After you’ve completed the main content of your book, you realize that you’re not quite done yet with the writing part. You need some words to put on the back cover – words that convey everything that’s special and interesting about your book. But, even though you’re the author, this back cover thing has you stumped. You realize that you’re not sure how to write a back cover for a book.
I mean, it’s hard to find someone who can really show you how to do it. I guess it’s because it’s such a small part of the whole book writing process, that it often gets overlooked by writing course instructors. Yet, every book MUST have some sort of book summary that lets the reader know at a glance why they should read what you’ve written.
While there’s really no universal template for writing a back cover book blurb, the good news is that we’ve all read many of them over the years. The quickest way to figure out how you should write yours is to look at the back covers of similar books. These can give you an idea of the style of writing used to convey what’s inside.
If you’re the author of a non-fiction book, you want to make sure the back cover presents all the main points of interest that you cover in the book chapters. Just think. If you were in an elevator with your prospective reader, and you only have 60 seconds to tell them all about your book, what would you say?
You wouldn’t want to waste time giving them filler information, you want to give them bullet points of all the juicy benefits that they will get when they read your book. When people buy a non-fiction title, they want to know something in particular. When they glance at the back cover, the copy there must compel them to want to know more. The reader should feel like your book will enhance their life in some way.
If your book is a fiction novel. You want to take a slightly different approach by focusing more on characters, or an intriguing major event that happens in the story. The back cover copy must draw the reader into wanting to know more about what’s going to happen to either the main characters, or how an event plays out.
Drama, intrigue, excitement, mystery and story uniqueness is what you want to emphasize. If you have two strong characters that interact a lot in the story, then give the reader a little background overview of who they are and what major challenge they face. Of course, you’ll leave the reader hanging. If they want to know more, they have to read the book.
The bottom line is, when writing a back cover book blurb, you want to feature the most intriguing parts of the content and give the reader a little taste of what’s inside.