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Back cover question

I'm curious: what kinds of stuff do you like to see on the back of a book you have already bought online? In other words, you don't see the back ’til the book is in your hands, so it's not like browsing in a store where you might read a blurb or review tidbit that encouraged you to flip through. What about extra graphics, like the image on the back of GhosTV? I guess I see that as a "special treat" for the book buyer.

I'm trying to lay out a book cover and going through the "blahs" today.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 24th, 2011 08:39 pm (UTC)
The back of GhosTV sounds like a good thing to finish with.

I do usually scroll through to the end of the ebook, but I don't always read the bio/ other book blurbs/ disclaimers/ publishing details that lurk after the story.

I like to savour the story that I've just read rather than clutter it with other info.
Oct. 24th, 2011 09:29 pm (UTC)
That reminds me of some advice I just read on keeping the front matter and end matter of ebooks as minimal as possible. I agree.
Oct. 24th, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC)
Umm...Not to be contradictory, but I actually love it when the back of a cover has graphics, i.e. like GhosTV or Camp Hell. I don't particularly like it when there's nothing more on the back cover than a box in the same colour that was dominant on the front, and the blurb. I love how the books from JCP Books have covers that completely wrap around. (Your books are always so physically gorgeous I always buy them along with the ebooks.)

Also, I'm a HUGE fan of the author bio. But it has to be reasonable, I think. I've read a couple where the author seems to have to tell you every single thing about themselves - I don't need to know an author's religious affiliations or, quite honestly, that much about their sexuality either. I do like an interesting quirk or two, i.e. loves cats or is ambidextrous. However I think a bio should be like a well written work - no extra fat in the text.

That probably doesn't help you much but it's my 2 cents.

Oct. 25th, 2011 09:00 am (UTC)
I'm really glad you picked out the wraparound cover--that was specifically what I was wondering about and I didn't want to slant anyone's answer. I was just looking at my bookshelf and my books were the only ones that had them...and I thought, "Is this tacky or something that no professional publishers do it?"

It seems weird to me to add reviews to a book that's selling only online. The only people who will see them are people who already bought it. Unless they set a mood or a tone, then that would make sense.

This was VERY helpful feedback, thank you!
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 25th, 2011 09:02 am (UTC)
I love that info too. The end matter that the advice was against was dry legalese that could be referred to with a link instead. I also think, for the Kindle at least, it now makes more sense to put a link to a book than a sample chapter, because the Kindle owner can "try" the book in just two clicks if you have it set up right.
Oct. 25th, 2011 02:10 am (UTC)
Like Val, I love your little extras at the end of ebooks where you tell us a bit about the story's genesis.

As for print? I rarely pay much attention to back covers if I've already purchased the book, but a wrap around graphic sounds great. A short blurb and pithy review quote or two is about all else I'd be happy to see on there.
Oct. 25th, 2011 09:04 am (UTC)
I'm so happy to hear you like the content-related end matter! That was my way of exploiting the fact that I had my own publishing house, and could do things other publishers wouldn't allow me to do. I decided it was better to make nicer ebooks than cheaper ebooks, because I didn't want to be the Walmart of m/m.
Oct. 25th, 2011 11:16 am (UTC)
Hm, good question. It would be nice to have something that lets the reader linger on in the world of the story a little longer. Usually when a good story ends, it feels so abrupt to me, I wish there was more. How about some illustrations of places, things in the story? A drawing of the ghost TV, perhaps? I might be interesting to see little snatches of conversations between the characters as well.
Oct. 25th, 2011 12:39 pm (UTC)
I really like that intention of letting the reader linger in the storyverse! Thank you for that really succinct way of thinking about it.

Owners of the GhosTV paperback were treated to an extra graphic on the back of the book. I was trying to see if that was successful or what, since most big-publishing-produced paperbacks focus on trying to entice someone to buy the book from a bookstore with things like reviews from bigger authors, rather than extending the story experience.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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