Many people are so focused on their manuscript that they underestimate the importance of what is called in the business front and back matter. The front matter are the parts of the book that come before the body of the book. The back matter is simply the elements at the back of the book. But the front and back matter can dramatically impact your book’s review potential and sales. Let’s start with the front matter.

A foreword by an essential ‘celebrity in the field can increase your book sales considerably.
Often it comes from the person you ask to look over the completed manuscript for input in general. With a bit of polishing and expanding, this feedback may well provide a perfect foreword. Hopefully, the authority liked your work.

Most times, authors will write their preface. It outlines their reasons for doing this book and helps establish their credibility. Reviewers frequently draw material from the preface, so be sure you give them good material.
Let your personality shine through. Reviewers and readers respond more favourably to a book if they like its author. You may want to have a dedication and thank people in the acknowledgments.

The introduction lays the foundation for the book and gives any specific instructions, like ‘read the entirety before attempting to implement any part of it’. Put your introduction first in the table of contents, where people are sure to see it. Place it immediately before the first chapter.

Now let’s look at the back letter.

An appendix is used to list sources of additional information or quick-reference summaries. The inclusion of appendixes can add significantly to a book’s usefulness. It has a more practical purpose: adding a detailed appendix is an easy extender if your book is too skinny.

Recommended reading sections or bibliographies are helpful additions for readers who want more information on the subject of your book. You may want to list those publications from which you drew material and other relevant works.

Some non-fiction books can benefit from a glossary. When a reader finds an unfamiliar term or needs a specific technical definition, it is good to go to the glossary for a quick explanation.

Indexes are to non-fiction books. Having an index makes it much easier for your reader to navigate the text. And librarians are more likely to purchase your book if indexed. They know library patrons prefer such books, and they are more useful to the library itself. An index is almost required if you hope to sell to educational markets. It’s conducive when you first use a book, as it allows you to find answers to specific questions quickly. Later, the need for an index emerges again when a reference on a particular point is wanted.

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