Have you Ever Checked an Author's Source and Found it Wrong?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dust Jackets: The Inside Back Flap


I am heartened by the response these posts about dust jacket have generated, not just with comments but by phone calls and emails. I was unsure this series would be received well. Thank you.

The back inside flap is important in a way the front and back covers and spine are not. While the former are all readily visible (one way or the other), the back flap is never seen unless and until a potential reader opens the book. In other words, the other exterior elements have done their job and the book has been cracked open.

[RIGHT: Inside back flap of Confessions of a Military Wife, by Mollie Gross.]

Oddly, some publishers leave the back flap completely blank (!) or consider it little more than a spill-zone--an area that allows for text on the front flap to spill over onto the back. This is very short-sighted.

We generally use the back flap, from top to bottom, this way:

1. Description Carry-over: Text about the book is continued here.

2. Author biography: We explain to the reading world who the author is, and why she is qualified to write the book;

3. Promotion: We use the remaining space to promote other books by this author, or other related titles we have published that will also be of interest to the reader.

4. Company and Illustration Info: Here we place our logo, company contact info, jacket credits, and design credits.

AUTHOR LESSON: Make sure you bio is tightly written and includes suitable credentials to establish your expertise.

PUBLISHER LESSON: You are going to pay for this space anyway, so you might as well use it to advantage.

--tps

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