What to Include in the Front Matter of Your Book

Are readers seeing your offer or other important information you’re giving them at the beginning of your book?

Possibly not!

Most tablet style readers like the Kindle and iPad send readers right to your Introduction – skipping over the front matter of your book. But that’s okay. You still need front matter. Read on to find out the best place to put your important calls-to-action…

First, though, what makes up the typical front matter of a book (even a Kindle book)?

Of course, you want to include the typical front matter in your Kindle book. So let’s start with what is the typical front matter.

The beginning pages of your book should include a copyright page, a dedication, a table of contents, and possibly any disclaimers that you would like to make.

If you need an example of a copyright page, just open up any one of the books you already own and take a look at how they’ve done it. That’s the easiest way.

Basically, the copyright page should include a copyright symbol plus the year that your book is published. It should also include the publisher is. And of course, you want to include that you the author wrote the book. In some cases, you may have an ISBN number, an ASIN number, or a library control (LCCN) number. You can include all of those on the copyright page.

Some books have a dedication. I recommend that you dedicate your book to someone or some cause. Why not?

In some books, it makes sense to include a disclaimer about the information that your sharing in your book. For example, if you write on health related topic, you may want to express the fact that some readers may experience a different result from the things he recommend in your book. If you’re really worried about the things you say in your book possibly causing someone to sue you then it’s a good idea to have an attorney help you with the disclaimer text.

Your book should also include a table of contents. In Kindle books, the table of contents should be hyperlinks. These hyperlinks allow readers to click on a chapter or subtopics within a chapter and move directly to that location in your book. Most word processors can automatically generate a table of contents for you. And these automatically generated table of contents can also be made into hyperlinks right inside the word processor.

That covers the basics of what belongs in the front of your book. However, one of the most important pieces to the front of your book is going to be your call to action to readers. This is where you ask the reader to come and visit your website and ultimately join your email list.

So where should you put this call to action?

Your call to action belongs in the introduction to your book. Why the introduction? I like to put my call to action in the introduction because Kindle often forces books to open at the introduction of the book skipping over the rest of the front matter.

So the reader would have to manually scroll back and view the front matter pages to see your call to action. Making the reader go this kind of trouble will greatly reduce the number of people who actually do it.

You, as a writer, don’t want to rely on readers to flip through pages of the book at the beginning to find a way to reach out to you or find other important information you want to share.

Therefore, the most important take-away from this article is to be sure that anything you want your readers to see and be aware of in your book should really be included in your introduction or later in the book.

Next, read about what goes in the back matter of your book. It’s not just the glossary and appendix!