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Chapter 8: Being a Novelist: Writerly Life Resources

Back Cover Copy

Melissa Ford Lucken

The back cover copy, also known as the book blurb or book description, is a concise and engaging summary of a novel that appears on the back cover (or the online product page) of a book. Its purpose is to entice potential readers to pick up the book, generate interest, and provide a glimpse into the story.

Here’s what the back cover copy typically includes:

Hook: Start with a compelling and attention-grabbing opening sentence or paragraph that hooks the reader’s interest. This can be a question, a statement, or a brief intriguing scenario that captures the essence of the story.

Setting: Provide a brief description of the story’s setting or world. Highlight any unique or captivating aspects of the setting that play a significant role in the narrative.

Protagonist: Introduce the main character(s) and offer a glimpse into their lives, challenges, or desires. Engage the reader by creating curiosity about the protagonist and their journey.

Conflict: Present the central conflict or dilemma that the protagonist faces. This could be an internal struggle, a dangerous situation, or an overarching problem they must overcome. Create a sense of urgency or suspense to captivate the reader’s interest.

Stakes: Explain the consequences or stakes involved if the protagonist fails to overcome the conflict. Convey the emotional, personal, or larger consequences that add depth and significance to the story.

Themes and Tone: Highlight the themes, emotions, or tone of the novel. If it’s a romance, mention themes of love and relationships. If it’s a thriller, emphasize suspense and danger. This gives potential readers an idea of what to expect and appeals to their preferences.

Compelling Questions: Pose intriguing questions that arise from the story, enticing readers to seek answers within the pages of the book. These questions can relate to the central conflict, character development, or mysteries within the narrative.

The back cover copy should be concise, engaging, and well-written, typically consisting of a paragraph or two. Use active and descriptive language to evoke emotions and create vivid images in the reader’s mind. Avoid revealing major plot twists or spoilers, but provide enough information to generate curiosity and excitement.

Crafting a compelling back cover copy can be challenging, so it’s often helpful to study examples from books in your genre or seek feedback from other writers or readers to ensure it effectively captures the essence of your story and entices potential readers to explore further.


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Back Cover Copy by Melissa Ford Lucken is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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