What to include in the back matter of your book

bookpagesEvery page in your book counts. Including the back matter.

Are you taking advantage of this precious space?

Maybe you have read my article about what to include in the front matter of a Kindle book. If not, you can read it here.

Especially with electronic books, tablet readers like the Kindle often force you to skip over all the front matter pages and start the reader at the introduction to your book. That makes the back matter of your book extremely important.

But I’m not just talking about e-books here.

The back matter is important for any book you publish whether it’s a print book or an e-book.

Here’s why:

There are two things that are critically important to your writing career: your ability to communicate with the audience of fans who love your books; and secondly to be able to help boost your book rank on the major book selling platforms.

Growing your audience of fans depends upon your ability to get readers who enjoy your book to click over to your website and join your email list. Or become a fan of yours on your Facebook page. Or follow you on social media. Whatever means of communication you prefer, it’s critical that your fans the able to connect with you in a way that allows you to communicate back with them so you can let them know about your upcoming projects and cool stuff you have going on.

Now the other thing I mentioned was boosting the rank of your book – how prevalent it is presented on  online book sellers like Amazon. Boosting your book rank is directly related to getting (positive) reviews. Ranks on the major book sales platforms like Amazon affect how many people see your book. Getting good reviews is essential to help boost the rank and placement of your book. So you have to constantly work to get more reviews.

So how does the back matter fit in with building/communicating with your audience and getting reviews?

Well, since you know that electronic books are forcing readers past much of the front matter, you are left with the back matter as the key place for positioning your calls-to-action to readers.

The first thing you should do in your back matter – basically the page following the last page of your book – should be a request for the reader to leave you a review wherever they bought the book. Again, this goes for print books or e-books. Always ask for the review.

Possibly on the same page, or even on the page after your ask for a review, you should tell your readers why they should visit your website and join your email list.

Here is an added piece which I didn’t mentioned earlier, but is also critical in helping build your brand. Add a page that has thumbnail images of the other books you read.

Never assume your reader knows what to do next. What they need, is a leader. You are that leader. You don’t have to be a drill sergeant, but it is a great idea for your business to gracefully help your reader understand what you want them to do next.

Finally, you can carry on with the rest of your back matter like the appendix, the bibliography, and anything else you feel is important to communicate as it relates to your book.

Be sure that all of your books take advantage of the back matter of the book to position your calls to action and ultimately grow your business. Never waste a page!

Photo from zach Mccarthy on Flickr