What Is The Back Cover Of A Book Called? & Writing Killer Back Covers

by CJ McDaniel // January 14  

What do they call a book’s back cover? We will be answering this question in a bit.

If you’re an author, know this; if a potential reader makes it to your back cover, it means the front cover succeeded in doing its job. It compelled the shopper to have a second look at your book.

But now, the back cover has to play its part. It needs to draw the potential readers in more, to the point where they start feeling compelled to splash the cash on your book.

This post will talk about what a book’s back cover is and how you, as an author, can write killer back covers. So, don’t go away. We have more in store for you.

What Is The Back Cover Of A Book Called?

The back of a book cover is also called a “blurb.” And it’s a section of a book dedicated to describing the content to potential readers. A book’s back cover is more of a sales pitch describing the book’s conflict and main character. It’s also between 100 to 200 words short.

In self-publishing and eBooks, what’s on the main sales page online is the blurb (back cover).

What Describes A Killer Book Back Cover? 

Blurb writing is hard. Let’s not try to hide the truth. What authors write on the back covers are sales pitches that can contribute to their books’ success.

What makes a blurb or back cover difficult is, one has so much to write about but in limited words. You have roughly about 100 to 200 words to describe your book in a way that would lure potential readers into wanting to get a copy of your book.

So, what makes a good blurb? First, it needs to communicate a book’s essence. That is the heart and hook.

If you’re writing a fiction blurb, for example, you not only need to sum up the book’s central conflict or highlight its genre; you have to describe the protagonist very quickly.

In your fiction blurb, leave out anything that suggests a resolution. By so doing, you’re creating suspense and letting shoppers develop an interest in your book. They would want to see how the conflict got resolved in the end.

If you want to produce a killer nonfiction blurb, you have to summarize the book’s main topic. Then highlight some of its thought-provoking insights or ideas.

A Handy Tip: Do not get tempted to reveal too much about your book in the blurb. A killer blurb does leave readers super curious about what secret lies in the book. That curiosity is what motivates them to buy a book.

You also need to ensure your blurb isn’t too lengthy. A 150-word blurb should be enough to squeeze in all the information you need to grab your readers’ attention, capture their imaginations, and cause them to search for more.

Why The Back Cover Of A Book Is So Crucial?

Being a self-published author comes with a prize. You’re going to be the one in charge of your marketing plan and book launch, not just writing the book.

Every author needs to set themselves up for success every step of the way. That is, produce a quality book, use an appropriate cover design, and write a killer back cover.

Now, why is a book’s back cover or blurb critical? If readers make it past a book’s front cover, the back cover would determine if they would buy a book or not.

So, the back cover is the first window that tells a reader if a book is worth reading or not.

Readers always have tough choices to make as they have tons of books to choose from. Just browse through Amazon and you’ll see for yourself.

Your front cover and everything included in it would make readers stop and click on your book. In a physical store, it would also do the same thing. But after buying you some seconds, your book’s back cover needs to play its role. It has to convince the readers that your book is for them.

So, all these make the back cover important. It’s the second line of marketing, and authors must treat it as such. It has a colossal role to play in your book’s success.

Readers spend time reading the back covers of various books before deciding. And they always want to choose the best book that’s worth their precious time and hard-earned money.

So if you want to succeed in selling thousands and millions of copies of your book, write a killer back cover. No matter how well-planned and effective your marketing campaign is or how much you spend on marketing your book, it can only succeed with a good back cover.

What we mean by a “good back cover” is one that seizes the reader’s attention. It also compels them to splash the cash on a book.

What Are The Elements of A Book Back Cover?

A blurb or book’s back cover may contain diverse information. But it must include some essential elements. Let’s explain what these are.

The Hook: 

Just like in essay writing, a hook’s job is to grab readers’ attention. In a blurb, it does the same thing.

What is the hook in a back cover? It’s the first one or two sentences of your blurb. Upon reading it, a good hook should captivate readers and leave them wanting more.

How can you produce the best hook for your book’s back cover? Well, this is simple. Is your book fiction? If yes, you need to ask yourself this question. What makes my book’s plot unique?

Is your book nonfiction? If yes, then the easiest way to know which part would make a perfect hook is considering the unique problem or conflict you’re trying to solve.

The Character:

Your character or characters are also crucial elements in your blurb. Don’t forget; your readers would be spending time with them, so need assurance that they’re going to have a great time reading about your book’s character or characters.

How do you sell your book’s main character to the readers? Just give some hint about the character’s lifestyle or personality. You don’t have to summarize your character’s back story. Don’t spill the beans! Only make readers interested in knowing more about your main character. That’s it.

The Conflict: 

Imagine listening or reading a conflictless story. Won’t you get bored? That’s what readers feel when reading such a book.

A conflict could be the travails your main character is facing. Conflict can be a specific issue or act, preventing your character from achieving a set goal.

Now, how should you present your book’s conflict on the back cover? Again, this is simple. Just tease the primary conflict and then set the stakes. But never make the mistake of providing the resolution. Let the readers figure that out.

Steps On How To Write A Killer Book Back Cover: 

Do you want to start writing killer back covers? Then consider these tips.

Know when to draw the line:

Let’s understand one thing; a book cover isn’t a synopsis. It’s also not a summary. The purpose of writing a back cover is to capture and give readers a reason not to drop a book once they pick it up.

You don’t have to provide in-depth information when writing a blurb. Just tease the major conflict and let the readers develop an emotion towards your main character. You don’t have to provide the resolution. Let the readers dig in and figure that out.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes:

You might not know how difficult it is to write a blurb until you start one. A blurb is just 100 to 200 words long but has the power to dictate your book’s success once published.

So, it would help if you spent quality time brainstorming to produce the perfect blurb that will put your book in your readers’ hearts.

Besides brainstorm, you shouldn’t be afraid to make mistakes, as long as you aren’t going to publish the book just yet. Write as many blurbs as you can for your book and choose the most appropriate.

If you like, you can beckon on other authors like yourself to give feedback on your blurb. With that, you will know the most appropriate one to use.

Read ruthlessly:

Don’t feel ashamed to read other authors’ work, particularly those making it big time in the industry. Study how they wrote their back covers and then use the knowledge gained to write yours.

It’s great to read multiple books across various genres. But it would make sense to focus on your genre. That way, you won’t get too confused because of information overload.

Make your back cover readable:

Most readers would only spend a couple of seconds reading your back cover. Can you believe that? Some readers skim through blurbs. And when they find it captivating enough, they move ahead to buy the book.

So, focus on your blurb’s readability when writing. Use active voices, short paragraphs, and short sentences. Describe your plot and characters in simple terms.


What is the back cover of a book called is the question. And impressively, we have done justice to the topic. The truth is that the back cover, also called blurb, is crucial to a book’s performance on the market.

If you write a killer back cover for your book, you can expect success with some aggressive marketing. We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Thank you for stopping by.

About the Author

CJ grew up admiring books. His family owned a small bookstore throughout his early childhood, and he would spend weekends flipping through book after book, always sure to read the ones that looked the most interesting. Not much has changed since then, except now some of those interesting books he picks off the shelf were designed by his company!