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How To Write Non-Fiction Book Back Cover Copy That Sells

Publishing is one of the modules I teach moms through my Mompreneur Mastery mentoring program because it is a fantastic way to monetize your story, your influence, and your expertise- plus it is rewarding, fulfilling, and a contribution to others!

One of my favorite pieces in the publishing process is writing non-fiction book back cover copy; and that’s where we are at right now for my own daughters’ book, I Love ME! Self-Esteem in Seven Easy Steps.

Most authors actually dread writing their back cover copy – also known as book blurb – because, well, it is a lot of pressure… and a big deal: your book back cover copy is the welcome mat on your book’s front door.

Is the Book Back Cover Copy really THAT important?

Let’s think back to the last time you bought a physical book at the book store. [ Yes, some of us still do that!] It’s been proven that all book buyers go through the same motions:

  • We look at the spine – if the title intrigues us, and the subtitle is promising, we pull the book off the shelf.
  • We judge the book by the cover. Your front cover artwork and design draw target readers in.
  • We inevitably turn to the back cover before we make a purchasing decision. If the book back cover copy certifies that the content resonates with us, addressing the problem we want solved or the goal we long for, the back cover copy closes the sale!

Did you ever think of that?

You may say that a lot of book purchases happen online nowadays and you’re right. This is why Amazon offers a “Look Inside!” feature, and many book landing pages will add a “main takeaways” section to increase the odds of a book being considered for purchase.

How To Write Non Fiction Back Cover Copy That Sells

Since the book back cover copy is one of the first interactions with your book that a potential reader will experience, you want to be very strategic so that it can capture their attention and interest.

In summary, powerfully written book back cover copy turns a book browser into a book buyer! This applies to ebook downloads, too!

What Goes On The Back Cover?

Your book back cover copy must be 300 words or less. The book blurb is a very concise collection of what is important essential to say about your book and that will hook the reader in.

Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOMA powerful statement that describes the book ~ Also called a “sales handle,” which is like a tag line or short elevator pitch for your book (5-7 words) summarizing what the book will help the reader achieve, and why it’s unique and engaging.

Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOMA list of the main takeaways ~ Highlight what the reader can expect to learn from your book content. You want a no-fluff list of 5-7 bullet points with all the benefits, answers, solutions, and results your book delivers. It’s also highly beneficial to spotlight the charts, checklists, graphs, tables, illustrations, tools, and resources the book contains.

Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOMA 25 or 50 word author bio ~ Your background and credentials are important, but please don’t type up your resume! Share specifically why you are qualified to write your book – THIS book – in terms of your passion, experience, and work around the topic.

Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOMA shocking statement, question, or statistic ~ Shocking facts and stats make for great attention grabbers, and make your reader think – and therefore, hold on to the book a bit longer.

Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOMA few endorsements from notable experts ~ Endorsements, testimonials, and reviews provide added credibility to your book. We received testimonials from Jack Canfield, Brian Tracy, T Harv Ecker, and other world-class experts for my daughters’ book, but if this is out of realm right now, you can even insert clips and snippets from any praise your receive from a reader, fan/follower’s post, a peer, or colleague.

Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOMA professional head shot ~ If your photo encourages the reader to make a purchase or your face is not on the cover, then consider using it. I personally think it’s great to put a face to a name and find ways to strengthen your personal brand.

Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOMA bar code and ISBN number ~ You will need a bar code and pricing, and the ISBN is crucial (even if you are self-publishing).

 

Your book back cover copy’s mission is to entice readers to buy the book, similar to what a movie trailer achieves for box office sales. Who doesn’t love a good trailer? 

 7 Tips To Write Compelling Book Back Cover Copy That Sells

 

Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOMCommunicate the mood, voice, and tone of the book. Is your book inspirational, informational, or humorous? 

Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOMEstablish the right expectations: Who is the book for? Who shouldn’t buy it? What is the author teaching? What is the author not teaching? For example, if your book is a beginner’s guide, then readers who are intermediate or advanced would get bored, but if it’s an advanced guide, beginners would be lost.

Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM

Use words you would want to hear as a reader, not as a writer – you must appeal to the reader! Instead of trying to appeal to their minds, appeal to their hearts, because all purchasing decisions are emotional.

Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOMGet unbiased objective feedback from your target audience and trusted experts. We tend to be in two opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to our own work: we either think it’s better than it is or we think it’s the worst! A book marketing coach can help you get clear!

Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOMCarefully study back covers of bestsellers in your genre. Leaders are readers, you know. When you study successful back covers, just like when you study successful book covers, or blog posts, or anything you want to be proficient at, you will start to see patterns that will work for you.

Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOMAvoid cliches or jargon or being too vague for the lay reader. This is really key if you want to sell your books or even if you want them to be read when you give them away for free. Make sure you use approachable, relatable, familiar words that create a connection with your reader and we are good to go. A word of advice: catchy is often an enemy – don’t fall for it.

Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOMRead back covers of the books in your shelves and ponder on what persuaded you to buy [and read!] those books when you did. I always analyze my purchases he he. Beyond that, is there a book you thought would be all that but the content disappointed you, or is there a book that didn’t seem so great but the content wowed you? Your book content must match the back cover promise!

Now that you are clear on how book back cover copy works, you won’t struggle with it like others have. It’s helpful to remember you are crafting a provocative selling tool that will tease your book content as an open invitation to the reader that makes difference between sealing the deal or sitting on the shelf.

If your attempt doesn’t feel quite successful, do not be discouraged. There are nerdy people like me in the world who love that stuff and would love to take it off your hands  🙂 .

What surprised you about back cover copy? Leave a comment below if you have any questions, too. I’d love to offer some answers!

[ela]

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How To Write A NonFiction Book Proposal ★ Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM ♥

Friday 27th of March 2020

[…] and it is best when written last. The description must be enticing, creative, and compelling, just like the back cover copy. What is your book about? Why are you so passionate about it? Why would people buy it, read it, and […]

The First Steps To Build And Grow A Quality Targeted E-mail List ★ Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM ♥

Monday 27th of January 2020

[…] Marketing copy highlighting the questions you answer in your free offer and the struggles you address, as well as the top three (3) benefits to the reader. […]

Patty Moliterno

Monday 15th of July 2019

Elayna: While I look at the back cover when I buy a book, I haven't given it much thought in the process of writing. As if the back cover was something that I didn't do. I guess I thought publishers dealt with that. If I am self-publishing, I guess that's me!!! LOL

Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM

Monday 15th of July 2019

I love how you pointed out this misconception, Patty! The majority of publishers rely on the author to market their books. Many will require this information to be on the book proposal, and often, the author will need to hire a marketer to help them with this process.

Carol Kneece

Monday 15th of July 2019

This is a fabulous post on publishing. I would have never thought about the back cover being so important. Thank you for the tips!

Rebecca Bryant

Monday 15th of July 2019

Not only do I look at the front and back cover to see if it appeals to me but I also read the final 3 pages of the book. Yes, I'm that person that needs to know the outcome before even reading the first page. If I don't like how it ends I never begin it.

with that said, I did not know so much went into the thought process of a back cover. There is a lot to think about and to make sure is done to capture a readers attention.