Friday, February 29, 2008

Vol. 4 / 16 Book Components and Special Sections for Authors

There are several components to a finished book. Some books of non-fiction will require the inclusion of many, while fiction or children’s books, only one or two. If you self-publish your book, you will be responsible for adding all necessary components. If you are published through a traditional publishing house, what your books layout includes will be determined by them. But even with a traditional publisher, they will expect most of the written components to be included with your submission.

Depending on the type of literature you are writing, the following will guide you to your books specific needs.
Book pages generally fall into the following order:

1. Blank page – Placed as the first page in books (usually limited to hard cover books).

2. Bastard title page –The bastard title page includes only the books title and sometimes the sub-title. In the old days, books were sold without a cover and buyers would bind them according to their own desires or needs. This was the original explanation for a bastard title page. Nowadays, most publishers don’t see the need for a bastard title page.

3. Title page (all books) – The title page should be on the right hand page. It should include the books title, sub-title, author, name of publisher, and city where published, and if it is a revised or second edition.

4. Copyright page (all books) - This is one of the few components placed on the left hand page. The fonts point size is smaller than the books core text, but should be legible. An 8 or 9 point is suitable for the copyright information. The copyright is usually printed toward the bottom of the page and centered. Your printed copyright information should include the publishers name, city and state of publisher, the copyright symbol (©), and month and year of each edition of the book as well as your name and the names of contributors to the work, i.e., photographers, artists, etc. Follow with specific copyright information, where the book was manufactured, and a book printing numbering system. Copyright is most often centered on the page (not shown).

Plain and Simple Books, LLC, North Bend, Oregon
Artwork © January 2008 by Joe Talent
ISBN: 0-937861-00-0
© Copyright January 2008 by Carol Denbow
All rights reserved. The text of this publication, or any part thereof, may not be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the publisher.
(Space here reserved for Cataloging-in-Publication Data)
Manufactured in the United States of America
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

The lowest number in the chain represents this printing. If you do a second printing, you will delete the “1,” for third printing delete the “2,” and so on. Read more on copyright on page 20.

5. Dedication page – The dedication should be placed on the right hand page. Your dedication is a personal note to honor a person or group. It can be a few words or several sentences but should be limited to less than half the page.

6. Acknowledgments – Your acknowledgments is where you list people and thank them for their assistance with your book. This is your opportunity to give them credit, which in turn may add credibility to your work. Again, your acknowledgments should be placed on the right hand page.

7. Foreword (before-word), preface, and/or introduction – A foreword is written by someone who is an expert on your books topic confirming you are qualified to write this book. Forewords have been more recently replaced with testimonials placed on the back cover. Include a preface if you want to explain to the reader why or how you wrote the book. Sometimes this information is included in an introduction. The introduction is an extension of the books text and should, as it states, introduce the book. It should begin with a question on where your audience is with their challenges which led them to pick up your book. Include what problems your book will solve for them and possibly include a tip for them, a useful quote, or interesting fact related to the topic. Introductions are often used by booksellers to advertize the book, so make it appealing to the potential buyer.

8. Table of Contents – One of the most important components to the reader is the table of contents. It needs to be clear and precise for the reader to easily locate sections in the book without confusion. It is one of the more difficult sections to organize and there is no specific rule to it. If your contents page can be limited to one easy-to-read page, place it on the right hand page. If it is two pages, there is no rule saying you can’t place it on the left and right hand pages. Just be sure to make it clear and easy to follow.

9. Half title page – The half title page is a repeat of the bastard title page and is included only to show the reader that the books front matter is finished and now they will be entering the main body of the book. This is not a necessary page unless the front matter is extensive and takes up several pages.

10. Chapter title pages – Chapter title pages should stand out so the reader can easily locate them when thumbing though the book. The fonts should match all other chapter title pages and be larger and bolder than the body’s text. You are not required to include chapter numbers, but they are helpful to the reader when locating those chapters. Chapter should always begin on the right hand page even if the left hand page is blank. The print should start one third to half way down the page.

11. Text – The books main text should be in a legible font and point size. Using too many characters on a page makes it difficult for the reader to follow. Examine other books to find one where the text is comfortable to your eyes and easy to follow to get an idea of what font and point size to use. With the exception of the intent to make a point to your reader, the main body of text should not be in bold or italic.

12. Appendix (non-fiction) – Not all books need or have an appendix. Most non-fiction books have footnotes included at the bottom of the page. They can be replaced by an appendix in the back, but may create more work for the reader to locate. This is a personal preference for the writer and/or publisher. When using footnotes, place them at the bottom of the page rather than the end of the chapter.

13. Note pages – Many research books include note pages in the back matter. Some include them only to fulfill the need for additional pages.

14. Glossaries (non-fiction) – In technical books, glossaries are used to define complex words which may be unfamiliar to the lay person. If your book has numerous such words, a glossary is in order. If you have few such words, perhaps a brief explanation of the word at the point of text would be more appropriate.

15. Bibliography or “Recommended Reading” (non-fiction) – Here is a place in the back matter to reference the books or materials you located information from to write this book. It may include additional resources for your readers in the form of other literature or helpful web sites.

16. Index (non-fiction) - If your book requires an index, it is not necessary to add page reference numbers at this time. A publisher will do that for you or when self-publishing, add these just prior to printing. You might also choose to hire a professional indexer. As your manuscript is compiled into book form, the page numbers may change rendering your reference pages useless; therefore, it is advised to utilize the services of a professional indexer whenever possible.
Most of the books component titles begin on the right hand page. There are many explanations for this, the most common being that readers generally will thumb through a book with their eyes focused on the right side.

In your finished book, your page count starts at the very first page of your book but is only visible from the start of the first chapter page on. For instance, if your first chapter begins on the 15th page, that page should read “page 15” and all previous pages left blank of any page numbers.

Page numbers are best visible to the reader in the upper outside corners or the bottom center of each page. They should be in bold and one or two point sizes larger than the books text.
With the exception of the chapter title pages, and beginning on the second page of the first chapter, you should have a header with your books title and your name as author. The left hand pages should have the books title in italics placed just after the page number (if the page number has been placed on the top of each page). The right hand pages should have the authors name placed just before each page number.

When writing the necessary components to your book, utilize your best writing skills. These sections do matter in creating a winning script. For more related articles see;

9 Front Matter Components
7 Parts of the End of the Book

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E-zine author; Carol Denbow
Copyright © January 2008 by Plain & Simple Books, LLC
All rights reserved. The text of this publication, or any part thereof, may not be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the publisher.
We are always happy to share the information provided in our e-zine as long as credits are included. For reprint permission please e-mail The Editor

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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