Tips for Writing the Best Children’s Book Back Cover

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise — people absolutely judge a book by its cover. 

When it comes to book cover design, you likely immediately think of the front cover. While this is a very important part of drawing a reader in, we’re actually talking about the back!

An effective book back cover intrigues readers and can be the force that inspires them to buy your book. It’s your opportunity to hook the reader’s attention with a short summary of the best parts of the book and why they’re going to love it. 

As a children’s book writer, you know that the design of your back cover is an important part of the self-publishing process. But just like anything else you’ve done, this takes some time and planning.

Learn how to make your children’s book stand out in the busy marketplace by writing a back cover that’s compelling and doesn’t let go of your reader’s attention. Explore the different elements you can work into your cover and see how other authors have done it with book back cover examples.

What Makes a Book Back Cover Stand Out?

You’ve captured the reader’s attention with your outstanding book cover design, now what? Chances are they’re going to flip over your book to learn more about what your story is all about before they decide to buy. 

When done well, your back cover can motivate the reader to not only open your book and start reading but also make the purchase. You need:

  • Compelling copy: How does the blurb (more on this in a moment) help convince the reader they want to read your story? You have only a moment to convince them that they can’t get enough of what you’re offering — it’s this small piece of copy that can make or break your sale.
  • Stellar aesthetics: Think of this as visual marketing. The overall look of the front of your cover caught their attention, but you need to keep it with the finished design of the back. You want the style to come off as professional and refined.

Since your cover will be examined (more often than not) by parents, be sure you’re letting them know the lessons their children will walk away with after engaging with your book.

Back Cover of a Book Template to Follow

There are 4 elements that typically come together to create the back cover of a children’s book. Keep in mind that some of these parts can also appear on your dust jacket. 

Be sure to check out the children’s book back cover examples that use these key components exceptionally.

1. Tagline 

This may also be referred to as a “headline” — it’s big, bold, and calls attention to itself. A tagline may feel or read like a slogan, but the goal here is to express the spirit of the book instantly. 

These can often be a quote from the book, a character’s catchphrase, or a snippet of a book review. 

Things to keep in mind:

  • One-liners work best — they’re quick and neat. 
  • Be a tease — this isn’t a summary!
  • It should complement the rest of the copy and imagery on the cover. 
  • Don’t mislead the reader — keep the tone and voice in line with the story.

Photo courtesy of Amazon

The back cover of Eric Carle’s classic “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” utilizes a short but effective quote beneath the blurb as the tagline.  

2. The Summary

Think of the summary like it’s your 10-second elevator pitch to the reader. You want to give just enough information to attract the reader, but not spoil anything. 

Keep things short, punchy, and interesting — usually around 120-150 words. Be sure you’re speaking to your audience and demonstrating to them what they’ll get out of your book. 

An effective summary should include:

  • Introduction of the main character(s)
  • Presentation of the conflict or challenge
  • Explanation of the lesson that will be learned by the reader

Photo courtesy of Brooke Vitale

Looking at the back cover of “Periwinkle Smith in Duck Stuck,” notice how Brooke Vitale succinctly introduces the main character, Duck, then proceeds to present the challenge he has to overcome. She then provides what the reading experience will be for the child.

3. Author Bio

For some writers, the author bio is the most stressful part of the writing process! As you create yours, one thing to remember is that simplicity is the name of the game here. 

This isn’t your “About the Author” section — which would typically be found on the back inside jacket or on your author’s website —  this is much more compact. But you can still work in important details within a short amount of time.

There are a few main objectives to follow while you craft your bio:

  • Be interesting and relevant — how do you personally connect to what you’ve written about?
  • Be informative — how are you credible or an “expert” on what your story covers?
  • Connect with your audience — how do you relate to them?

 Photo courtesy of Toby Mikle

Cunningham checks off all objectives here: he explains how he’s personally connected to his story, he provides his credentials, and he connects with his audience — all in 4 sentences!

4. Testimonials

The back of a book cover is the perfect place to showcase positive endorsements (also referred to as “blurbs”) of your children’s book. A positive review can lead to an almost 63% increase in sales.

Don’t overload your book back cover with these reviews. Two to three reviews should suffice —  use reputable publications or well-known authors first.

There are 3 solid ways to gather testimonials and reviews for your book:

  • Publication reviews: Take a snippet from a magazine or publication that has reviewed your book. 
  • Fellow authors: Contact authors who are relevant to your genre and ask if they’re willing to provide a review.
  • Customer reviews: If you’re selling your book on platforms like Amazon, you’re sure to have a pool of reviews you can pull from.

 Photo courtesy of MiblArt 

While “The Fault in Our Stars” is a YA novel, this is an excellent example of maximizing credible and reputable outlets for testimonials.

How Should Your Book Back Cover Design Look?

Now that you have your copy sorted, it’s time to consider the design of your back cover. If you don’t have a book cover designer, you’ll be tackling this on your own. 

Here are some things to consider as you create your children’s book back cover:

  • Continue the visual story — enhance your copy with illustrations. This can be a continuation of the front cover or an important image from the book.
  • Don’t overcrowd — let your copy breathe.
  • Design with a hierarchy — use different colors or font sizes to call out the most important information.

Ultimately, your back cover should be the perfect bookend to the story you’ve written. While it’s a place to capture your potential reader’s attention, it’s also the final thing they’ll see when they’re done reading.

Market Your Children’s Book Like a Pro

As you create your back cover, take time to find the right balance between elements that work for your book. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution here — it all comes down to your genre, your audience, and your voice.

Back book covers are an important part of your marketing strategy, but there are other things to keep in mind as well. Like email marketing, social media, getting reviews (for your back cover!), and more. 

You know that successful books don’t happen by accident. Every step of the self-publishing process is carefully strategized and executed. Are you taking the right steps in marketing your story?

Learn more about how to effectively market your children’s book >

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