Front matter is information about a book which precedes the main text. Front matter includes the title pages, the writer’s name, the edition, the publication date, the copyright details, the ISBN, and the publisher’s name and logo. It may also include a testimonial, disclaimer, dedication, acknowledgement, contents page, foreword, preface, and introduction.
Back matter is information about a book and the writer which follows the end of the main text. Back matter includes a blurb, writer biography (which may include a photo), testimonial quotes, barcode, ISBN, quotes or extracts from the book, and the publisher’s name and logo. Depending on the genre, the back matter may also include an afterword, appendix, glossary, index, bibliography and advertising about the author or publisher’s other books.
Authors who DIY in self-publishing sometimes forget to add front matter and back matter. There may be no consequence for this, as we are in a new digital age where traditional ways of doing things are only useful when they’re needed. However, it is our opinion that front and back matter usually make a book or ebook better. Why?
Front and back matter in books:
- provide additional information about the author, publisher and subject matter,
- make a book look more professional,
- make it easier for people to understand what version or edition they have,
- ensure stores and libraries can stock books and assign them to the right section,
- enable marketers, academics and other writers to give credit where credit is due, and
- drive sales of the author or publisher’s other works or services.
You may also be interested in
- Why use a self-publishing service instead of going it alone?
- What is an ISBN and how many do I need?
- What companies should I register my new book with?
- What publishing brand should I use when I self-publish my book?
- What should go on the publishing details page of my book?
- What is front matter and back matter?
- How do I maintain creative control over my book?
- How to avoid the self-published look
- How long will it take?
- How do I get my book published?