Technical problems require technical solutions.

/Technical problems require technical solutions.

Wait. Is this really a thing? Like, do people really read ebooks without having read their cover copy? Like, I get that it’s not as convenient as just being able to flip a physical paperback over, but… really? How do people get these books if they don’t know what’s in them?

I’m confused. Maybe I just don’t have enough unread ebooks for forgetting what I’ve bought to become a problem.

Anyway. This seems like it could be solved by simple technological means, rather than trying to alter a writing style. Why aren’t ebook readers displaying cover copy more prominently in their virtual shelves, for example? (I assume people who format ebooks are including cover copy in their files! The EPUB standard has an element for it, at any rate.) At the very least–as the first commenter on the post mentions–including the back cover blurb as front matter in the ebook is probably not the worst idea ever.

2014-03-20T17:17:06+00:0020th March, 2014|Tags: books, ebooks, writing|


  1. Miri 21st March, 2014 at 7:01 am

    I almost never read the cover copy of physical books either. Mostly because I only get books after reading a positive review from a source I trust, or because I get everything from the author regardless. To be honest, they usually sound as fake as your average advertising slogans to me, so why bother.

    I usually find myself in a similar situation to this blogger – I start books (print, digital, whichever) knowing (almost) nothing of the contents and if they don’t hook me in the first couple chapters, I won’t stick with them.

    • Alis 21st March, 2014 at 7:29 am

      I think I’ve gotten part-way through a book, suddenly realised I’ve never read the back cover copy, read it, then been annoyed at “spoilers”, lol.

      But yeah, like you I mostly read books based on word-of-mouth (post-of-GoodReads?) recommendations or other out-of-context information (i.e. something is the next book in a series), so back cover copy isn’t my top priority. Unless I have to do a story query and need style help for the style of my own pitch!

      True story: you know who did always used to read back cover copy? Pre-teen me. Back before I had a lot of my own cash to buy books, I used to stand obsessively in (for the most part) the horror section and read the back covers of every single Koontz, King, etc., the store had. Admittedly that was in the days pre-Internet, so… yeah. I guess Kids These Days just pirate the age-inappropriate stuff their parents won’t buy for them. 😛

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