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Tips to Make Your Back Matter Sizzle

Alessandra Torre, NYTimes Bestselling author and Inkers Con co-founder

Did you know your #1 chance for a repeat sale is right when the reader finishes your book?

It’s your prime opportunity, because:

  • their e-reader is in hand
  • they are on an emotional high from your book
  • you’ve earned the right to ask for more business

So how do you take advantage of that moment and clinch the sale?

Back Matter.

Back Matter is (in layman’s terms) anything that comes after THE END in your novel. It often includes a Note from the Author, Acknowledgements, Epilogues, and Other Books by the Author.

If back matter is done correctly, it will steer your readers directly to the shopping cart of their next purchase (one of your books!).

Here are my favorite tips for making your back matter as sizzlingly sexy as possible.

1. Decide what your CTA (Call to Action) will be. Is it to:
– Sell them another book? Okay, which one?
– Get them to sign up for your newsletter?
– Get them to follow you on social media?
– Ask them to leave a review for the book?

You should focus on one CTA. My first choice is always to sell them another book – but every author is different, so choose the one that works best for you.

2. Decide how you are going to hook them in. If your book ends in a cliffhanger, then the story has done the heavy lifting for you, and all you need to do is provide a link and get out of their way. Other ways of hooking the reader are with short excerpts, tempting tag lines, cover images, and short book blurbs.

3. Always make sure to have the right links.
If you’re putting links in an Apple Books ebook – be sure to provide an Apple Books preorder or purchase link. Same with Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Amazon.

4. Don’t move to a new page. After your last line of the book, hit enter a few times, insert a divider image, then add a few more lines, then insert your CTA (Call to Action). This should allow your content to be seen before any pop-ups from the retailer (which can happen if you start the back matter on a new page).

Back matter can be such a powerful sales funnel – I encourage you to do your research into back matter methodology and best practices, and test out different strategies on your own.

If you want expert info direct from a knowledgeable source, check out this class at our upcoming 2023 Inkers Con conference:

Better Read-through and Higher Royalties by Quinn Ward

Read-through in your series is crucial and directly affected by the strength of your back matter. In this class, you’ll learn strategies and tactics for increasing your readthrough by optimizing your back matter. You’ll leave this class with a clear idea of what to fix with your current books and how to approach back matter to maximize your read-through and royalties.

Update: Quinn Ward was a speaker at 2023 Inkers Con. You can still view these classes. The upcoming 2024 conference offers dozens of brand new classes (including one by Quinn Ward!), Q&As, author discussions and more! Join us in Dallas or online!