The cover text can be found on the respective folded-in ends of the protective cover of a book and often contains a striking description of the content of the work as well as further information on the author. Sometimes, there is also advertising on other books by the publisher. A book that does not have a protective cover presents these contents mostly on the second page. However, the text, which is on the back of the book, is sometimes also called “Klappentext”.
The lyrics are not intended for any of the literary genres and can be used in both lyric and prose books. The text is usually composed by the marketing department of the respective publishing house, whereby the editors or authors can also be responsible for the creation.
Although the term refers to the fiction or at least the book market, but is now also applied to the descriptive text on the back of a DVD, a computer game or a CD. Similar products, which have a text with such an advertising character and additional information on the work, may also be covered by the term. Let’s look at an example.
The flap text on the hinged cover of a book
The above example shows the opened children’s book Ronja Räubertochter from Oetinger Verlag. The front flap text of the book was highlighted in color. This includes the first sentences of the book as well as a brief introduction into the action. The back cover, which can not be seen here, contains a short portrait of the author Astrid Lindgren.
Contents and elements of the flap text
Every text, which stands on the hinged end of a protective cover, is different. Nevertheless, there are some similarities of the different forms that can be named. Therefore we would like to introduce the basic structure and elements of such texts.
Basic elements of a flap text
Content: A concise summary of the content. However, rather in the form of a tear. The entire plot will not reveal. Rather, the potential reader is to be curious about the work and the interest in buying. Finally, there are often questions about the further course of the action.
Excerpt: The first sentences of the book or a concise passage. These may be monologues, dialogues, or any excerpt from the work. Especially in literary classics it is mostly scenes that are known to the reader.
Commentary: extracts or paraphrases from reviews. Sometimes even general words, which were written or said above the authors, sometimes also only for the purpose of the Klappentext. Are partly anecdotal and praiseful as well as well-known authorities.
Authors’ portrait: Short CV of the author and general information. Often on the inside of the book. In the case of textbooks, however, often on the back cover of the book, in order to illustrate the credibility of an author and to underline his competence (cf. book cover).
Awards: If the work is by a renowned author, there are quite indications on the successes so far in the Klappentext. This can be the preservation of the Nobel Prize in Literature, but also the naming of smaller awards. Also the previous sales numbers of the book and a possible filming take place often at this place.
Advertising: In addition to the advertising character which is intended to arouse the interest of the reader, the author can also find references to further works by the author or references to other, similar publications of the respective publisher.
Note: The above elements are valid for all versions of the text location. Nevertheless, the front flap text usually contains a content specification, while the posterior one contains an author portrait, whereas all elements are used in quite different forms on the back of the work.