Use this handy checklist to prepare documents for formatting.
- Use Word’s built-in spell checker one final time
- Make sure the first page includes Author Name, Book Title, and Series Title. This can be on a single line or the first three lines of the book, but many clients send me unlabeled files and I have to email for the information.
- Trim Size—only necessary if you’re doing print. If you’re unsure of what size to use, ask me what I recommend.
- Print and eBook ISBN—if you are using an ISBN that Amazon is assigning, you’ll have to start the uploading process to get those numbers. Once you have them, please email the book title and the ISBNs so that I can update the copyright page and send the files back. I will update your ISBNs at any time. You don’t have to wait until you have the numbers to have your works formatted.
Acknowledgment or Acknowledgement: This is the place to thank all the people who helped make your book what it is. The spelling is American vs UK spelling (difference is the e after the g). It can go in the front or back matter. Personally, I would put it in the back matter.
Also By: This can be the series works, a partial list of works, or all of your works. It should end with “For an up-to-date list and to see what else is coming, check out [ website ].
Author’s Notes: Anything you’d like the reader to know. It goes in the back of the book.
Call-To-Action: These come after the story. Ask a reader to leave a review, join your newsletter, follow you on social media, etc.
Copyright: It can be as simple as 2021 © Name or half a page long. The ISBNS will be listed below your copyright.
Dedication: This is who you dedicate it to. This is not the same as acknowledgements.
Epigraph: A quote you feel is symbolic to the work.
Foreword: A foreword and preface get confused often. A foreword is written by someone other than the author and is always signed by the crafter. It tells of an interaction between them and the author and a little about the story the reader is about to read.
Preface: A preface is written by the author and details how a book came about. Less common in fiction, it may accompany books with deep roots to real events, and it details the credits of the author. If it’s a crime drama, a background in criminology or even being a reformed criminal would lend credibility to the work.
Other than the title page and copyright, the other sections are not necessary nor required.
As far as putting them together:
- You can send a list of what order you’d like them in and send them all separately.
- You can put them in the document arranged the way you want them to be.
- You can follow the Chicago Manual of Styles (CMoS) as close or as loose as you want. You can vary it up between ebook and print, as most indies have put as much of the matter in the back as possible in ebooks while maintaining a more traditional approach to print. The power is yours.
Common Book Layout Option 1:
- Title page with the series title and author name
- Copyright page
- Also by
- Acknowledgments (this can go in the back)
- Introduction (usually found in nonfiction)
- Abbreviation List (this can go in the back)
- Sneak Peek
- About the Author
- Author’s Notes