Writing back cover copy for nonfiction books is significantly different than writing back cover copy for fiction. Nonfiction readers care more about who is providing the information. These readers want to know they are receiving help or education from an expert on a particular topic. Nonfiction back cover copy must spell out the benefits for readers as well as the author’s expertise in order for the book to be taken seriously.
Do you still feel like writing your back cover copy is as difficult as drafting your resume? Here are four tips to maximize your nonfiction back cover copy:
No more than 200 words.
This is the industry standard cap on word count for back cover copy. While you may feel you have a limited amount of space to sell your book, honing your message down to the information below will help keep you focused.
Sell the benefits.
Your nonfiction book should help or educate your readers in some way. Start your back cover copy out strong and go into detail about what readers will gain from reading your book. The back cover of your nonfiction book should provide the answers your readers can expect to gain from your book, which is unlike back cover copy for fiction [link to back cover copy for fiction].
Position yourself as an expert.
Readers want experts to educate them, so make sure to communicate to readers that you are an expert in the content of your book. For example, if you are a dietitian and your book is on health and nutrition, make sure potential readers know you are a registered dietitian. You should also include academic credentials that directly correlate to the material of your book. If you wrote a book about overcoming depression and have a Ph.D. in psychology, include that in your back cover copy.
Include an author biography.
Your short biography (three sentences maximum) should include how many years of experience you have as it relates to your book’s content, academic degrees you have earned and where you earned them, and any other relevant information that continues to position you as an expert. Your author biography should be no longer than 75 words.
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