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Professional Book Design: Front Matter and Back Matter (Part 4 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 𝟰 of 5: 𝗣𝗮𝗿𝘁𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗮 𝗕𝗼𝗼𝗸 


Now, let’s go over some often-confused parts of the front matter in order of appearance: The Foreword, Preface, Acknowledgments, and Introduction. 


𝗙𝗼𝗿𝗲𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗱 (𝗻𝗼𝘁 “𝗙𝗼𝗿𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗱”): This part of the book is written by someone other than the author. It could be by another expert in the field, an editor, or someone who also has some insight into the subject matter. It is typically only a few pages long, and at the end it has the writer’s name like a signature and sometimes their credentials.


𝗣𝗿𝗲𝗳𝗮𝗰𝗲: This is the author’s statement about the book. It is where the author discusses the reasons they wrote the book, how they learned what they’re sharing, and how they hope it will impact readers. It may include acknowledgments of people who helped in the research and production of the book. If there are a lot of people to mention, then it’s better to have a separate Acknowledgments section.


𝗔𝗰𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲𝗱𝗴𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀: If not included in the Preface, this is where you give a shout out to the people who were most essential in publishing the book, like your editor (and even your wonderful and talented Book Designer😊). This section can be placed in the back matter if you prefer. As a reader, if I don’t personally know the author, this information isn’t particularly interesting, so I prefer to have it at the end of the book rather than the beginning. 


𝗜𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻: The Introduction comes before Chapter 1 and does not have its own chapter number. This is where you introduce the subject matter of the book. Give them a taste of what they’re going to learn from the book and entice them to read further. You can make it general, or tell them what will be in Chapter 1, Chapter 2, etc. The main thing is to use your best writing skills to make it compelling.


Note that all of these parts are not required. Your book may have one or just a few of them. Having them presented properly and in the right order goes a long way to creating a book like a pro.

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