The last four-five weeks have been crazy-bad ones . . . but in a good way. Sometimes you have to undergo a breath-sucking plummet—like shooting down Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Full Throttle loop-de-loop rollercoaster—to ascend again. And this time, you’re totally revitalized, very optimistic, and ready to take on the world.
Angst now [blessedly] cast aside, I’m ready to rock ‘n’ roll. “Forever Poi” is almost done. One final edit and all that’s required is formatting, a front and back cover . . . and to find my MIA formatter-designer. <LOL>
Front covers, as we know, must be appealing, period (I’ve posted about them in past). Back covers are equally important, but I don’t believe we often give them as much thought or weight. We should, because as soon as a potential buyer has eyed the engaging front cover, he/she will check out the back. It had better be equally engaging.
The words on the back cover—about 150, give or take—serve as your selling tool. They must entice.
In present tense, summarize your novel in one or two paragraphs; ensure to include a couple of key plot hooks. Such as . . . ? Your protagonist’s predicament or quest would be ideal. Add an appealing question perhaps; it often works well in snagging that potential buyer’s interest.
As an example, the Triple Threat Investigation Agency gals’ latest case involves arson and homicides. I’m apt to add something like this to my back cover: Who in the close-knit local art world is desperate enough to set a gallery ablaze in a drastic attempt to conceal two brutal murders? Yeah, needs a little refining, but you get the idea.
If you’re doing this for the first time, take a look at several in your genre. Get a feel for what works (and what doesn’t). Most fiction back covers follow a formula. They’ll begin with a situation, present a problem or conundrum, provide a kink or two, and then end with a sentence that prompts the reader’s curiosity, be it via aforementioned question or cliffhanging scenario.
Make sure that first sentence is a killer (mystery writer talking). If it’s not, it won’t encourage your potential purchaser to carry on, much less buy. Play around. Use words appropriate to your genre. Invest serious time in getting that back cover—blurb, selling tool—to prove effective, because you want to attain your ultimate goal: sales. If you’re able to get an endorsement or two from writers recognized in your sphere, go for it: nothing adds credibility like testimonials.
You’ve got what it takes: have at it, my friends!