15 Elements of Front Matter to Consider When Setting Up the Book Manuscript Format

What is front matter exactly? In the publishing industry, the front matter is the content in the front of the book before the book’s main content begins.

Why is Front Matter Important?

Readers expect every book to include appropriately formatted front matter. Failing to include the front matter for a book signifies that the author is an amateur or merely unprofessional. When designing the final draft of your self-published manuscript, the best approach is to design the front matter the same way that traditional publishers do it. To do this successfully, you need to know what each section of the front matter does and what it is used for.

Front matter book manuscript format

1 – Praise for the Book or Author

In almost every book printed by a traditional publisher, the first page inside the front cover is a page of pull quotes praising the book. The praise page is something many readers will look at before deciding to purchase the book. This is why getting blurbs or quotes praising the author or the book is so important. This page provides “social proof” about the book or author.

2 –About the Author

Front matter does not always include an About the Author page. Sometimes this page is not included in the front matter and gets moved to the back matter. But if it is placed upfront, it appears on the flipside of the Praise for the Author page.

3 –Other Books by Page

If there is no About the Author page, then the Other Books By page is on the flip side of the Praise for the Book or Author page. This lists the other books the author has published.

4 – Title Page

This page lists the title and author’s name for the book–usually in large print in the center of the page.

5 – Copyright Page

Also known as the Imprint or Credit page, this page contains the book’s copyright notice, publication date, edition number, publication information, catalog data, legal notices, and ISBN. This page also may include credit information for design, editing, illustration, and production (when applicable).

6 – Dedication

Not all books have them, but when they do, they are typically on the page opposite the Copyright page.

7 – Epigraph

The epigraph is a quotation that the author includes because it has some special meaning to the book or the author. It is usually inserted on the page opposite the Table of Contents or opposite the book’s first page.

8 – Table of Contents

The TOC is a list of all the chapters or major sections of the book, commonly used in non-fiction works and occasionally in fiction works.

9 –List of Figures

Occasionally included in complex non-fiction books, the List of Figures provides the titles and page numbers for each illustration in the book.

10 – List of Tables

The List of Tables is similar to the List of Figures above. It lists the page number and title for any reference tables included in non-fiction books.

11 – Foreword

A Foreword is a letter of sorts about the book (or author) written by someone else.

12 – Preface

Prefaces often are confused with Forwards, but the main difference between them is that the author writes the Preface for the work.

13 – Acknowledgments

The Acknowledgments page is where the author thanks those who helped with the book’s creation and production.

14 – Introduction

An Introduction provides a high-level overview of the book that often includes its goals, context, and organization for the reader.

15 – Prologue

A Prologue is like an Introduction to a work of fiction. It often sets the story’s scene or provides critical background information about the tale from a character’s point-of-view within the story itself.

Providing properly formatted front-end matter is what readers expect when opening a new book, and with high-quality manuscript

InstantPublisher Delivers High-Quality Book Publishing Services

InstantPublisher has been a leader for independent, self-published authors for many years now. We know how to print your book so it is indistinguishable from a traditionally published book. Our years of experience with book printing services allow us to print high-quality books for your readers. To learn more, contact us at 1-800-259-2592, fill out our online contact form, or send an email to questions@instantpublisher.com to get more information about our book publishing services.

 

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