Book Editing – The Front Matter

When I finished editing my book and decided it was time to get everything ready for publishing, I discovered something called front matter. Now, I “knew” what front matter was. I’ve seen it in every book I’ve read, but I didn’t know it had a name.

Figuring out what I needed to add and what I didn’t, proved to be a pain. Not hard, per say, just annoying. For all of you that are looking to publish a book, you may find this information helpful.

BTW, there’s also back matter, but we’ll discuss that in another post.

Front matter is the first part of a book and is typically the smallest section of the book. This is sometimes referred to as preliminary matter. It can be as simple as a title page, or it can have a bunch of other stuff like a preface, forward, and much more.

  • Half Title – This is the page that shows only the title of the book. The subtitle and authors name is not listed here.
  • Title Page – A title page at the very least should have the full title, the subtitle, and author name. If you have an illustrator, it would go here too.

The other things that would go in the front matter will depend on what type of book that you have. You could have:

  • Publisher’s name and address, Copyright information, Edition Notice, Date of Publication, Number of Printings, and ISBN would all go on the copyright page.
  • Disclaimer
  • Warranties
  • Safety Notices
  • Dedication
  • Epigraph – This is just a quote that the author adds that is relevant, but not essential to the text. Some authors will put one at the beginning of every chapter.
  • Table of Contents – This is normally located in the middle of the front matter.
  • Errata – This is a correction to the document, and is normally added shortly after the first publication.
  • Forward – This is a short essay that is normally written by another person.
  • Preface – This is an introduction to the story. It normally covers how the story came to be.
  • Acknowledgments – This acknowledges the people who have helped the author in some.
  • Introduction – This lists the purpose and goals of the book.
  • Prologue – This normally provides background information for the story and sets the scene.

You may also find endpapers, list of contributors, frontispiece, list of abbreviations, or lists of tables, illustrations, or figures in the book. An author who has a publisher won’t have to worry too much about these things because the publisher normally handles them. If you are a self-published author, then you will have to do them by yourself.

That’s the front matter of a book. Whether you have paid attention to it before or not, I’m sure you will now. I’ll publish a blog about what goes in the back matter soon, so be on the look out for that.

 

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero

4 Self-Publishings Tips that will Give You Exposure

By the end of August, I plan on having my first novel available on Amazon. I’m scared out of my mind about doing so because of all the unknowns. Will people like it, will people read it, how do I make sure people even know it exists?

I’m sure if anybody reading this has self-published a book, or plan on doing so in the near future, you’ve had these same thoughts. We’re going to take a little journey through some things that we can all do to self-promote our books so that hopefully all of our hard work doesn’t go to waste.

Giveaway

I know we all are interested in making money and giving your book away isn’t going to do that, but everybody likes free things. While you may not make any money, giving your book away for the first day or so after its launch could end up getting you more exposure. The people that purchase your book during that time may leave a review, which will get your name out there, and if they like it, they will come back and purchase more books.

Reduced Price Offer

Once your book has been up on Amazon for a month at its full price, you can use their reduced price offer that comes with a KDP countdown. This will lower the price of your book, which you choose, for a certain period of time. The people who view your listing will see a countdown timer showing how much longer the book will be available at that price. This promotion will also boost your numbers sold, which will help to boost your author rating.

Pick a Niche Category

You need to search through Amazon to make sure you pick the best two categories for your book. You need to make sure that you pick a niche that is going to help you get to the top of the charts.

Social Media

You have to use your social media accounts in a smart way because overexposure can end up hurting you. Try to limit yourself to only three accounts like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. And don’t post multiple daily links to your book either. You will overwhelm your viewers and drive them away. It also helps to make sure that you have a picture with your link. People are more apt to click on a link if it comes with a picture.

That’s the tips I have for you today, but there are lots more out there. There are also a lot of websites that can help you promote your book as well. The thing to remember is that you have to work at it. No matter how good your book is, people won’t buy it unless they know it’s there.

Some self-promotion:

As you know, if you have read any of my other blogs, I have been published twice in Millhaven Press. You can still get both journals to read my stories.

Get Millhaven’s Tales of Suspense here

Get Millhaven’s Tales of Wonder here

Get both journals here

I don’t care if a reader hates one of my stories, just as long as he finishes the book. – Roald Dahl