5 Tips to Write Your Book’s Back Cover Copy

I see it all the time … an author has finished the book and they’re so excited to be “done” and published, they give exactly half a minute’s thought to one of the most critical pieces: the back cover copy.

I get it. You’ve invested a lot in writing the book and now that it’s time to publish it, the last thing you want to think about is MORE writing. Let alone this critical piece of marketing.

Deep breath, my friend. Writing your book’s back cover copy doesn’t have to be horrible. (But it does have to be done!)

So, just how do you write your book’s back cover copy? Here are five tips:

1. It’s MARKETING copy!

Nobody cares that you spent 3,000 hours writing the book! They want to know what they’re getting. So you need to tell them what’s in it for them – what transformation are they getting.

Think of it as marketing copy that might appear on your website for your opt-in gift: it touches their pain and promises to solve it. The copy wants to convince the readers to pick up the book, buy it, and READ it. Focus on the benefits!

2. Every word of the back cover copy has to pull its weight

How much real estate you have on your back cover is going to depend on all the OTHER stuff that goes on your book’s back cover, as well as your book’s trim size. My suggestion is to write MORE than you could possibly fit and then edit it down to something tightly written and punchy.

You want every single word to count. But trust me, it’s way easier to cut it down to fit than it is to agonize over every word on a super-short piece and then try to add to it when it doesn’t look good on the cover.

3. Read other back covers in your genre

There is a certain style to all back cover copy – compelling, brief, exciting, and somewhat journalistic. (Read some and you’ll see what I mean!) But within those over-reaching guidelines, each genre will have its own rules as well.

When you’re reading back cover copy, make sure you’re reading the stuff on the best-selling books in your genre. There’s a reason they’re the best sellers! And if you’re going to be a copycat – copy the RIGHT cat!

(You do understand I don’t mean ACTUALLY copying somebody’s back cover copy, I mean emulating their effectiveness in your own voice!)

4. Think about keywords

The copy on your book’s back cover is going to do double and triple duty in your marketing efforts. It’ll be the same words that appear on your website, on the Amazon description, and what the media will use to talk about your book.

So don’t skip using keywords!

That being said, you want to think about keywords that will ring bells in your potential reader’s brain. Just like keywords to attract Google results, using the language your reader thinks to herself will make your book more attractive to her.

5 Tips to write your book’s back cover copy (so you can sell more books!) Share on X

5. End with a strong Call to Action

For book cover copy, there is only ONE call to action: buy the book! Too often, I’ve seen a book’s cover copy Just.Fizzle.Out. Or the author thinks that just because their picture and abbreviated bio is on the cover, somebody will buy the book.

Sorry to tell you this, but NOPE! Some people might buy the book off the strength of your name, but most people will buy it because it’s promising to solve their pain!

Here are some examples:

  • If you’re tired of spending more money than you earn, you need this book!
  • This book will show you exactly how to get your kids to go to bed – without the fight. So don’t spend another night arguing – buy BOOK TITLE today!

And if you’re really stuck, I do recommend hiring a professional! Writing the back cover copy is included for all of my authors when I publish their book. The author and I work together to create something powerful, that is clear to the reader, and that helps books sell!

If you’re ready to publish your book, I’d love to chat with you.

Kim Galloway
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