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Crafting the Perfect Back Cover Copy: A Guide for Fiction and Nonfiction Books

Updated: Jan 11

The back cover copy of a book is a powerful tool that can either pique a reader's interest or leave them unimpressed. As a hybrid publisher, we understand the importance of compelling book descriptions that entice potential readers. In this blog, we will explore what back cover copy is and how to write it effectively for both fiction and nonfiction books.

What Is Back Cover Copy?

The back cover copy, often referred to as the book blurb or book description, is a concise yet captivating summary of a book's contents. Its primary purpose is to:

  • Grab the Reader's Attention: The copy should immediately engage the reader and make them want to learn more about the book.

  • Convey the Book's Essence: It should provide a glimpse of the story or subject matter, allowing the reader to understand what to expect.

  • Create a Sense of Curiosity: The copy should leave questions unanswered, prompting the reader to explore the book for answers.

Writing Back Cover Copy for Fiction

Writing effective back cover copy for a fiction book involves crafting a brief, compelling narrative that introduces the main characters, setting, and central conflict. Here's how to do it:

  • Introduce the Protagonist: Start with a vivid description of the main character, their struggles, or their unique traits. Make the reader care about what happens to them.

  • Set the Stage: Provide a brief description of the story's setting or time period to help readers visualize the world in which the narrative unfolds.

  • Highlight the Conflict: Clearly outline the central problem or conflict that the protagonist faces. This should be the driving force behind the story.

  • Tease the Resolution: Leave the reader with a hint of the journey the protagonist will undertake to resolve the conflict. Create a sense of intrigue and curiosity.

  • End with a Hook: Finish with a compelling question or statement that compels the reader to open the book and discover what happens next.

Example - Fiction Book Back Cover Copy:

"In the heart of 19th-century London, young and daring Isabella Montgomery has made a fateful decision. When she crosses paths with the enigmatic Dr. Jonathan Blackwood, her life takes an unexpected turn. As a sinister secret unravels, Isabella must navigate a web of danger, deception, and desire. Will she unravel the mysteries of her own heart before it's too late? An enthralling gothic romance that will keep you on the edge of your seat."

Writing Back Cover Copy for Nonfiction

Writing effective back cover copy for a nonfiction book involves conveying the book's subject matter, its relevance, and why readers should invest their time in it. Here's how to do it:

  • Present the Topic: Start with a clear and concise statement of the book's subject matter. What is the book about? Why is it relevant?

  • Highlight the Problem or Question: Explain the issue or question that the book aims to address. Show readers why this topic matters in their lives.

  • Promise Value: Convey the benefits of reading the book. What will the reader gain? Will they acquire new knowledge, skills, or insights?

  • Offer Credibility: Mention the author's qualifications, expertise, or unique perspective that makes them the right person to tackle this topic.

  • End with a Call to Action: Encourage readers to take the next step, whether it's buying the book, delving into the content, or applying the knowledge.

Example - Nonfiction Book Back Cover Copy:

"Unlock the secrets of effective leadership in the modern workplace with 'Leading from Within.' Renowned organizational psychologist Dr. Jane Smith offers a groundbreaking exploration of the psychology behind authentic leadership. Drawing on decades of research, Dr. Smith reveals practical strategies for enhancing your leadership skills, inspiring your team, and achieving your career goals. If you're ready to become a more influential and effective leader, this book is your roadmap to success."

Crafting the back cover copy for your book is a vital step in the publishing process. It's your opportunity to captivate readers, convey the essence of your work, and entice them to explore further. Whether you're writing for fiction or nonfiction, the key is to be concise, engaging, and to leave readers eager to uncover the treasure that lies within the pages of your book.

Here are some workbooks available for honing your copywriting skills!

Want to learn more but don't know where to start? Our friend Jesse from Book Blurb Magic has incredible resources available for indie authors looking to write their own back cover copy for fiction and nonfiction books. Check out her Blurb Playbooks!*

Have you written a romance novel but aren't sure how to draft the back cover copy for it? Grab Jesse's Spicy Blurb Playbook and get started writing right away!

Hi! We're Meraki Press, a Hybrid Publisher for new authors. We believe in supporting first-time authors on their journey from draft to distribution.

We are a one-stop shop for all things bookish & look forward to getting to know you and your story!

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