Dominique 馃悵 Petersen

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A book consists of two design elements: the cover on the outside and the layout and formatting on the inside. Today I'd like to talk about


The back cover includes more items than the front cover. From top to bottom, they consist of the library category, the blurb, an endorsement, the bar code, the price, and the Publisher鈥檚 name (with or without a logo) and the website address under it. The font for the back cover should match the text that your book designer will be using inside the book.

The first item is the library category. This is how the Library catalogues your book and how the bookstore knows which section to place it in. Some examples are: self-help, biography, business, children鈥檚 fiction, poetry, romantic fiction, personal growth, health and fitness, inspirational, etc.

The most important item on the back cover is the blurb. This tells the buyer what the book is about and why he/she should buy it. In other words buyers want to know 鈥渨hat鈥檚 in it for me?鈥 Next to the cover, this is what makes the sale, so give this item a lot of thought. Obviously, there is not a lot of space to go into detail about the book鈥攏or should you!鈥攖he buyer doesn鈥檛 have all night to stand and read the back cover. You want to say what you need to say in two paragraphs. Use the first to describe the content of the book鈥攚hat it鈥檚 about. Use the second to point out why the buyer needs your book. Perhaps you could use a bulleted list on the benefits that will come to the buyer upon reading it.

A short endorsement comes under the blurb. This would be a recommendation of the book, why it should be read, what the person recommending it got out of it. You could include two testimonials, if they were just one sentence each. If you have several testimonials, it would be best to pick one for the back cover and then have them all inside the book on the very first page(s).

The next item is the bar code which encodes your ISBN number and the price of the book. This is what is scanned at the checkout. If you are intending to sell your book in stores, you must have a bar code. Your book designer can create it for you using your ISBN number.

The price of the book is very important. If it's too expensive, no one will buy it; if it鈥檚 too cheap, you won鈥檛 make any money on it after your printing costs. You need to set the right price. One way to get an idea of how much to charge is to check bookstores and see how much books in your category and size are selling for. Your Book Designer can also advise you on an appropriate price.

The Publisher鈥檚 name is the last item on the back cover. If you are publishing your own book, then this is YOU. The name can be something that has meaning for you, for example in memory of a parent who has passed away, for example 鈥淰ictor Publishing鈥, a name amalgamating the names of your children, or the name of your company. I use 鈥淣ikDesigns鈥 for my Publishing name, as that is the name of my Graphic Design Business. You may even wish to use your own name or nickname, even your initials. Initials work well if you have three, for example, 鈥淒MJ Publishing鈥. One of our authors thought that she was being very outspoken in her book, so chose 鈥淟ippy Press鈥 as her Publishing name. Two women who wrote a book together called their company 鈥淭wo Wise Chicks Publishing.鈥

You may also wish to use a small graphic along with your publishing name鈥攁 logo. Your book designer can create one for you to use on your book and promotional materials.


Dominique Petersen and her husband are the authors of Ideas and Tips for MARKETING YOUR BOOK, the flip book on CD. Information may be found on the website:

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