Creating Cover Art and Back Covers

What grabs your attention when you go to pick up a book? Do you look at the back for what it’s about, read a segment or look at cover art?

Today, I’m going to talk about what makes an interesting book appealing to readers on the outside. In other words, this post is about grabbing a readers attention to read your book.

There are three parts to this post: cover art, book blurb and your author segment (if you choose to do one of these on the back of your book. Some do and some don’t.

 

Cover art

Out of the three points, I’m going to say that the cover art is the most important selling book to your novel.

For me, the cover is one main attraction that I look at. Generally if it’s got a picture of one or two characters, I can guess who the main character is. I like covers like this because you want to be able to know from the get go who it is about. If you have some scenery, don’t make it so detailed that you get caught up in that instead of your main attraction (being your characters).

Cover art makes everything. I remember a long time ago where a fellow author made a post about this very topic because of a book she critiqued. After seeing the cover, it looked like they personally made it on their computer in the worst font possible with letters so light you could not read the words. It was an eyesore.

You do not want to make this mistake. It will definitely cost you readers.

You have about thirty seconds to capture your readers attention. Make your cover irresistible, but don’t focus all about the small details. Think of what you or your friends may want to see when they pick something up at the bookstore. If you have to, make a poll, share the question on social media—ask! Your friends, readers and fans will tell you what they will expect when it comes to your novel if they’ve read it, heard about it or just if you mention the title.

 

Book blurb (back cover)

This tells readers what your book is about in a summary.

You don’t want to give too much away to the readers, but you want to tell them enough to grab their attention. Here is where you introduce a problem that your main character has to solve (or main characters, if you have more then one).

If you’re stick, here are some examples that you want in a book blurb:

 

  • Hint of plot
  • Invoking words with imagery so people can imagine your story
  • Characters names (first and last names)
  • Hint of setting (where it is, cities, jobs perhaps)
  • Quotes about book or previous books (if a series)
  • About the Author (if you choose to do this, some do not)

For more information on book blurbs, please refer to this blog post. There is an excellent example and she goes into other details about how to make a successful back cover.

 

Author Blurb

Personally I see some that are on the last page of the novel or (on hardbacks) on the back flap. I do not see it on the back cover. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t need to have one.

Keep it brief. Don’t put your whole entire life story on there. You can put more information on your website (which every author should have). Your blurb should be who you are, your location, one to two facts and what you write about. Also here is where you include if you’ve written any other books or series that other readers may want to read.

Ex: She is the author of _______ series, and is working on her next book, ________.

Make something simple so readers can grasp quickly who you are and what you’re about.

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