Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What Seduces You Into Buying A Book - The Back Cover?

I have to admit to purchasing tons of books the last few weeks via my Ipad. Both on Kindle and the Nook. Since I have a few books coming out this year myself, I am a bit more critical when assessing what makes me buy. What are the first things that make me decide to pick up a book.


(1) My Genre - I find that the first place I search online or in a bookstore for what I want is in my favorite genres (I personally like YA, Romance, Scifi and Horror) and these are the sections I go to first when I'm looking for a book.

(2) The Cover - Oh come on, you and the cover connect, the stars align and you are in serious like. You pick up the book and that book baby is half way to sold.

(3) The Back Cover (or Book Description) - This is where you have to grab me, make me want this book over any other book in my hands. So don't hold back. (I'll discuss this more)

(4) Price - it's got to be priced right either for me to buy it outright or add as a backup read to other books that I favored more.


So you're in love with the genre, the cover and the price isn't bad. Many of books have been tossed aside because of the back cover blurb.

Remember that query letter you had to write where you grabbed the Lit Agent with your 2 sentence hook? Well I wished the people that wrote back-covers or book descriptions did that more. I seriously think that publishers could use the query letter from the author to enhance the back covers / descriptions I've read lately.

(1) Grab reader in first 2 sentences
(2) Don't hold back juicy parts of the book - they may be the parts that the reader is attracted to. (Like: in my coming book Purgatory Reign - I wanted to hold back the fact that Angel (one of the characters) was really a girl. But if I didn't put that in the back cover blurb then the reader wouldn't know that there was a girl in the book that becomes a love interest.
(3) Give Some Away, but not all away - this is the hard part, figuring out what to tease the reader with but not give it all away.
(4) Make sure key elements for the genre are delivered. (If your book is a romance - make sure you make it appear like one on the book description, if its a horror - make sure it shows that. Know your market and the buzz words for it.)



SA Larsenッ said...

Basically, I look for an amazing blurb that intrigues me and pulls me into the story. As important as the front cover is, I am a major fan-girl for back covers.

Tina Moss said...

The back cover has to pull me into the story. If it has too much technical worldbuilding language (see this a lot with fantasy) or why-should-I-care elements then I'm done.

Elana Johnson said...

I am so bad, but I prefer NOT to know ANYTHING about the book before I read it. I won't read back cover or front flap copy. I buy books because my friends wrote them, or I've heard good things about them.

Then I just open, and read.

Helen Ginger said...

I tend to look at the cover first, then turn to the back cover. I want the blurb to entice me to buy the book.

I wish more e-books had front and back covers. Sometimes, you buy it and only the title page shows at the front. And no back cover blurb at all. Sometimes I buy several books at a time and I'd like to be able to go back and read the blurb before I start on a book.

Kelly Hashway said...

For me, it's front cover and first page. If I like a cover, I'll read the first page. I know right there if I want to buy the book. I actually don't read back cover blurbs very often. I like to go into books kind of blind and just let the story take me. If the voice is strong (and the writing), I'll read about anything.

Anonymous said...

For me, it's a few things:
1. The book's title has to grab me.
2. The front cover.
3. The blurb.
4. The first page.

They don't all have to get my attention, but if all four do, the book is sold. If I had to pick one of the above reasons (well, two, anyway), it would be the blurb and the first page.

Bethany said...

The blurb has to be good. Originality, lack of cliches, and ones that come without a cheesy tag line. Lame one liners are for movie posters, not book covers.

And yes, even though I appreciate romance and chick lit, covers with making out or massive amounts of abs showing usually make me put the book down. I don't want to be seen reading that in public. I know that makes me a minority.