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A Guide to Self-Publishing: Parts of the Book

Opting for self-publishing, as a writer, you may want to be aware of the book's parts. This is essential as you may want to do the book's layout on your own or want to have an idea or to quickly convey your ideas to the self-publishing you have a contract on. Regardless of the purpose, it is essential to know the book parts to determine if the book you are writing has the elements of what it takes to have a book.

Front's Matter Parts

Half-title page

The initial portion of the book that readers see when they first open the book contains the book's title.


It is a descriptive or decorative illustration that appears opposite the title page.

Series title page

It is a compilation of the author's earlier published works. Typically, these are arranged alphabetically by the title of the book.

Title page

It is a page that includes the complete title of the novel, including subtitles and the author's name.

Copyright page

It is also known as the colophon. It contains the copyright notice of the book. It includes the publication date, publisher's address, ISBN, edition dates, copyrights, and typefaces notes used in the book.

Dedication page

The author lists the person's name to whom the author wishes to devote the book (optional).


This page contains a poem, phrases, song lyrics, or quotations associated with the book's subject matter and themes.

Table of contents

Commonly evident in nonfiction, includes the subheadings and chapter titles of the book.


This section is also commonly evident in nonfiction; it is an introduction to the book written by someone other than the book's author.


A section on the book gives additional context (either notes or the book's origin).


It is often included in the preface or back-matter. It consists of the lists of the entities and individuals who are an integral part of the book's writing.


It is primarily evident in fiction books; it sets the story's tone the author wishes to be established. It provides helpful details about the story to the reader.

Body of the Book Parts


Evident in fiction books and imparts a closure or continuance to the narrative of the story.


This section is similar to the preface; it contains the author's message that led to its writing or add-on context.


This section could be a sentence or paragraph. It is an afterthought or a narrative that occurs after the central part of the story has concluded. It is often written to wrap up or escalate the present question of the readers.

Book's Back Matter Parts

The back matter of a book is all that follows the conclusion of the main plot. The contents frequently provide supplemental material that aids in the overall comprehension of the book.

Addendum or Appendix

This section includes the supporting data or information that is essential in clarifying or updating the text. It may contain the following: background research, sources, or reference lists. It may also include the chronology of the main events in the story.


This section contains the terms that are found in the book and their respective definitions. For fiction books also includes the alphabetical order of the characters and setting of the story.


It is a comprehensive listing of all sources listed in the book.

Author Biography

Typically, the book's final pages will include an author list, including a brief biography of the author. This portion of the book will usually have a list of the author's previous works, best sellers, and upcoming projects.

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