Back Cover Design: Does It Matter?


With the advent of eBooks, back book cover design took a back seat (pun intended). You won’t see many book cover examples that include back design; the general interest is always around the front cover; the majority of articles ruminate on and dissect what makes an appealing book face. 

A back cover design doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. And, we confess, we’re partly responsible for it. So, let’s try to make it justice and answer: Does back cover design even matter today? And if so, what makes for a good back cover design?

The Importance of Back Book Cover Design

Does the back cover design matter?

The short answer

Yes, the back cover design matters. And perhaps, matters even more than you suspect. It helps sell the physical copies of your books and plays a role in the eBook market. You simply can’t neglect the back hoping the front will do all the heavy lifting.

The long answer: 

Though the eBook market is the primary one for self-published writers, printed books are an important part of the indie industry. People still love collecting and reading physical copies of books. For example, 37% of Americans claim they only read print books. 

And readers still adore visiting bookstores. No wonder: there isn’t a feeling in the world that can replace or compensate for the lack of bookstore experience… 

The unique smell, the cozy atmosphere, the walls of books around you, the feeling of the book’s weight in your hands, the gentle rustle of freshly-printed pages under your fingers — visiting a bookstore can be a deeply visceral and even therapeutic experience. It makes a bookstore a great place for discovering new books and authors. 

In all this experience, a back cover design plays a major role as that’s where the blurb, author bio, or testimonials live. So, while the task of the front cover is to intrigue a potential reader, the task of the back cover is to sell them the book.

Besides the printed books, eBooks can benefit from good back cover design too because 

  • With Amazon’s look inside feature, you can include a back cover design in a preview for readers to enjoy. 
  • You should have a back cover design for KDP Print or IngramSpark (So, even if you’re not planning on selling printed copies now, back cover design can come in handy in the future.)
  • A back book cover design is a nice way to wrap up the eBook reading experience. After you’ve finished reading, and continue clicking “next page’ on your eReader, still under the impression from the story, a well-designed back can help reinforce the final impression.

It matters then, so the next question is 

What makes a good back cover design? 

First, let’s admit it: the back cover design isn’t as important as its content. The blurb, author bio, and testimonials rule the party. 

But, the design is a crucial framing device. No matter how masterful your copy is, if the design lags behind, it will affect the impression your cover tries to make. So, to help you sell more copies, a good back cover should 

  1. Maintain tight grip around the viewer’s attention with consistent quality design;  
  2. Present all the information in an easy-to-follow way with a strict hierarchy. 

If you already have a solid front cover, designing a solid back cover isn’t a problem. It’s like finishing the last measure of the musical composition: an experienced musician already knows the combination of chords that will feel like arriving home.

Still, here are a few tips on how that can help you create such a design 

  • The back and front covers are two pieces of a single puzzle. They should tell the same visual story, fit the cover’s atmosphere, and maintain the same style including color selection, typography, and imagery. 
  • Make it simple. A back cover serves as the framing device for the text, so it should be fairly minimalistic to not overburden the viewer with visual information. 
  • Plan for the text. A designer should plan for the future text and make sure the design directs the viewer’s gaze there.  

Adhere to these tips, and you’ll have an appealing back design for your copy. 

Back Cover Design in Premade Cover Design

We’ve already written about the benefits of premade cover design for self-published authors and our premade design process. But, we didn’t focus on the back covers in particular. Overall, when we create premade book covers with back design, we make sure it follows all the tips we mentioned above. 

Though the majority of our premade covers are back-less, we can add the design per your request. So, feel free to check out our shop, and contact us if you have any questions. We’ll sort them out. 

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