The one aspect of a book marketing campaign that coaches/speakers/authors ask me about the most is how to organize and write strong back cover copy. And for good reason.
Every author knows the importance of a well-designed book cover can never be overstated. However, moments after being engaged by your front cover, readers are going to flip your book over to read the back cover.
If your front cover is good enough to engage readers, your back cover needs to convince them to buy.
For this reason, your back cover copy is a crucial element in your marketing success. So, writing it deserves a lot of time and attention when you’re building a Core Message Platform™ for your book.
Here are nine building blocks that will help you craft great back cover copy for your own book, or for a client’s book.
Even if you’re not involved in writing back cover copy, these building blocks can be used for e-blasts, sales sheets, postcards, and other materials when creating marketing copy for coaches and speakers.
Start with a headline that makes or implies a promise
Headlines have two simple goals: engage the attention of readers and drive them into your body copy. You don’t need zippy, clever, sexy headlines to do this.
In fact, simple headlines are usually the most enticing. Start your back-cover headline with an action word and then state or imply a promise of what readers can expect to gain from your book. Here are a few examples.
Learn to Shift Smoothly into a Champion’s Mindset
Discover How to Generate Unlimited Wealth
Find Out What Drives Serial Killers to Act
Thought-provoking questions are also a great way to grab readers.
Did LBJ Know JFK Would Die in Texas?
Know the Secret to Attracting Success Like a Magnet?
Could You Escape from the Most Dangerous Place on Earth?
Make your copy “at-a-glance” friendly
If your headline draws readers in, don’t lose them by using large blocks of text to fill out your back cover. Instead, make it “at-a-glance” friendly by employing a liberal use of headlines, subheads, short paragraphs and bullet points.
This common sales writing technique creates a lot of open space around your copy, which visually makes it look fast and easy to read.
Chose exactly the right voice
Create a definite, confident voice for your back cover. Depending on your topic, your writing should emanate authority, compassion, wisdom, insight, humor, suspense, intrigue, mystery, etc. Choose a voice for your back cover that matches your book …and fuel it with emotion.
Create a powerful rhythm
Think of the movie trailers you’ve seen for the films you love. They move at a steady rhythm and pace because their creators know they only have one minute to convince you to watch a two-hour movie.
The same can be said for your back cover copy. It should have a beat and pulse to it that you can snap your fingers to as you read it.
Focus on what your book is about – not on what happens
It’s certainly acceptable to write about what happens in your book. However, focus your back cover much more on how readers will benefit from your book. What curiosity will you satisfy? What challenge will you help readers overcome? What itch are you going to scratch?
What thirst will you quench for your audience? What inner desire or need are you going to meet? Describe the human satisfaction and value readers will gain from reading your book.
Stir up human emotions
The only marketing messages that really move us are ones that grip us on an emotional level. Always describe the benefits readers will derive from your book in emotional human-value terms.
Think of it this way: you don’t read about anti-aging skin creams so you can get rid of wrinkles. You read about anti-aging skin creams to get rid of wrinkles, so you’ll feel more youthful and vibrant.
You don’t read a murder mystery to find out who did it. You read a murder mystery to stimulate your imagination and create a sense of inner excitement and intrigue.
No matter what your book is about, your crowd will read it to fuel specific emotions within them. Identify what those emotions are and use your back cover copy to stir them up.
Leave them wanting more
This technique requires a little practice, but always conclude your back cover in a manner that leaves your readers begging for more. Wet their beak. Tease them up.
Give them the sizzle, but not the steak. Always conclude your back cover so readers have no choice but to flip through your table of contents as they’re reaching for their wallet.
If you’ve collected reviews or endorsements from public figures, trade papers, well-known industry professionals, or respected literary publications – showcase at least one or two of them on your back cover!
Add your bio
Although it isn’t an absolute necessity, most authors include a two- or three-line bio in the lower portion of their back cover.
That’s it! If you’ve got a book in the works, this post will really come in handy. If not, be sure to bookmark this post for future use when it’s a time to create back cover copy that motivates your audience to buy.
Did this post provide you with insights that will help you do this?
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