Hello my fellow Bookworms & Page Turners,
Today we are looking into why the back cover is so important. This is a topic that I myself have been looking into at considerable length. It appears, through my research, that if you are published traditionally, publishers don’t necessarily allow you full control over what is placed on your back or front covers as they tend to deal with the marketing themselves. However, as a self published author, you have the pleasure/burden of having complete control over all of the elements of writing and marketing.
Taking that into consideration, it is imperative that whomever is in control of these elements, set themselves up for success, as the cover is the first window most prospective readers will have when deciding whether or not buy your novel.
I feel that the key, is to put yourself in the readers shoes, they are in Waterstones or browsing the internet for their next read, and they are searching through lists and lists of options. Naturally you want to create something that grabs the readers attention. Now, generally speaking this is done through the front cover, as it is always going to be the headliner, its the first thing anyone sees, when looking at your book. So the main aim of your front cover is to catch the eye of a prospective reader when they are trawling through various options. This will get the reader to stop and look at your book. What comes next is the most crucial part of the book buying process, you have got them through the door, now you have to sell the book to them to seal the deal. This leaves you around half a minute to sell your book in the most intriguing, spoiler free way possible, and this is done via your back cover and blurb.
The blurb or synopsis is your chance to sell your reader on why they should dedicate time and money reading your story or why they shouldn’t. But how do you do this?
How Long is a typical Blurb/Synopsis
A blurb should be short and sweet, having looked at all of the books on my bookshelf (and believe me there are a lot) the average blurb count works out to be about 170 words. Those with a larger blurb than the average tend to be from larger volumes, which appears to indicate that a blurb length is some-what relative to a story’s size.
What should I include in the Blurb
Now that you have a ballpark figure to aim for in the length of your blurb/syynopsis, what on earth do you actually write?
Now there is no easy way of knowing the best way to write out a blurb. However, from what I have read and seen the best way to do so is to read a number of blurbs from the same genre of your piece and pose the following questions
1, What hooks are used to appeal to a potential reader
2, What points are written ambigiously that create intrigue
3. Did the blurb leave you asking questions?
Once you have read 10 blurbs you should have a good idea of the plot points that are commonly used and the language used to describe them, in order to give the reader an overarching view of your plot.
If you have an action packed adventure about a young man travelling the world in search of his father, following the death of his mother, and along the way he sees many sights and makes friends, enemies, loves and losses.
You could end up with a blurb a bit like this:
Ben is a small-town boy with a big dream: to travel around the world, and find his father. He’s so determined to leave his little Island home that he stows away aboard a marvelous airship – one thats loaded with treasure, and is under seige!
In addition to your blurb, If you have endorsements from another author in your genre or a well known critic, the back cover is a great place to put them. It gives the reader further proof that they are spending their money wisely when purchasing your novel.
Now I am no expert in this field by any stretch of the imagination, and I would love to hear what you all think on this subject, as I am sure most, if not all of you, are more qualified to talk on the subject than myself, but I feel that the back cover is incredibly important to the book buying process, and a bad blurb / synopsis can make or break a book. what do you think?
Until next time, read more books