Selling your story – Secrets of the back cover!

Back Cover copy is VITAL to capture the attention of your potential audience!

My lovely editors have asked me to start writing my back cover copy (well, actually, they asked if I had already written it ; ) so I’m starting to think about my own process as a reader, and what kind of back cover copy makes me take a book home.

Firstly, I think I need that top line that captures the eye. Do any of these do that for you guys (these are in no particular order) ?

  1. What would you do if you inherited 221 Baker Street?
  2. What if you were the granddaughter of Dr. John Watson?
  3. How did an orphan from Toronto come to own 221 Baker St?
  4. There’s a new consulting detective at 221 Baker St.
  5. There’s a new Watson at Baker Street

Secondly, I need some text that teases the story without giving away too much of the story, so I was thinking this scene when Portia first arrives at Baker Street. Let me know if you think it’s too much given away or too long:

At some point Brian said from over my shoulder, “I thought it best to bring these back out of storage. You should be the one to decide where they go.”

“I should?” I answered, my eyes still locked on the precious tomes, though I could feel how close Brian was, and my stomach fluttered at it.

“Why, yes,” he said. “They passed to you the same as this house. And not a few of them were in fact written by your grandfather himself.”

I finally tore my gaze from the spines of the books. “My grandfather? These are his books?”

Nodding, he selected a brown journal from the bookshelf and handed it to me. “See?”

I read the cover page — “The Adventures of Mr. Sherlock Holmes – June-August 1852” — and my eyes travelled down to the author’s signature: “As faithfully recorded by Dr. John H. Watson.”

“Dr. John Watson,” I murmured, connecting the dots with a certainty that at once elated and shocked me.

“Your grandfather,” corrected Brian with another friendly smile.


BTW; here are some links I found in my research that might be of interest:

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