Book Reviews and Writing Tips

Book Reviews and Writing Tips

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Writing the Back Cover Blurb for Your Book

This is something we all struggle with after our novel is finished and we are in the cover stage. It’s probably the hardest three hundred words to write because it has to be concise while giving a good description of your book. We have to market our books for potential readers without giving the story away.

 Back Book Cover example

Do you read the book cover blurb of a book before you make the decision to buy it? I know I always read the back cover to see if it’s a story that interests me. You can see why this is so important because sometimes that is the only thing a reader will look at before putting your book down and picking up the next one. At least that is how it is with me. I rarely skim the book, if I don’t see something that catches my eye on the back cover.

Back Book Cover example

However, even more important than that is having a catchy cover and book title that will draw the reader’s eye, so they will pick the book up and read the back cover. This should reflect the story in the book. Once you decide on a cover design and catchy title, you’re ready for the book blurb on the back.

A word on covers: I always do my own, but if you’re not any good at this and have some experience with Photoshop, Illustrator, or other photo programs, you’re better off hiring someone to do your cover. Some of the POD companies, like Createspace, have a “cover creator” you can use to make it fast and easy using your own photos or those provided.

Back Book Cover example

So what does a back cover blurb entail?

*  Definitely a hook

*  It should be a short summary of your book, with beginning, middle, and end.

*  At the same time, you don’t want to give away the ending, so it is important to word this part carefully.

*  Your main character should be the focus, with maybe an additional character or two. There should never be more than three characters mentioned, in my opinion. Remember that you need to be to the point. Many names will confuse the reader and aren’t necessary if they play minor parts in the book.

*  This blurb should follow the story with the setting, what your main character faces, and how they resolve the situation. Don’t be boring, but don’t give too much detail either.

*  Break up your text by having two or three paragraphs. No one wants to read one big chunk of text.

*  Choose a font and size that big enough and easy to read.

*  Always proofread what you’ve written. There is nothing worse than having spelling errors and missing punctuation on your cover.

*  Have a friend read what you’ve written, so they can give their opinion.

*  If you don’t know how to start, read some back cover blurbs to give you ideas.

*  I’ve read many things about writing the perfect book blurb. Supposedly asking a question is not a good thing to do, but I don’t see anything wrong with that. A question in the book blurb will not stop me from buying a book, if the story sounds interesting.

Back Book Cover example

I hope you find this helpful. I always struggle with this because condensing an 85,000-word novel into 300 words is daunting. I am writing mine now for my mystery novel. Writing this post helps me to stay focused on the basics. Of course, I’m still rewriting my book, but I feel in back-cover-blurb-mode right now, and I know where my story is going.

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