So you’re all set and ready to start some ebook formatting? You’re finally at the stage where you can stop thinking about writing for a while and concentrate more on getting your work out there.
Congratulations! Pat yourself on the back. In fact, invite the whole street round to pat you on the back – you deserve it. But before you go any further with your self-publishing, ask yourself this: Have I added Front and Back Matter?
I must confess that after having meticulously proof-read and re-drafted my own book over and over, to being less than enthusiastic about writing up yet more pages. But wait. Venture into your bookcase and pull out your favourite read – or any for that matter. And what do you see when you open it? The answer is most likely a Title, Copyright, Dedication, and Acknowledgements Page. Maybe a little more. But these are the minimum you should try to include in your own Kindle book. And rightly so.
Why? Because it looks professional. They also give you a place to drop the name of your indie author website – if you have one. You could put it on your Title Page, for instance. If your bookcase is not at hand, you’re more than welcome of course to see an example in my own novel, Alex, which I’ve uploaded to Amazon Self-Publishing (just click the link).
As for the Acknowledgements Page, it’s not just a place where you thank a number of people for their assistance and or support. It’s a special place because (if your book is fictional) it’s the only page where you can express yourself as ‘yourself’. You can finally write in ‘your own voice’ – hurrah! – as opposed to through fictitious narrative.
Take advantage of this opportunity by using it to engage and connect with your readers who will one day be sampling the opening pages of your book. Why not add a bit of humour? And why not mention the research you had to complete in order to create your book (if this was the case)? This will help build faith in the quality to be expected from your story.
The Dedication Page is by far the easiest to create. It’s simply what it says on the tin. All you need to do is figure out what or who you want to dedicate your book to. If you want to check out some examples, just start pulling out a load more of those books from your shelf, or take a gander in mine.
The Copyright Page is an absolute must. You’ve spent long enough slaving over your manuscript – so why not take a little more time to ensure other people know you own it! It’s also mandatory to have included for a lot of distribution sites. Again, if you want to see an example, pull out a book or check out mine.
And what about the Back Matter? Well, this isn’t actually something I included in my own book, I must confess. But…to be honest, it’s up to the individual. Perhaps if you have written another book, or a sequel, you might want to include a page with a short extract to entice your readers.
Q&A Pages also prove to be popular among reading groups. Good examples of these can be found in a lot of modern titles.
And that’s it for now, guys. I hope you found this article of interest if you are indeed at this stage or currently contemplating whether to include Front and Back matter. My advice is to just do it (the Front Matter at least). It won’t kill you. I promise. Your wounds will heal in time.
The next instalment of this self-publishing series will be on book formatting.
I’d be delighted to get some feedback on the above. Did you find it helpful? Have any Front and Back Matter advice or tips of your own? Just fire away in the comments section below – I’d love to hear from you!
If you haven’t yet experienced ALEX, the Kindle #1 Thrillers & Suspense Best Seller, just click on a cover below to find it for 77p on Amazon.co.uk, 99 cents on Amazon.com, or free for Prime Members.
Stay tuned and keep writing!