One of the most common questions my clients ask, and one of the areas that’s most commonly forgotten, is what goes around your book’s content.
What are all of those bits and pieces that should come before your introduction and after your conclusion if you want your book to look like a high-quality, professional product, rather than an amateurish mess?
When you’ve never written a book before, it’s hard to know what’s essential, what can be cut, and where everything fits. The good thing is that front matter and back matter are fairly formulaic – there are a standard set of elements to include and a typical running order for them, and all of them are included in this article.
This means that all you need to do is read this post and check the elements against your own book.
Books can be divided into three areas – front matter, body content and back matter. Your body content is the book itself – it’s your introduction, conclusion and everything in between. It’s the 30,000 to 50,000 words you just pumped out!
Front matter is everything that comes before your content. This might include:
After the end – your back matter
You have your front matter, which is followed by the main content of your book. What comes next is known as back matter.
Back matter (also known as end matter) might include:
And there you have it. Simply use this article as a checklist when putting your book together – once you know what you need and where, your book will look like a professionally published masterpiece!