpts from book reviews that attest to the quality of your book.
Important information: A barcode with an ISBN number and a price code must be included on the back of your book. You'll also need the publisher's name and a suggested retail price.
3 Tips for Designing the Back Cover of Your Book
The truth is that the cover of your book can have a real impact on book sales and, as a result, a book's overall success. You've undoubtedly put in a lot of effort to write a great book, so give this final step the attention it deserves. Remember that the goal is to draw people in and inspire them to read what's inside that beautiful cover you designed.
Here are some ideas to consider when designing your book's back cover:
Recruit a professional. Hiring a professional designer to help you create the perfect book cover is one of the best investments you can make in your own book marketing. Book designers are visual layout artists who, like any good graphic designer, balance form and function.
Maintain simplicity. If your back cover appears deliberate and well-organized, it reflects well on you, the author. You don't want your back cover design to appear cluttered in general. Even if your front cover image takes up every last centimetre of space, a professional designer will likely steer you toward a more minimalist, cost-effective back cover design.
Make use of a template. Many indie authors cannot afford to hire professional book designers and must therefore do their own cover design. There are numerous websites to help you get started, and home software such as Adobe Photoshop can make image and text editing relatively simple.