Book Design: Get the Most of the Dust Jacket Flaps - article

The back cover has been completed, and so has the front. Now, you’re left with the inside flaps. How do you fill these blank spaces?

You might be wondering, what exactly is a dust jacket flap? Basically, it’s the part of the cover that wraps around the edges of a hardbound book. Usually, it is a space that’s a couple of inches wide and is as long as the long side of the physical book. You can do quite a bit with this area, even though it doesn’t seem to have much space. Your options depend on what you have already put on the back cover.

Often, a writer chooses to place a brief, but detailed synopsis of the book on the flaps. Flaps provides more room than the back cover. Tension, suspense, and mystery can be evoked by your synopsis. Such elements may well draw a reader into your story, so that he will borrow the book from the library or buy it from a bookstore. Many book lovers choose a book based on its synopsis.

Many times, the author puts his biography on the back flap. Such a bio is short, usually a mini paragraph that states where the writer lives, what school she went to, and basic facts about her family (among other things). Sometimes, a small photo of the author is added above this text. Websites for the book, its author, and its publisher can also be incorporated here. Information on who designed the cover and the publisher is sometimes mentioned at the bottom of the back flap.

Photographs or drawings that pertain to the story are not considered appropriate for the book flaps. Sometimes, a little doodle, like a Celtic knot, is used, but rarely a large illustration. Authors generally want to save this space for text.

Be brief and simple when you draft text for these limited areas. A lot can be said in a short amount of space. Your text can be informative or it can create thrills and chills. The dust cover flaps can help sell your novel just as well as the written text.

Share this story
Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn