Back Material

I’ve never really had to deal with back material other than supplying an acknowledgment page, if it was appropriate, and a bio. Anything else that was added after the end of the story was supplied by my publisher. With Harlequin and Silhouette, that material often included snippets of other books available that month, how to join their book club, and contests.

Since I will be self-publishing the 4th book in my “Crows” series (P.J. Benson Mysteries), it’s up to me to decide what to include or not include and in what order.

In a way, I like this. I’ve decided to add a recipe at the end of SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT. It’s a recipe for slow baked barbeque ribs, which are talked about (and eaten) in the course of the story. I’ve also added a list of my other books that are available, in paperback and/or as ebooks. And, of course, I have the acknowledgment page and my bio.

Maybe most important, I want to include a request for a review. I’m discovering how important it is to have those reviews. Readers look at a book and see hundreds or thousands of reviews and they buy it because if that many people read it, it must be good. Right? Actually, unless there are a lot of negative reviews, it doesn’t matter if a percentage of the readers say “Don’t bother reading this.” Most book buyers don’t look that closely. It’s seeing the book got a zillion reviews that’s important.

Conversely, seeing a book has 1 review, or 5, or 10, even if those are all five star reviews, just doesn’t have the same impact.

But, how does an author ask for those reviews?

Do I beg? Do I say, please, please, please give me a review?

Or do I gently suggest and supply a place where the reader can click to go on-line and leave a review?

I often see something that seems to be provided by Amazon. It tells me before I leave to rate the book, and if I click on one of the five circles provided, I will be taken to the book’s page on Amazon.

Is that automatically added by Amazon? I don’t know. (Guess I’d better find out.)

What do you add in your back material, or if you’re simply a reader, not a writer, what do you like to find? I need your help.

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4 Responses to Back Material

  1. Welcome to the weird, wacky world of self-publishing where the ground shifts under your feet every time you turn around!

    I put in the front of the book: copyright, acknowledgements, a sentence describing the series if it is part of one, brief summary of the book, a few reviews of the book. At the back I put: a thank you letter to the reader, a brief bio, a list of other books, and the first scene of the next book.

    Yes, it’s a lot of work! My role model for interacting with readers is Shelley Adina. She just has a warm touch that people really seem to like.

  2. Maris,

    I haven’t self-published. So I can’t be much help. But I do like Jenny’s suggestions. I don’t get many reviews and would like them as well. Best wishes with the new novel.

  3. I’d definitely include a short bio and author photo. Asking for reviews is brilliant, although I’ve never seen it done. Good luck with your very good book.
    P.s. I promise to write a review.