top of page
  • michellemwhite

The Parts of a Book and Proper Order and Numbering

When you put together your manuscript for publishing, it’s important to consider industry standards. There is a proper place for each section of the book, and if your book strays from the usual order, it can reflect poorly on your message.


The pages at the beginning of a book before the chapters begin are referred to as “Front Matter.” The pages should be numbered with lowercase Roman numerals.


Odd page numbers are on the right-hand side and even numbers are on the left. There is often a blank page strategically inserted on the left-hand side to ensure that a section properly begins on the right.


Front Matter in non-fiction typically includes the following and should be in this order:

·      Half Title, aka Small Title (on the right-hand side) or Advance Praise quotes

·      Blank page or list of other books by the author (left side)

·      Title page (right)

·      Copyright page (left)

·      Dedication (right)

·      Epigraph (right)

·      Table of Contents (begins on the right)

·      Foreword (begins on right)

·      Preface (begins on right)

·      Acknowledgments (begins on right) Note: it is a matter of preference whether to include this section in the Front Matter or the Back Matter.


Following the Front Matter, each chapter or section should begin on the right-hand side. An exception to this rule is when there are a lot of short chapters and starting them all on the right would result in too many blank pages on the left. The first section, whether it is the Introduction, Part 1, or Chapter 1, is the first page in Arabic numerals and begins with page 1.

·      Introduction or Chapter 1

·      All subsequent chapters

·      Conclusion

·      Epilogue


The Back Matter is the ending pages of the book. Each section should begin on the right and the page numbers continue in Arabic numerals. Back Matter typically includes the following:

·      Acknowledgments, if not included in Front Matter

·      Appendices

·      Notes (if footnotes are not included within chapters)

·      About the Author

·      A last page with a all to action, author website and social media, or how to contact the author


This list includes the sections that are in most of the non-fiction books that I design. In publishing we use The Chicago Manual of Style as a rule book. You can find a comprehensive list of detailed conventions used in book publishing at The Chicago Manual of Style.

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page