What is Front Matter?

Hey guys! A lot of my friends are publishing or will soon be publishing indie and this is a question I get a whole lot.

What is front matter?

Front matter is the stuff that goes in the front of your book between your cover and your first page. And while that seems super straightforward, it can be a little daunting when you have to write it for yourself.

You front matter should include:

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright
  3. Dedication (not required if you don’t want it)
  4. Acknowledgments (this can go in the back matter if you want)
  5. Table of Contents

Pro-tip: You may also want to include a blank space after the Table of Contents since your first chapter should always start on the right side.

Another-Pro-Tip: You may also want to include a blank page after the dedication considering this is where most authors choose to sign their books. (Learned this one the hard way, y’all).

FINAL-Pro-Tip: Ignore both of the previous two tips if you’re formatting for ebook. It will be different than print and you can mash that whole sucker together. Just make sure you have clear chapter breaks. Trust me, you’ll want that.

All-in-all, your finished product should look something like this (using Marjorie Diaz Book 1 as an example):

Inside cover
Copyright (don’t forget to shout out your cover designer and editor if you want)
Dedication (option, but great place to sign the book)
Table of contents
Table of contents

I included both halves of my Table of Contents because I wanted to make note here that I included my acknowledgements and About the Author at the end for the Back Matter.

This would also be where you include the name of the sequel or any other information you want your fans to know.

Hope this helps!