Anatomy of Back-Cover Copy

April 2011
by Peter Bowerman

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Anatomy of Back-Cover Copy

by Peter Bowerman

Think about how you buy a book. You pick it up; you look at the cover; and if you like the visuals, title, and subtitle, it’s because something resonates in you. Something about what you see calls to a desire or longing inside you. That desire could be anything. It might be to have a transcendent reading experience—to be touched, moved, entertained, transported—or to get information about something meaningful to you, or to ease a nagging concern.

An amateur chef looking to perfect soufflé technique is drawn to a book on the subject. Someone interested in the potential of real estate investing is attracted to a book about that. A first-time expectant parent, nervous about what’s to come, spots a book with a cover and title that speak to that concern. It’s the beginning of a “Hmmmmmm . . . ”

Regardless of the book, if the cover and title intrigue us, a kernel of hope starts to stir. The reader is daring to imagine that this book will address that desire, uncertainty, or concern.

The next step is “Sell me”; confirm my growing sense of hope. Consciously or unconsciously, the reader is thinking: “Tell me I’m right. Tell me you can do what I’m hoping you can do.” And, in essence, “Tell me what I …IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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