Book Jackets

Why Book Jackets are STILL important

            I started thinking about how my book jacket would look like and realized I had no clue where to start. I had been so focused on my manuscript that I hadn’t thought that much ahead of it. When the time to put one together, it became clear that I needed to do some research and find my best path forward. I had my synopsis done but there were other parts of the jacket that I was neglecting. According to Grace Fleming in Here’s How to Design and Make a Book Jacket, there are several elements that must be present for a book jacket to be successful. They include:

  • an image that hints at a book’s content
  • a summary of the story
  • a review of the book, if available
  • a biography of the author
  • publication information

Fleming stresses your “book jacket should contain an image that intrigues potential readers by giving them a taste of what’s to come without spoiling the whole plot. One of the first considerations for your image should be the genre and theme of your book. Your cover should reflect this genre and symbolize this theme”. With this in my mind, I was able to dig up an image that I hope to build my jacket around. Here is the image:

            Granted it doesn’t show much but I am planning on working with someone to help me add to the image. I want the reader to see the image and conjure up ideas of where does it lead to and the hidden recesses of a place, etc.

How summaries can be brief and impactful

            My original summary was a bit cumbersome and too long. I wanted to keep it brief and to the point where readers were able to get an idea of the book and hopefully get hooked to want to read more. Katy Ziegler in Book Design: Get the Most of the Dust Jacket Flaps says “often, a writer choses to place a brief, but detailed synopsis of the book on the flaps. Flaps provide more room than the back cover. Tension, suspense, and mystery can be evoked by your synopsis. Such elements may draw a reader into your story, so that he will borrow the book from the library or buy it from a bookstore”. I too agree the inside flaps of a book are a better place for the synopsis of a novel. The summary can begin on one flap and end on the other, creating continuity and suspense in the process.  

Food for thought

            Given the fact that we are in a mostly digital world now a days, inside and outside flaps don’t really translate well over to E-books. While they still can exist in digital format, most E-books have front cover and a back blurb where the summary is provided of the book. In these instances, my summary will be in one portion and not divided like in hard format.

Updated synopsis

            A decade after breaking up, Detective Carlos Alvarado and Henry Morelo cross paths once again, when Henry’s father is murdered, causing Henry to return home to Valley City where Carlos is the lead detective. As Carlos digs deeper into the murder he begins to see connections from a former case long since dormant. To add to the matter, Carlos’s brother David gets involved and becomes his prime suspect for the murder. On top of all of it, seeing Henry again stirred emotions in him, he no longer thought he had. Can Carlos shed some light on the murder and at the same time, prove his brother’s innocence without creating a strain on his and Henry’s burgeoning relationship?

            It is my hope that you are able to see my train of thought and can see now how important book jackets to the overall process and success of any novel. I have linked the references in the article and below for your review. Until next time.

Works Cited

Fleming, Grace. “Here’s How to Design and Make a Book Jacket.” ThoughtCo, ThoughtCo, 20 Jan. 2020,

Ziegler, Katy. “Book Design: Get the Most of the Dust Jacket Flaps – Article.” Author Learning Center, 2022,—article.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: