At Tellwell, we want to set you up for publishing success, so that’s why we encourage you make sure your manuscript is clean, polished, properly formatted and ready for publication.
An important aspect of preparing your manuscript for publication is understanding each of its component parts. There are three main parts in just about every book, which are called the front matter, body, and end matter. The front matter refers to any content that appears before the start of your book. The body is the main body (i.e. primary content) of your work. Finally, the end matter is all of the content at the end of the book, after the body text. Pretty self-explanatory, right?
At minimum, your interior designer will add a title page and copyright page to the front of your book by default when they typeset your manuscript. Beyond these sections, however, you must include all content between the front and back cover (with the exception of any image files) inside the manuscript, in the order you want it to appear in.
Read on for an in-depth look at each of these components. You do not need to add all of them to your manuscript! It's up to you to decide which sections you want to include in your book.
*Title page: typically displays the title, subtitle, and author name(s) in the same style as the front cover design.
*Copyright page: standard boilerplate copy that specifies the author as the copyright holder of the work, placed on the reverse of the title page.
Dedication page: an expression of kind words or thanks by the author, usually towards loved ones.
Table of Contents: a summary of the book’s contents, formatted by your designer.
Preface: an introduction to the key subjects or aims of the book, written by the author.
Foreword: an introduction by a person other than the author.
Prologue (fiction): sets the stage and intrigues reader.
Introduction (nonfiction): introduces the reader to your subject matter.
Chapters: the sections into which your narrative is divided, you get to choose how each is introduced, with a title, a number, a title plus a small icon or image, etc.
Epilogue (fiction): a final chapter that wraps up the story and may reveal fates of the characters or, for a series, hint at what might happen in the next book.
Conclusion (nonfiction): summarizes and reinforces the main idea(s) and lessons learned for the reader.
Afterword: a statement on the narrative often told from a different perspective, either written by the author or by someone they know.
Acknowledgements: gratitude expressed by the author for those who contributed to the book’s creation.
About the Author: a brief biography describing the interests and accomplishments of the author. This may also appear on the back cover, or may be a more detailed version of it.
Appendix / addendum (nonfiction): useful and explanatory information to supplement the book’s main content.
Endnotes (usually nonfiction): reference sources or explanatory comments placed at the end of the book, and denoted within the text by superscripts.
Index (usually nonfiction): a list of important terms from the text with the page numbers on which they appear.
Glossary: definitions of words that appear in the text, usually in alphabetical order.
Bibliography / references / works cited: a list of the references that were used to create the book, composed according to a consistent style (here is a good article on the topic).
*The title page and copyright page will be added by your designer by default in a publishing-standard format, but if you have any content to add you are absolutely free to do so. It is your responsibility to place all other sections in the correct order in your manuscript.