I am currently writing the text for my book jacket. My book is a novel and it's written in the first person. Does that mean that the text on my book jacket should also be in the first person, or does it not matter? Is the jacket copy supposed to reflect the narrative POV of the book?

For example, should I write:

I thought I had the perfect marriage. That is until...


Anne thought she had the perfect marriage. That is until...

Similar question:

My book is written in the present tense. Do I have to reflect that in the jacket text or can I write it in the past? Are there generally accepted conventions about these things or can writers pretty much do what they want?

2 Answers 2


Personally, I would find it pretty smart for a jacket to be in the first person, especially if the book is this way. I don't think that many people would notice, but some will.

Now, generally most books I've seen use the other way round

Anne thought she had the perfect marriage. That is until...

Because what you'd need in the jacket is a summary and this way seems a pretty simple way to summarize your book.


Jacket summaries are typically written in Third Person.

Anne thought she had the perfect marriage. That is until...

Your second version sounds much more natural and familiar to me. I much prefer it over the first example, even if your book is not written in Third Person.

That's not to say you can't write it in First Person. You certainly can and it might stand out, potentially in a good way. It would also represent your book better, like you said.

Writing is such a creative thing; you can go any way you want with this; Third Person, First Person, Present-tense, Past Tense, etc. As long as the jacket cover is well written, chances are the tense you use won't be a make-or-break factor.

Most publishers write the jacket summary for you though.

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