The Importance of a Dynamic Back Cover Copy

You’ve finally finished your self-published book, and you can’t wait to share it with readers. But how do you convince them that your book is worth reading? One of the most powerful ways to lure in readers is the back cover synopsis.

Think about when you visit a bookstore. You might be searching in a particular genre or just browsing the entire store for something that catches your attention when the title or cover of a book catches your interest. What do you do next? Most likely, you turn over the book and read the synopsis on the back cover. What is written there influences whether or not you purchase the book.

Now, think about when you are shopping for books online. You probably enter keywords in the search engine. A list of books pop up. The results are based on the keywords found in the book’s title, the author’s name, and the product description. Again, a title or cover catch your attention. What do you do next?

You probably click on the book and read the description. This description is usually the same as the text that appears on the back cover of the book. Just like when you were shopping in a store, this text influences whether or not you decide to purchase the book.

Just as you are influenced by the back cover synopsis when purchasing books, so are your readers. Therefore, it is essential that you take the time to write a compelling, professional back cover synopsis for your self-published book. For more information on writing a great back cover synopsis, check out these posts:

Is Your Back Cover Copy Driving Away Potential Readers?

Five Tips for a Great Synopsis

Copywriting Services in Self-publishing

I’d love to know, how much does the back cover influence your book purchases?

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

The Importance of a Compelling Back Cover Synopsis

You’ve finally finished your self published book, and you can’t wait to share it with readers. But how do you convince them that your book is worth reading? One of the most powerful ways to lure in readers is the back cover synopsis.

Think about when you visit a bookstore. You might be searching in a particular genre or just browsing the entire store for something that catches your attention when the title or cover of a book peeks your interest. What do you do next? Most likely, you turn over the book and read the synopsis on the back cover. What is written there influences whether or not you purchase the book.

Now, think about when you are shopping for books online. You probably enter keywords in the search engine. A list of books pop up. The results are based on keywords found in the book’s title, the author’s name, and the product description. Again, a title or cover catch your attention. What do you do next?

You probably click on the book and read the description. This description is usually the same as the text that appears on the back cover of the book. Just like when you were shopping in a store, this text influences whether or not you decide to buy the book.

Just as you are influenced by the back cover synopsis when purchasing books, so are your readers. Therefore, it is essential that you take the time to write a compelling and professional back cover synopsis for your self published book. For more information on writing a great back cover synopsis, check out these posts:

Is Your Back Cover Copy Driving Away Potential Readers?

Five Tips for a Great Synopsis

Copywriting Services in Self-publishing

I’d love to know, how much does the back cover influence your book purchases?

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

Five Tips for a Great Synopsis

One of your responsibilities as a self-published author will be writing a synopsis for your books. This is the text that will convince book sellers (such as agents and distributors) to purchase and sell your book. It is different from the copy on the back cover of your book, which persuades the reader to purchase your book. To write a winning synopsis, remember these five tips.

1. Reveal everything that happens in the book, including the ending. Heck, revealing the story’s ending is a synopsis’s defining unique characteristic. You shouldn’t find a story’s ending in a query or in-person pitch, but it does leak out in a synopsis.  A synopsis is designed to explain everything that happens, not to tease, so avoid language such as “Krista walks around a corner into a big surprise.” Don’t say “surprise;” instead say exactly what happens.

2. Make your synopsis two pages, double-spaced or one page, single-spaced. There is always some disagreement on length. This stems from the fact that synopses used to trend longer (up to 12 pages!). But over the last five years, agents have requested shorter and shorter synopses — with most agents finally settling on one to two pages. If you write a one page, single-spaced synopsis, it’s the same length as two pages, double-spaced; either are acceptable. There will be the occasional agent who requests something strange, such as a “5-page synopsis on lime green paper that smells of cinnamon!” But for  most agents, a one to two page document is perfect.

3. Take more care and time if you’re writing genre fiction. Synopses are especially difficult to compose if you’re writing character-driven (i.e., literary) fiction because there may not be a whole lot of plot in the book. Agents and editors understand this and put little (or no) weight into a synopsis for literary or character-driven stories. However, if you’re writing genre fiction — specifically categories like romance, fantasy, thriller, mystery, horror or science fiction — agents will look over your characters and plot points to make sure your book has a clear beginning, middle, and end as well as some unique aspects they haven’t seen before in a story. So if you’re getting ready to submit a genre story, don’t blow through your synopsis; it’s important.

4. Feel free to be dry, but don’t step out of the narrative. When you write your prose (and even the pitch in your query letter), there is importance in using style and voice in the writing. A synopsis not only can be dry, but probably should be dry. The synopsis has to explain everything that happens in a very small amount of space. So if you find yourself using short, dry sentences like “John shoots Bill and sits down to contemplate suicide,” don’t worry. This is normal. Lean, clean language is great, but do not step out of the narrative. Agents do not want to read things such as “And at the climax of the story,” “In a rousing scene,” or “In a flashback.”

5. Use all caps for  character names the first time they are introduced. Use normal text on other references. Also, avoid naming too many characters because this can get confusing;  try to set a limit of five or six. I know this may sound tough, but it’s doable. It forces you to exclude small characters and subplots from your summary, which actually strengthens your synopsis.

If you follow these tips, you will write a great synopsis.

Cheri Breeding ABOUT CHERI BREEDING: Since 2005 Cheri Breeding has been working as the Director of Production for Outskirts Press. In that time, she has been an instrumental component of every aspect of the Production Department, performing the roles of an Author Representative, Book Designer, Customer Service Representative, Title Production Supervisor, Production Manager and, Director of Production. She brings all that experience and knowledge, along with an unparalleled customer-service focus, to help self-publishing authors reach high-quality book publication more efficiently, professionally, and affordably.