The Back Cover Copy is a brief overview of the book that entices the reader to browse and purchase the book. The ideal length is 150 to 200 words, but it must be at least a paragraph (three or four sentences) long.
Think of this copy as a movie trailer or commercial—provide highlights, tease your audience, but don't give away the ending! This should not be a detailed, straightforward description of the book, but rather brief, pointed selling copy to interest the reader.
The back cover text for nonfiction should state what your book is about, how it's unique, and why a potential reader should buy it.
The back cover text for fiction should state the setting and main characters of your book and something about the major conflict they face.
In all marketing copy (back cover copy, author bio, and keynote), the following guidelines apply:
If you need additional examples or ideas, look up books that compare and compete with your title and read the book descriptions on Barnes&Noble.com (bn.com). Better yet, go to your local bookstore and browse the section in which your book would ideally be shelved. Read the professionally created back cover copy of the bestselling titles in that genre; this will give you an idea of what readers will expect to see on your back cover.
The Author Biography should be no more than fifty words and should consist of the following elements:
Another way of formatting the biography would be to list the following information: education, current career, other publications, family information, and regional interest (e.g., city and state of residence).
Example #1:Joel Pierson is the author of numerous award-winning plays for audio and stage. He spends his days as editorial manager at the world's largest print-on-demand publishing company. Additionally, he is artistic director of Mind's Ear Audio Productions, and also writes for the newspaper in his hometown of Bloomington, Indiana.
Example #2:Joe Author, currently a basket-weaving technician, has a bachelor's degree in basket weaving from Any University. He has previously published two other books, Baskets and You and Weave Your Way to Success. He and his wife, Mary, have four children and live in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The Marketing Headline (keynote) or "elevator pitch" should consist of one or two sentences (twenty-five word-count limit) that succinctly tell readers what the book is about and why they should buy it.
Imagine you have only ten seconds to tell someone about your book and convince him to buy it. What would you say? Be sure to avoid clichés.
Keywords will help people find your title through retail outlets.
When you go to the library and search the library database by subject, or when you enter words and topics in a search engine such as Google, you are using keywords. Keywords for a romance title might be: love, betrayal, romance, love affair, paramour, Paris, and the type of romance (i.e., gothic, regency, contemporary, historical). There is no minimum number of words required, but the more words or phrases you provide that have a direct relation to the subject matter, the more opportunity people will have to find your book.
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