A bookjacket, also known as a dust jacket, dust wrapper, or DJ, is a piece of paper wrapped around the outside of a book, usually made of paperboard or light cardstock, with a printed design on the front. The primary purpose of the bookjacket is to protect the book’s cover from wear and tear, but they can also be used to promote the book to potential readers.
The bookjacket usually has a flap on the inside, which contains information about the book, such as the author, title, publisher, and price. The back of the bookjacket often has a brief summary of the book’s contents, and sometimes includes quotes from reviews.
When a book is first published, the publisher will often print a small number of jackets to send to reviewers, booksellers, and other influencers in the hopes of generating buzz for the book. The jackets for these advance copies, known as “ARCs” or “Advance Reading Copies,” are often slightly different from the final jackets, and may not include all of the information that will be included on the final jacket.
After a book is published, the book’s jacket may be redesigned to reflect changes in the book’s subtitle, author, or other information. For example, a paperback edition of a book might have a different jacket than the hardcover edition, or a book that has been reprinted several times might have a different jacket each time it is reprinted.
Many book collectors consider the jacket to be an important part of the book, and will not purchase a jacketless book, or a book with a damaged or torn jacket. When storing or displaying a book, it is important to use a book jacket protector to keep the jacket in good condition.