How to Write Back Cover Copy in 7 Steps
Many authors do not know how to write back cover copy. The back cover copy also called the back blurb in some circles is one piece of content the self-published author has to deal with at some point. While it’s possible to outsource pieces of the process, nobody knows your book quite as well as you do. And that’s why you have to write the blurb.
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But the blurb is nothing like writing the book. Many authors claim that the blurb is actually harder to write than the book itself. (For the record, I am equally scared by the idea of writing the blurb but you gotta do what you gotta do.) So, are you ready? Let’s talk about it.
What is a Blurb?
The back cover blurb (not to be confused with the author blurb) is a short description of your book, usually for promotional purposes. It’s what attracts the reader to your content and gets them excited to buy—and read—your book.
What Should Be on the Back Cover of a Book?
There’s no hard and fast rule as to what should be on the back of your book. But, at the very least, it should give the reader an idea of what to expect in the book. For fiction, that means the main characters and the main conflict are introduced or at least hinted at.
For nonfiction, the back cover should tell the reader the problem the book is looking to resolve and how the reader will benefit from the book. An important note: the back copy is to entice the reader; it does not tell the full story or give all the lessons your character will learn in the process. If it did, why would anyone need to buy your book?
How to Write a Book Blurb
So let’s focus on how to write back cover copy for a nonfiction book as the process is a bit different for writing fiction blurbs. What are the steps involved in writing a nonfiction blurb?
1. Identify your avatar. Who did you write your book for? No, you did not write your book for everyone. Focus on the one person you know would benefit from what you wrote. Write a paragraph or two about that person. Be sure to include the problem that he/she is struggling with.
2. Identify your book’s category. Alright, so you know who your ideal reader is. Now you have to figure out where on the shelves your book would fit…or better yet, which Amazon category best describes your book.
More than likely there will be multiple categories. Your aim at this step is to niche it down as much as possible. Do not put it in a category that has nothing to do with your book just because you think it will be easy to become an “Amazon bestseller”. Be honest, God is watching you.7 tips to write an awesome blurb for your book! #writingtip #writingcommunity Click To Tweet
3. Make a list of the top 10 books in each category. After identifying the categories in which your book would fit, write down the bestsellers in each category. You can review as much as 20 if you feel adventurous.
4. Read each blurb. Now comes the hard part. Look at each blurb. You’re analyzing for content. Try to identify:
- What problem the book proposes to solve
- How the author introduces the problem
- What you will learn/accomplish by reading the book
- How the author introduces the solution
- The target audience for the book
As you analyze each book’s sales copy, try to think about your response to the blurb. What did you think was done really well? What could have been improved? What takeaways do you plan to use for your book?
5. Compare the sales copy of each book to see what elements repeat. As you read the different back cover copy, you will begin to see things repeated, a theme if you will. Make a note of what is common to all the blurbs.
6. Write your blurb. Now that you’ve done your research, it’s time to put it into practice. Try to use the elements you’ve identified to write your blurb. When writing your blurb, try to include:
- the problem your reader is experiencing
- how your book will help them overcome or deal with it
7. Revise. Revise. Revise. A blurb is not set in stone (especially not for self-published authors). As you get more experience writing back cover copy, revisit your old blurbs. Update and revise as necessary to keep your copy fresh and to keep your ideal readers interested.Are you ready to write the back cover copy for your book but have no idea where to start? Learn how to write a compelling back cover blurb! #amwriting #christianauthor Click To Tweet
Okay, now that you know how to write back cover copy what are you waiting for? Go write your blurb!