Think about the last time you picked up a new book to read. One of the first things you likely did was read the back cover. And why not? A book’s back cover contains great information. It summarizes the story, provides information about the author, and sometimes even includes testimonials.
Your book’s back cover is an overview of your masterpiece. And although it might seem like a small component of your overall work, it’s an extremely important one. Read on to learn more about how to design a back book cover.
The back cover of a book is a key component of your book marketing strategy. It draws attention to your book by giving your potential reader an idea of what the book is about. So as you plan your book cover design, think about what will make your readers want to dive right into your story.
A book spine is small and simple, but important. It’s basically a quick snapshot of your book: the title, author name, and—if applicable—the publisher. Your potential readers might find your book at their local library or bookstore, and the spine is the first thing they’ll see.
Make sure the book spine accurately reflects the cover design and the theme of your book. The background of your cover art should also be the background of the spine. Additionally, use a font that represents your book’s theme. Just make sure the font is clear and legible so your potential readers can easily read it.
Your author photo is often the first time your readers will see an image of their next favorite writer. As you sit in front of the camera, try to take a picture that represents your personality and your book’s themes.
For instance, if your author photo is going on the back cover of a children’s fiction book, your picture should be colorful and lighthearted. So smile for the camera! Conversely, if you’ve written a nonfiction book about a serious topic, your picture should be more solemn.
Readers often want to see the face behind the masterpiece so they can see the storyteller. So give the people what they want with a nice author photo on your back cover. In fact, your photo is just one of the reasons that the back cover of a book is so important.
The back cover of a book provides the reader with some great information. However, it’s more than a quick book description and a nice picture of the author. It gives the reader an enticing summary of your story and a taste of your writing.
Think of it this way: the book spine and front cover make the reader want to learn more about the book. The back cover makes the reader want to enjoy every word that’s inside the book.
Because the back cover of your book is so important, make sure you allocate some resources to perfecting it. Spend some time editing it and consider hiring a professional cover designer. After all, your book and your readers deserve a stellar cover!
You might not realize it, but your book’s back cover is a powerful marketing tool. When the back cover is designed well and includes the right elements, it’ll make readers want to buy your book.
There are various software programs available to design book covers. A professional graphic or cover designer will likely have high-end design software like the Adobe Creative Suite. If you’re trying to create your own book cover design, you might start with a less expensive—but therefore less powerful—software. Online programs like Canva are a great place to start.
If you’re self-publishing, your printer or e-book publisher might send you a cover template. The template will show you the size of the front cover, back cover, and spine. Some templates even guide you on ideal image resolution and font size. If you have a cover template to work with, choose the best software to accommodate the template. Your self-publishing company might be able to provide some guidance here.
Your book only gets a few seconds to make a first impression on a potential reader. In order to make readers want to buy your book, your entire cover design needs to draw them in.
Your book’s back cover is a built-in marketing tool. A great back cover can itself make readers want to buy the book. Find a great cover photo and get creative when writing your book blurb and author bio. Leave that reader wanting more!
Your book’s back cover should include basic information about you and your book’s story—along with a few other pieces of information. Here’s a list of the elements you should include on your book’s back cover:
If you have any trouble getting started with your back book cover design, check out some resources for authors online. The writing world is a vast and supportive community, so use others’ experience to help design a great back cover.
From the cover blurb to the author bio and cover art, your back cover should tell two stories:
Since the back cover is an important element of your book marketing, check out some cover design tips that have worked for other authors. Use their advice as a springboard to begin writing your back cover copy so your cover can tell a great story.
Your readers want to know a bit about you as the author. So it’s a good idea to include a quick author bio and a small photo of yourself on your back cover.
However, don’t monopolize your cover. Give your readers a glimpse into who you are, but keep in mind that the main reason that a potential reader picks up your book is for the literature. Keep your author bio under three hundred words and make sure your picture doesn’t take up more than 20 percent of the back cover.
In other words, let your masterpiece—and not yourself—be the star of the back cover.
Have you ever read a book cover blurb and wondered who wrote it?
The answer generally depends on the author’s preference and how they published their book. Some authors like to write their own cover copy so the tone and voice stay true to the way the rest of the book is written. In other cases, literary agents hire professional blurb writers to craft the summary. And if you’ve created a picture book, the back summary might be best left to the cover designer.
Regardless of who writes the summary on the back of your book, remember: your back cover needs to tell a story.
Your back cover will tell a story as long as you include a well-written book description and author bio. Testimonials and an author photo are a bonus! However, sometimes writing these elements is easier said than done.
As a writer, you’re a talented storyteller. However, writing a manuscript with a well-developed main character and a complex plot is a lot different than squeezing the entire storyline into a paragraph-long book description.
Try to separate yourself from your book’s story in order to create an effective book description. After all, it’s difficult to boil your entire manuscript down to a small paragraph. If you’re self-publishing and don’t have access to professional writers or cover designers, consider asking a friend or a colleague to help write your book description.
Testimonials are fantastic additions to a book’s back cover. These are short reviews from well-known sources that will entice prospective readers to pick up your book. The more testimonials you have from renowned sources, the more readers will respect your book—and want to read it!
People love to read reviews. And that includes your potential reader. Testimonials lend credibility to your book. They show that other readers—oftentimes book reviewers, publishers, or other book industry professionals—enjoyed your book so much that they took the time to write a positive review.
Additionally, large bookstores love to see testimonials. If you have a review or blurb from a credible source on your book’s back cover, retail stores will take note. This might lead them to purchase copies of your book. And for an author, what feeling is greater than seeing your masterpiece on a large retailer’s shelf?
Incorporating testimonials into your back cover design can be a challenge. You want to include all the great things reviewers have said about your work, but you also need to save room for the other back cover elements.
First, pick the two or three strongest testimonials. They should be one or two sentences each, preferably from renowned and credible sources. Then, find the best place for them on your back cover. Since you want to distinguish the testimonials from your book description and author bio, you might want to change the font size or color.
Indie authors tend to have a lot of publishing questions—including how to get testimonials for their books. Getting testimonials for your book can be difficult, but here are a few ways you can do it:
Requesting testimonials can be a frustrating process. Just be patient and stick with it. You’ll get a great testimonial eventually!
Your book’s back cover needs to reflect the story within. Regardless of whether you’re looking for a simple or complex book cover design, Elite Authors can create an amazing book cover for you.
Visit our website to learn more about our award-winning cover designers!