Once you reach the end of the creative work involved in writing your manuscript, you need to consider some of the additional features that will transform your hard work into a finished book. An important aspect to consider is the front pages (or prelims) and the back pages (or endmatter) of your book.
Preliminary pages of a book
The prelims are the introductory part of a book and include such elements as the title page, imprint, preface, acknowledgements, introduction, and table of contents. They are usually numbered in roman figures because this permits extra pages to be added at the proof stage without disturbing the pagination of the main text.
Conventionally, the title page is a right-hand page and includes the full title of the book, the subtitle, the names(s) of the author(s), and the name and/or logo of the book publisher.
Copyright (or imprint page)
The imprint usually contains the following information:
- If it is novel, it includes a statement saying that it is entirely a work of fiction and that any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental
- The year it was first published
- The publisher
- Who the copyright owner is (this is usually the author’s name) i.e. ‘Copyright © Jane Smith 2013’
- The ISBN
- Where the book is printed
- A statement reminding the reader that the book can’t be copied without the author’s consent e.g. ‘All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers.’
The preface is a personal note written by you, as the author, which gives your readers some background information about the book.
Acknowledgements may be included as part of the preface, or they may be a separate part of the front matter, following (or in lieu of) the preface. You may wish to acknowledge anyone who has helped you in any way to write your book. You may also include acknowledgement of copyright material, permissions or artwork sources. Alternatively, you may decide to provide a list of illustration sources at the back of the book, particularly if the list is long.
The introduction may form part of the prelims or be included in the body text of your book. There is no definite rule about this; however, on the whole, if it is quite short and, by its nature, stands outside the text it should be include in the preliminary pages. If the introduction is long, it may be better treated as a separate chapter prior to the start of the main text.
Table of Contents
The table of contents serves as a quick reference to the information contained in the book. The contents page should list in order of appearance:
- All prelim elements except title page, copyright page and dedication
- Chapter numbers and titles
- First level headings (A heads)
- All end matter (appendices, glossary, references, bibliography, index).
End matter of a book
The end matter consists of any material following the body text of a book including appendices, glossary, index and bibliography. Endmatter should be continuously paginated with the main body of the text. Consequently, if the last page of the last chapter in the book is 248, the first page of the end matter is 249.