What Should the Back Cover of Your Book Include? A Quick Guide for Self-Published Authors
Book cover design is one of the most crucial aspects of publishing a book. It’s what attracts potential readers and makes your book stand out from the crowd, meaning its success can literally depend on the quality of its cover.
Most authors think of the front cover when they picture their newly published book, but what about the back cover? It may not seem as important as the front cover, but it’s the first place most prospective readers will look if they’ve already been drawn in by your front cover. It’s where most of the information about your story exists.
Although back cover design isn’t necessary for most eBooks, it cannot be an afterthought if you’re planning to print your book. After all, even if someone is attracted by the front cover, if the back cover doesn’t do it for them, they’re not likely to buy your book. Are you ready for an expert to design your entire book cover, from front to back? Check out our professional cover design services for authors.
So, other than some space for the ISBN and the barcode, what should your back cover include?
A short description of your story
The back cover is your chance to connect to the reader and convince them they want to read your entire book, which is why the description on the back cover can mean the difference between making a sale or not. So, take full advantage of the limited space you have to include a gripping description of your book without revealing too much. You want to showcase the most intriguing parts of your story in a way that immediately piques a reader’s interest.
The writing style matters, too—don’t just explain the basic setting and idea of the story, as if this were a soulless book report. Emulate the writing style you use in the book. Think of the blurb as a tiny sales pitch where you can introduce your protagonist and offer an idea of the story and its main topics, all while leaving the reader wanting more.
Try writing multiple blurbs and testing them out on friends, acquaintances, and anyone else willing to help. Gather feedback on the most intriguing one and use that. You’re going for quality over quantity here—a short blurb that packs a punch is more effective than one that drags on.
A short bio and an author photo
Although hardcovers will place the author’s bio and portrait on the inside of the cover jacket, paperbacks usually have them on the back cover. You want to include information like where you’re from and where you live, as well as any credentials that speak of your knowledge of the book’s subject. Remember: This is a very short paragraph used to give the reader an idea of who you are—it’s not a full biography. You can make it interesting, but everything included should be picked only after careful consideration.
Adding a photo also makes you more personable and helps the reader relate to you on a human level. Traditionally, author photos are black-and-white portraits, but it’s fine to use a color photo. However, avoid selfies. In fact, hire a professional photographer if you can. This will help you come across as accomplished and credible, which could translate into better sales.
The back cover is prime real estate for information that will entice a potential reader to buy the book, which is why any glowing reviews it has received from notable people—well-known authors or public figures only—should be displayed there. Putting a rave review on your back cover will entice new readers, but don’t worry if you lack one worthy of printing for your first edition—use the space to add an extra line to your description or embrace it as part of the overall design. Featuring enthusiastic reviews will certainly help you convert prospective readers into loyal fans, but great cover design alone will also win you plenty of followers.
A book’s cover—both its front and back—is among the most important marketing tools for an author. Self-published writers need to take full book cover design very seriously, which is why it’s always a good idea to have all the back cover copy edited and proofread by a professional editor. Better yet, hire a professional designer to design your book cover for you.