Does Your Back Cover Have the Blues?
Your back cover is the “real estate” where your pitch as to why the buyer needs your book should be pitch-perfect. Is it?
Start with a snappy, sassy, salty headline. A grabber—one that gets the eyeballs to stop, think “Tell me more,” “OMG, this is for me.” “Yes!”
Next, write a snappy description of your book and put it at the TOP of the back cover. It’s your lead after the headline.
Readers shopping for books follow an age-old browsing routine. They check out the title, then flip the book over and look at the top of the back cover for a description of what’s inside. Self-publishers seem bent on frustrating these potential buyers. They often leave this description off the book altogether, write it in convoluted prose or bury it at the bottom of the back cover.
Stop. Your copy needs to pull readers in. If it’s nonfiction, concise short sentences on keypoints within; how the book will ease their pain or provide a solution. For fiction, study how book reviewers literally “rope” in readers with just one sentence—get a copy of the Sunday New York Times Book Review section. It’s excellent as a guide—then add a paragraph or two that is snappy, sassy and salty. Welcome to marketing.
TIP: Write a crisp, enticing summary of your book and don’t make readers break a sweat hunting for it. Use bullet points; make sure the cover designer uses design and graphic techniques that will highlight a key phrase, endorsement.
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