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
- 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 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 2 should be blank. Nothing is typically found on
Page 3 should look identical to page 1 with the author's
name added, usually at the bottom of the page.
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,
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 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.
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
For more information on book formatting visit