Live and write in reverse

Why you should write your back cover first…

When the publisher of my first book asked me for the back cover text, just as I started writing the book, I was surprised. I had assumed the publisher would craft this description when the book was finished.

“Well, the author knows the topic of their book best, so we ask the author to write this ‘blurb’ and we edit it if necessary” he explained.

“But why would I write the back cover now, when I am nowhere near completing the book?” I wondered out loud.

The publisher revealed that “the bookstores order their books with us based on our brochures. If your book is published in the fall, it needs to be in the spring brochure that we are preparing now. Book stores buy books based on the back covers that we provide to them.”

This was an epiphany for me  –  most books are sold based on just the back cover!

When you think about it, this ‘blurb’ is what you read first when you wander through a traditional book store or when you browse books online. It is the ‘elevator pitch’ you share with your friends & family and post on your website and on social media. It is also the ‘executive summary’ you send to a publisher to see if they are interested.

The text on the back cover is a combination of all these elements, plus it is your promise to the readers and your sales pitch (“after reading this book you will be able to….”). Not only is this information important to publishers, book stores, and potential buyers of your book, it also provides you with the structure that you use to create the outline of your book.

With a well-written one-pager, you can start to promote your book, approach publishers, sponsors, and potential buyers, ask for feedback from future readers, and start the pre-selling process…

Moreover, your back cover provides the structure that will guide you through the process of writing your book.

Write your book in reverse

This is exactly why I recommend to write your book ‘in reverse’. Only start writing after you have created your summary, outline and table of contents.

And it works! One of the participants in my online writing workshops explains it perfectly:

“The tragedy of life is that you live it start to end, but you can only understand it in reverse. One way to at least overcome this when writing a book is using the reverse writing method that Esther explained during her workshop. You start with the back cover text and design. Next, you begin promoting and selling the concept. Only then do you start writing. It’s kind of tragic that I only understand this now that my book ‘Stress-free leadership’ is almost finished.”

– Niels van Steenbergen, entrepreneur

Don’t make the same mistake as Niels; start writing your book by ‘composing’ your back cover.

“I finally found a way to write my book without my other projects getting delayed.
No excuses!”

Patrick, entrepreneur

“This approach is magical! After I wrote the back cover,
I was amazed to see the entire table of contents come to life in a single session.”

Jan van Kuijk

“Writing a book seemed impossible.
Using the back cover for pre-promotion made all the difference.”

Yann Toutant – CEO

“Brilliant! The publisher immediately said YES
after Esther helped me with my back cover!”

Joyce Peters

“I wish I had known this before spending 3+ months planning, writing,
and marketing my book!”

Kiri Masters

Are you serious about writing your book?

Don't reinvent the wheel, like I did. As the author and co-author of more than 30 books, writing coach for hundreds of people and organizer of 20 writing retreats, I have finally found the best system for writing a good book: the 'Reverse Writing' method. If you begin at the end and create a good structure before you start writing, you will be able to follow your energy, instead of the page numbers.

Join the Writers Mastermind

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The book 'Reverse Writing'

Learn my Reverse Writing method (start with the back cover) in my brand new, super-comprehensive book 'Reverse Writing' and the companion workbook.You will find a step-by-step explanation, lots of examples, inspiration and practical tips about writing, promotion and publishing your book.

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