Five Book Back Cover Mistakes and How to Solve Them
Judy Cullins c. 2004
Did you know that your back cover information is, after the cover,
the best way to sell more books? And, that most authors, emerging
and experienced, miss this opportunity to engage more potential
Your book's front cover and sizzling title must impress your buyers
in four-eight seconds. If they like it, they will spend ten-thirty
seconds or so on your back covera great opportunity to convince
them that your book is necessary for their pleasure or success.
Does your back cover pass the test?
Five Best Solutions to the Biggest Book Back Cover Mistakes:
1. Mistake: Too many non-powerful words and too busy to have a
Solutions: A back cover of 6 by 9 inches should have fewer than
60 words. Use sound bites; picture and emotional words; benefits,
not features; and testimonials to capture your readers' attention
to keep your message focused. Make every word count and be willing
to get five-fifteen edits.
2. Mistake: Too much superfluous material on it such a long author's
bio or large photo. Potential buyers want to know how the book will
help them, teach them a skill, or entertain them.
Solutions: Print only a one or two-line bio on the back cover.
Put your photo and more bio on the inside of the back cover. Omit
features such as format information, which belong in the introduction.
Connect with your buyer emotionally with specific, powerful ad
copy. For self-help books use bullets with specific benefits, and
enough of the right kind of testimonials (specific benefit driven)
to sell your book in 30 seconds. For fiction, modify to include
a bit of plot, with a powerful quote or dialogue. Use bookstore
models to assist you.
3. Mistake: Repeating the book's title at the top of the back cover.
Solutions: Since your potential buyers already know the title and
are stimulated enough to look at the back cover, hook them with
an emotional question or statement to read on.
Create a "Hot Headline" that compels your reader to buy.
Notice the headlines in your newspaper. Visit your bookstore and
notice other best selling authors' headlines. "What's So Tough
About Writing?" by word smith Richard Lederer, author of The
Write Way; "Imagine Being an Author," in Dan Poynter's
Writing Nonfiction; "To Age is Natural
To Grow Old is
Not! In Rico Caveglia's Ageless Living, or "Imagine 1000's
of People Reading your Book Next Month! for your coach's "How
to Write your eBook or Other Short Book Fast!".
4. Mistake: Omitting testimonials.
Solutions: Testimonials sell more books than any other information
on the back cover. Put at least three up. Contact a variety of people.
Use one from a top professional in your field, one from a satisfied
reader, one from a celebrity who cares about your topic, and one
from a famous media person.
In her book, "A Kick in Your Inspiration," Ruth Cleveland
got one testimonial from an ex convict! Jacqueline Marcell, author
of Elder Rage, took eight months to get forty testimonials from
celebrities. Her book is endorsed by: Steve Allen, Ed Asner, Dr.
Dean Edell, Dr. John Gray, Dr. Nancy Snyderman/ABC, Regis Philbin.
Jacqueline Bisset, and Phyllis Diller.
It was worth the effort, because in April 2001, she made the cover
of the AARP Bulletin distributed to over 35 million readers. It
included a feature story, some how-tos and contacts and pictures
of the author and her book. She had to dance fast, and order 10,000
books to get distributed by the time the piece came out. After it
came out, she was inundated with speaking engagements. There's a
problem you might love to have!
After you write several books and become rich and famous, you,
like other professionals, will fill your back cover with testimonials.
You won't even need to add benefits, because people have already
bought your other books and liked them.
Potential buyers will purchase when they see people they trust
and know recommend the book. Besides filling the back cover with
testimonials, you may want to even add extra testimonials in the
front pages of the book. The more testimonials, the better!
5. Mistake. Independent publishers submitting galleys to reviewers,
distributors, and wholesales without ANY back cover information.
Solutions: "Make the back cover your first area of concern,"
says Susan Howard, Director of Consulting Services at top publishing
firm, The Jenkins Group Inc., who write "The Publishing Connection"
She adds, "Waiting for testimonials is generally the reason
the back cover of a galley is left blank. Failure to realize the
value of the back cover seems to equate with the failure to realize
that the text for the finished back cover can always be changed
before the printing of the book."
It's important for writers to "market while they write"--
To make each part of their book sell copies. The back cover is all-important.
For more information about writing, books, and publishing click here.
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Book and Internet Marketing Coach, Judy Cullins, can help you build credibility and clients, sell a lot of books, and make maximum profits. Author of 11 books including Write your eBook or Other Short Book Fast and The Fast and Cheap Way to Explode Targeted Web Traffic" Get her free eBook"20 High Octane Book Writing and Marketing Tips" and two free monthly ezines at http://www.bookcoaching.com