Gloomwing   Home Page
Book Reviews
Author Resources
Short Stories
Contact us

~ Front Matter (Fiction) ~

One thing I've repeatedly noticed with the books that have been submitted to Gloomwing, they nearly all have the front matter incorrect. Self publishing is hard because you, the author, has to do it all. You have to write the book, format the book, insert the front matter, proof read the book, edit the book, and then finally you get to the point when you are ready to publish the book. That's a lot of work!

Yet, there's more. It seems that every publishing house has different rules for how the front matter should appear. Going through some of my books I found the author's other titles listed on page 2 while others have it listed on page 6. These differences can make it hard for the newly born self-publisher to know how to format the front matter, or even what to put in the front matter.

So to help, the self-publishing author, get an idea of what the front matter should contain I've created this page that not only tells you, but also shows you! But don't take what's presented here as the only way to do it. Like I said, different publishing house's have different rules, so slight changes in the organization is acceptable. My best advice is to pick one of your favorite professionally printed books and see how it's laid out.

Front Matter for fiction typically includes:

  • Page 1 - Title page.
  • Page 2 - Blank
  • Page 3 - Title page with by Line and publishing house.
  • Page 4 - Copyright information.
  • Page 5 - Dedication / Acknowledgements(optional)
  • Page 6 - Other books by author or blank.
  • Page 7 - First page of table of contents (optional)
  • Page 8 - Continuation of table of concents, or blank
  • Page 9 - First page of text (Prologue, Introduction, or Chapter One)

Page 1

Page 1 should contain only the title of the book and any fancy artwork you want present to increase the visual appeal. Nothing else should appear here.

Page 1 of Front Matter

Page 2 & 3

Page 2 should be blank. Nothing is typically found on this page.
Page 3 should look identical to page 1 with the author's name added, usually at the bottom of the page.

Page 2 of Front Matter Page 3 of Front Matter

Page 4 & 5

Page 4 contains the copyright information. Anything pertaining to the books creation should be included here. If you have an ISBN you'll want to list it on this page. If someone has created your cover art then give them credit for it on this page, ect...
Page 5 now we've gotten to the pages where the front matter will vary, page 5 could be your dedication/acknowledgements, a list of other books you've written, table of contents, or blank. But in this example we'll assume that we have a book with a dedication, a list of other books the author has written, and a table of contents (it all depends on what you need to include.)

Page 4 of Front Matter Page 5 of Front Matter

Page 6 & 7

Page 6 contains a list of other books that this author has written, if you don't have any other books to list here then just skip it and start the TOC on this page.
Page 7 in this example contains the TOC.

Page 6 of Front Matter Page 7 of Front Matter

Last Rule

There is only one more rule of thumb that you need to know. That the first page of every chapter should always start on an odd page number. Though this is the norm and preferred I have seen it broken in professionally produced books. But that doesn't mean you should, stick to the expected norm and your book will be taken more seriously. If you have any questions feel free to contact me, or if formatting your own book is just too much you can take advantage of our formatting service.

For more information on book formatting visit

Freelance Jobs

Home | Video Freebies | Free Covers Author Resources
Early Reviews | Issue 1 ~ Summer 2006 |
All contents of this website are copyrighted 2005 / 2006 / 2007 Gloomwing

Website Designed and Maintained by Gloomwing's Webmaster