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Beginning Your Book's Back Cover Blurb

Updated: Dec 6, 2019

So we’ve dealt with how to design the front cover of your book-to-be. And, yes, it’s quite the intricate process – regardless of whether you do it yourself or hire someone else to handle the task for you.

Hopefully though (hopefully?), you came away from last week’s posts with a sense of confidence. You determined that, armed with all that awesome information… one way or the other… it can be done. You can do this.

Your book will be published with a professional-looking front cover!

In which case, wonderful! That’s a major, major part of the book-publishing battle, especially if you’re self-publishing. But it’s not the only one, as evidenced by a few other topics we’ve been covering, including formatting.

And here’s another piece to the puzzle: your back cover blurb.

We’ll cover those two topics as the week unfolds. But first, let’s establish what it is.

No doubt, you already have some concept of what a back cover blurb is. Chances are very high that you’re a regular reader who’s been in a physical bookstore more than once.

And even if you haven’t, again, chances are pretty good that you’ve read descriptions of books online before. Amazon or Barnes & Noble’s website or via the emails you get from your BookBub subscription, perhaps.

That’s the same premise as what you’ll find below:

Back Cover Blurb
You know when you flip a book over from the oh-so compelling front cover to the brief description on the other side, where it gives you a short explanation of what the story’s about? That’s the back cover blurb, which you might also know as the back cover copy.
No matter how you say it, it’s the next important step in your book-marketing plan. Naturally, the front cover is the first part. It’s what gets potential readers’ interest in the first place. But it’s the back cover blurb that then entices them to open the book up and read the first page.

No compelling back cover blurb; no sale.

Keep that in mind.

A back cover blurb normally consists of one or two stand-apart lines up at the top and then two or three paragraphs of description after that. As Dave Chesson of says, that should probably consist of no more than 200 words.

How those words are arranged depends on you… what you’re trying to convey… and who you’re trying to convey it to. But here’s the back cover blurb from The Politician’s Pawn to give you an idea of what we’re working with as we continue this series:

Pawns Rarely Get Too Far
Unimpressed with the usual D.C. dealings, Kayla Jeateski doesn’t bother with politics until the unpredictable evening that politics bother with her. When a U.S. senator issues a contract for the wrong woman, Kayla finds herself kidnapped to swing a vote. Caught up in a brutal game where her opponent has the distinct upper hand, she’s forced to play with missing pieces and an unfair rulebook that sets her even further behind.
Aided by another pawn, plus a conflicted knight or two, Kayla tries to counter each new move pushed her way. But that’s a lot of pressure for a disposable piece with limited means. Washington is never a competition for the weak, and she’s up against a player who’s far too familiar with pushing power.
If the senator has his way, Kayla can’t help but recognize that she’s looking at her final match.

So there you go! Your book's back cover blurb's basic structure. Even if your genre is something far, far different than what you just read above, keep that template in mind – only with your words and your descriptions in it as we continue.

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1 comentário

doris s
doris s
03 de dez. de 2019

I am working on my query letter and am wondering if the back cover is basically the same as a query letter? Can you use them interchangeably? Thanks for your informative site.

Doris, an aspiring writer.

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