Writing Your Book’s Back-Cover Copy

The following article by Jessi Rita Hoffman was originally published as a guest post on www.JaneFriedman.com. (Jane Friedman is the former publisher of Writer’s Digest.)

So you’ve written your book, you’ve chosen your title and cover design, and you’re breathing a sigh of relief. Now you have to decide what goes on the back cover. New authors sometimes rush this decision, writing the first thing that comes to mind. After all, it’s the back of the book. How important can it be?

A lot more important than a person might think. The hundred-and-fifty words you’ll place on your back cover are arguably the most important words in your entire book.

Here’s why. After the book title and front cover, the back cover is the next thing readers look at when deciding whether to make a purchase. The back-cover copy also functions as the primary ad for your book. Not only will it appear on the book itself, but you’ll probably use it as your Amazon description.

You have—at best—150 to 200 words to work with, because that’s all that will attractively fit on the back cover of most volumes. If the content is longer than that, you’ll have to make the font size so small that people will need a magnifying glass to read it. And that, of course, would not promote the sale.

Before sitting down to the task of writing your back-cover copy, examine the backs of other books in your genre for examples of how the copy should read. The examples you find will make everything you read in this article clearer …