Thursday, January 7, 2016

Three P's of Writing Back Cover Copy

post by Michelle Griep
Stand in Barnes & Noble and watch what prospective buyers do. Note: It's probably best not to wear a trench coat and definitely lose the sunglasses. What were you thinking, you big creeper? Now that we've got that straightened out, what do you see?

First, a potential buyer pulls off a book with a jazzy front cover. Yeah, pictures are indeed worth a thousand words. Two seconds later, if the cover grabs him, it's time for the big flip. He turns the book over in his hands, scans the back copy, and:

A.) Zingo! His eyes widen. He's hooked. He reaches for his wallet and races to the nearest cashier.

OR

B.) Yawn. Book goes back on shelf. End of story and any royalties for the author.

What made the difference? The back cover copy. And trust me, writing that copy is not as easy as it looks, folks. But never fear, I have a handy-dandy list-o-rama to help.

THE 3 P's OF WRITING BACK COVER COPY

1. PACK A PUNCH WITH POWER WORDS

If you've only got a limited amount of words to use, then use those that are powerful. Emotional. Shocking. Controversial or evocative. Those are the kinds of words that make a reader curious and leave them drooling for more. Examples: daunting, courage, beguile

2. PAINT A PICTURE

Use your sweet writing skills to create a vivid image in the reader's mind. Give them a taste of what's in store for them if they purchase the book. Leave them with a teaser, a big question as to what will happen.

3. PITHY IS PERFECT

Nowadays everyone's got ADD, especially on the internet. Chances are your book will be sold on Amazon, so that means you've got to be short and sweet, baby. Make your description as easy to understand and as pared down as possible.

It also helps if you read examples of back cover copy from books that are out there on today's shelves. That's not stealing. That's smart detective work.

1 comments:

chappydebbie said...

Great advice, once again. Sharing.

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