For me, writing back cover copy is a lot like the first time I met my wife.
At first glance, I automatically wanted to meet her. But, without any idea of what I wanted to say, I didn’t want to get shot down either. My first words would determine everything.
Those of us who are indie publishers or self-publishers understand how crucial it is to make a positive first impression. Misspelled words, grammar errors, and crappy copy are automatic death knells to book buyers.
I want my readers to feel like I did about her, to be drawn in by the outer package enough to get to know the inside. Ironically, what she told me I said (minus the verbal fillers and the genuine awe at her beauty) is advice I follow when I’m trying to write copy for my books.
- Authenticity. She told me I didn’t try to “kick game” but I was honest with her. Readers appreciate honesty, directness, and the absence of fluff. She didn’t get the impression that I was selling her. . .even though I was selling myself (not literally!)
- Brevity. I didn’t try too hard or say too much. From what I’ve read over the years, 125 words is pretty standard. If you’re having difficulty meeting the word count, give the sentences punch by restructuring verb clauses, eliminating adverbs, and cutting down on excessive prepositional phrases.
In addition, testimonials from other authors don’t hurt, but they are certainly difficult to get. Any authors out there with other “tricks of the trade” they like to share, feel free to do so.