Components of a Cover

Front Cover Components

The common components found on the front cover are the:

  1. Book title
  2. Subtitle
  3. Author’s name
  4. Images (photographic or illustrated) and a background color.

A colored banner area is often used to display the title and / or author’s name. A children’s book will often include the name of the illustrator in the lower area of the front cover.

Back Cover Components

The back cover usually (but not necessarily always) repeats the colors and theme of the front cover. Other components found on the back cover of a book are as follows:

  1. Author Photo - The author photo is often a small thumbnail sized image found along with the author bio text. Studies have shown that including an author photo on the back cover of your book can increase the sales of your book by 20%.
  2. Author Bio - An author bio is a short description of the author which is usually limited to approximately 100 words. The author bio should be written in the third person. It can contain information such as work history, where you live, hobbies, life experiences etc.
  3. Synopsis - As with the Author Bio, the Synopsis should be limited to approximately 100 words. The synopsis should be written in the same tone as the book, and should draw the reader in. You should focus on what makes your book unique and interesting.
  4. Barcode (ISBN) – See our section on ISBN/Barcodes
  5. Price – We recommend not printing the price on your book cover on the first printing of your book as this will limit your ability to change your retail price later on. Some retailers such as Amazon, Chapters, or Barnes and Noble may require the price be printed on the cover as well as encoded in the barcode. Local retailers such as McNally Robinson Booksellers currently have no requirements for the price to be included in the barcode or back cover.