Friday, April 15, 2016

Back Cover Blues

Late last year, during a time when I considered self-publishing my only option, I forged ahead and designed the cover for my book. I had my cloud photo, a general idea of what I wanted on the front, and not much else. I certainly didn’t have the all important text for the back of the book.

“It’s such an important thing-the whole cover (front and back) can sell a book or make a buyer walk away from it.”
Lori Perkins, Absolute Publishing Services

First of all, I have to admit that I never really had an outline to guide my writing. I spent most of my time being a “pantser” as in one who writes by the seat of their pants. As a process, it gets kind of messy, so I had to stop and make a list of what each chapter was about. I found it a very useful for tracking who was doing what, where, and when. It was also very useful when the time came to write a synopsis for my agent query letters.

I took my list and wrote out the story as it focused on six main characters. It took up far too many pages. I then condensed it down to five pages. Then three pages. Then to less than two pages.

For my back cover, I reduced the essence to less than 200 words. I tried to make it interesting. Give it a hook. But I was never sure if I really succeeded. Would I buy this book?

So, I’ve been fiddling with the back cover text ever since then.

Every time I got a new piece of advice, I went in to incorporate it into what I already had. But it never completely worked.

Every time I tried for a complete rewrite I ultimately found it lacking. My original kept holding its own. I guess I managed to find a pretty good feel for the back cover months ago.

It kind of surprises me. I’m happy, but I still plan to ask for second opinions before I make the final decision.

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