Establishing Front and Back Matter

Publishing 101This is one in a series of posts entitled Publishing 101: Draft to Book in 30 Days. To learn more about this challenge, visit the Publishing 101 page, where all links regarding this topic will be listed as they become available.

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The front and back matter of a paperback and hardcover book is different from that found in eBooks. Sometimes it’s the same, just located in a different spot. For the purpose of this post, I’ll discuss the front and back matter for the paperback copy of Fowl Summer Nights.

If you are unsure about any of the items in a paper copy book or you’re wondering how to lay it out, just check out the books on your shelf or your local library’s shelf. Not all books display the information the same. I recommend finding books similar in subject to the one you are publishing and use them as examples.

You can check out other genres and types of books too, just in case you stumble upon a unique idea.

In general, most novels have the following items:

  • title page
  • copyright page
  • dedication
  • prologue
  • a short clip of an exciting scene
  • table of contents
  • biography
  • picture for biography

Title Page

The Title Page is the first page you’ll see when you open the book. It contains at least two items: the title of the book and the name(s) of the author(s). I also add three other lines in small font at the bottom of the page: my publishing company (Quarter Castle Publishing), location (Nova Scotia, Canada) and the month and year of publication (March 2014).

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Refining the Details of Twistmas

I’m in the middle of the read out loud edit, and since the kids are home from school and my office is located in the kitchen, my reading is done for the day. This doesn’t stop work on the romance novel, it means only I have to work on other aspects of the whole publishing business of it.

I have only a few things left to decide. They include dedication, a short clip of an exciting scene, author biography and summary.

Dedication

It’s a tough one this time. I’m usually quite direct with my dedications, but I’m on a different path with this story. It’s dearer to the heart, hits a little closer to home and contains many elements that many won’t understand but mean a lot to me.

It also takes me back in time to when I lived a simpler, carefree life, back to when music played a bigger part in who I was. It was a time when I thought more things were possible, when I wasn’t so jaded and I still believed in things I now see are impossible.

How can I wrap all this up in a few mystical words that will make me smile years from now when I read them? Here’s what I’ve come up with so far for the dedication (without the video clip):

To all the knights who capture our hearts…

Bryan said it best when he sang Straight from the Heart

Short Clip of Exciting Scene

Something new I’ve added to the last few books is a snippet in the front before the story gets underway. It’s like a hook, something to convince the reader that they need to read this story. I’m tossing around a few snippets for Twistmas. Which do you like best?

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Front and Back Matter Matters

Front Matter

The front matter of a book is the material on the pages between the front cover and the first word of the novel. It contains the title page, the table of contents (if there is one), the copyright and publishing information and the dedication.

The title page contains (The minimum a title page should contain is the title of the book and name of author):

…Book Title

…Book Subtitle (if there is one)

…Name of Author

…Publisher

…Place/Year published

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