Your back cover should contain:
▪ Blurb (sometimes also known as ‘back cover copy’): don’t make this too ‘hard sell’. Your blurb should accurately reflect the content of your book while encouraging people to read it.
A good way to summarise the content is using bullet points as part of the blurb.
▪ About the author: a few lines about you and why you’re qualified to write this book.
▪ Barcode: this is generated from your ISBN.
▪ Author photo: this is optional. If you do have an author photo, make sure it’s a professional image. Don’t use a photo of yourself in shorts and thongs with a beer in your hand.
If you don’t have any high-quality shots available, you should pay to have some done, or at least have a friend with a good camera take a photo of you in a professional outfit against a nice background.
▪ Web address: optional, but I think it’s always a good idea to include this on the back of your book.
▪ Price: again optional, but including the price can be a good idea because it places a value on the book. When using your book in your business, you will often give copies away for free (I gave away six books in one day last week), and having the price on the back will remind people that they have been given something of value, which will make them appreciate it more.
The spine should contain your name and the title of your book. If you have room, you can also include the subtitle (if you have one). Putting your company logo on the bottom of the spine is also a good idea – this is another one of those little touches that makes your book look professional.
If your book is in a bookstore, often people will only see the spine on a shelf with hundreds of other books. Don’t make your book hard to identify with a messy spine. Make the typography clear and legible. Too often I see books where the publisher has used the exact same typography on the spine as the front cover, but this doesn’t always work. What looks good and is easy to read in large type on the front can be messy and illegible on the spine. So, make it easy to read first, and look good second.