Marketing for Authors

Writing Book Specific Copy

© Dawn Carrington



Writers can write their story, but ask them to sum up their story, and it’s not so easy. Sometimes, they can give you a basic blurb, but it’s nothing that will catch the attention of readers in today’s competitive market. That’s why most publishing companies have someone who knows how to write magnetic copy designed to make a reader have to have that book.


Smaller publishing companies, however, may not have the luxury of hiring an in-house marketing specialist, and that’s where you can help. First, though, you need to know how to write it yourself. And it has to really sparkle if you’re going to sell your talents to a company that’s budget is already stretched to the limit.


To train yourself to write book cover copy, you need to be familiar with the market. Go to the nearest bookstore and spend some time reading the back covers of books. Don’t just focus on one genre. Venture into horror, sci-fi, mystery, and romance. Really read and pay attention to the words the marketing department has used. Jot down some notes. Ask yourself questions such as: how would I have written this differently? Do the words the writer used evoke imagery? Is my attention sufficiently captured?


You won’t always have the option to read the book for which you’re writing the copy, but usually, you’ll receive a generalized blurb from the author. Your job will be to take the copy and mold it into a work of art. So practice, practice, practice.


Pull a couple of books off your shelf at home and practice changing the copy into something uniquely yours. You’ll need to build your writing chops if you’re going to convince a small publisher they need you. So take the back cover copy of some of your favorite books and rewrite write it. Ask some of your respected colleagues in your network to read the copy and see if it holds their attention.


Now, you want to build up your resume. Approach some self-published authors and offer to write or improve the back cover copy for their next book. Tell them you’re just getting started doing this, and you’re willing to prepare a couple of drafts for them at no charge.


As you’re writing the words that can help boost your career, remember to reach for the emotions, make the readers sense the world they’re about to enter. Avoid the overused phrases and seek out the unusual.


Breaking into this type of copywriting is challenging so make sure you’re up to the task. If what you’ve written bores you or your colleagues, it’s not going to help you get your foot in the door at a publishing company. So refine, rework, and re-read before approaching any publishers.


This is an untapped market that can open the door to many more possibilities, but in your desire to get started, don’t rush. Presenting a polished resume with a lengthy work history is paramount to nabbing those jobs.  


You’ll know when you’re ready, and we’ll cover the method in which to approach those publishers soon. In the meantime, keep practicing!




About the author: Dawn Carrington is the editor-in-chief for Vintage Reflections Publishing. A multi-published author of fantasy and suspense novels, she frequently writes for magazines such as The Writer’s Journal, The Writer, and The Independent.
To learn more about Dawn or Vintage Romance Publishing, please visit or





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