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Professional Book Design: Front Matter and Back Matter (Part 3 of 5):

Ever wonder what to include on all those extra pages in the beginning and end of your book? First-time authors and self publishers often miss the mark on these important pages. This 5-part series will show you how to use these pages to elevate your book to the level of a pro publisher.


Part ๐Ÿฏ of 5: ๐—–๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ณ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—–๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—น๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ง๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐˜€

When you open a non-fiction book, the first thing you usually do is go to the Table of Contents to see if youโ€™re interested in what it has to offer. As an author, you donโ€™t want to miss this opportunity to entice readers.


๐—›๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฝ๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐˜ƒ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฒ.

  • Make your section and chapter titles count. Plain titles like Introduction, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, etc. tell the reader nothing. Give them names that both catch their attention and encapsulate the information in just a few words.

  • Chapter numbers are often used along with chapter titles, but repeating the word โ€œChapterโ€ each time isnโ€™t necessary in the Table of Contents.

  • Consider including subheadings. If your chapters are divided into topics as subheadings, it can be helpful to list them and their page numbers. However, if you have a lot of them, it may be too cumbersome to list them in the contents, especially if there is a new subheading on every page or two.

  • The Table of Contents is an important navigational tool for readers to find specific information in the book. Make it clear and readable.

  • Use a consistent style in terms of fonts, size, margins, etc. as the rest of the book. It can be both attractive and helpful, but donโ€™t let style get in the way of functionality.


A well organized professional Table of Contents goes a long way in ensuring that your book creates a professional impression and helps readers find all that good stuff you took the time to write for them.

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