August 21st, 2012, 06:14 PM
The back cover of a book printed by a traditional publisher is at least as important as the front cover in selling the book. It is less so on a print-on-demand book. Those books are usually sold through a Web site and buyers may not see a back cover.
Still, those who buy a POD book will still expect a back cover. Too, we may want to send copies to book reviewers, bloggers, and family and friends. The back cover will then help persuade them to read at least the first few sentences or paragraphs of the book, just as if they were looking at our book in a bookstore.
The text on a back cover is more important than the image, though the image shouldn't be discounted. A usual solution to getting the image is to reuse part or all of the front cover. That is what I did on The Super Olympian, as shown here.
The sky background was so light it washed out the text. I added a neutral density filter layer over it to fix that problem. I also felt the background too empty in the middle, so added a supersonic aircraft (which actually figures in the book). It is a NASA test vehicle (and so in the public domain), stretched by factor of two or three.
This book is the largest of the three I've so far self-published through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I thought the price of a single trade-paperback ($16.99) too high for a self-published book, though it was in line with similarly sized books published through traditional publishers. In fact, I've seen such books priced $5.00 or even $10.00 higher in bookstores.
Luckily Olympian had a place about halfway through which was a convenient dramatic break point. So I expanded a two-paragraph summary in the second part (which I'd always felt deserved more development) into a full chapter of 22 pages. Then I published Olympian as two books, each with a different subtitle. Here is the second.
In each case I copied the Photoshop Express file for the front cover, renamed the new file, and removed layers, those containing the heroine, the air car in the first book, the title, subtitle, and byline.
Then I puzzled over back blurbs. Eventually I came up with what you see. I wanted enough detail to give readers the flavor of the book. And I wanted to end it with a hook.
Back blurb placed, I played around with the font size, color, and placement of the text. I came up with a design which leaves an area in the lower right corner for the ISBN of the book.
The figure for the second book's front cover is the same one from the first book. But I reversed her horizontally to give a little variety from the first and posed her differently. I also gave her different clothing and weapons, though as before a short and a long gun. I also added a short sword or long knife for some vague artistic intuition that told me it was needed.
Last edited by Laer Carroll; August 21st, 2012 at 06:21 PM.
August 27th, 2012, 07:48 AM
I was unhappy with how wordy the back text was in some of my other covers, so I tried to cut it down here. This left a big block of image which was empty, but I figured it was more important to get the text right.
You do not have to include the ISBN. CreateSpace does that for you in the location I've indicated with a gold rectangle. (Don't put in the rectangle as I did. Just leave text out of that area.)
The front cover background image was too light. It swallowed up the text. So I darkened the image by putting a neutral-density filter layer over it.
I also added drop shadows to the text to make it stand out more. You can't see that too well in this image, but on the printed book (which I have on my desk as I write this) it works well.