Parts of My Book

Parts of My Self-Published Book

Including all the necessary parts of a book and putting them in the right order is the first step to making your book credible and professional. The inside of your book, which we call the book block, is divided into three main sections: the front matter, book block text, and back matter. See a detailed explanation and breakdown of all parts of your book below.

Front Matter

Front matter introduces your book to your readers. The front-matter section, which appears before the main text, comprises a few pages that include the book’s title, the author’s name, the copyright information and perhaps even a preface or a foreword. Use the list of common front matter pages below to identify those pages that are suitable for your book.

Half Title Page

The half title page is the first page of your book and contains your title only. This page does not include a byline or subtitle.

Title Page

The title page is the part of your book that shows your full book title and subtitle, your name, and any co-writer or translator.

Copyright Page

The copyright page contains the copyright notice, which consists of the year of publication and the name of the copyright owner. The copyright owner is usually the author but may be an organization or corporation. This page may also list the book’s publishing history, permissions, acknowledgments and disclaimers.

(Table of) Contents

A table of contents is the part of a book that is usually used only in nonfiction works that have parts and chapters. A contents page is less common in fiction works but may be used if your work includes unique chapter titles. A table of contents is never used if your chapters are numbered only (e.g., Chapter One, Chapter Two). If your book requires a contents page, please make sure it lists all the chapters or other divisions (such as poems or short stories) in your manuscript. Chapter listings must be worded exactly as they are in the book itself.


The foreword contains a statement about the book and is usually written by someone other than the author who is an expert or is widely known in the field of the book’s topic. A foreword lends authority to your book and may increase its potential for sales.


The preface usually describes why you wrote the book, your research methods and perhaps some acknowledgments if they have not been included in a separate section. It may also establish your qualifications and expertise as an authority in the field in which you’re writing. Again, a preface is far more common in nonfiction titles and should be used only if necessary, in fiction works.


An acknowledgments page includes your notes of appreciation to people who provided you with support or help during the writing process or in your writing career in general. This section may also include any credits for illustrations or excerpts if not included on the copyright page. If the information is lengthy, you may choose to put the section in the back matter before or after the bibliography.


The introduction describes something about the main text that your reader should know before proceeding to read the book. Unlike a preface, which usually addresses the qualifications of the author, an introduction refers to the main body of the work itself. For example, if there are questions at the conclusion of each chapter, here is where you might prepare the reader and give tips on how best to use them. The introduction may also describe, in more detail than a preface, the research, methods and overall concept of the book.

Back Matter

Your book submission is not complete unless it includes the information that goes into the back of your book or back matter. Does your book require notes? An index? A resource list? To help you decide, we’ve provided the following descriptions for each of the common back matter sections.

List of Contributors

A list of contributors is useful for a multiauthor work where only the volume editor’s name appears on the title page. You should arrange entries alphabetically by the last name, but do not invert them (“John H. Doe,” not “Doe, John H.”). If it’s necessary, you may also add brief biographical notes and academic affiliations for each entry.


Often, readers want to buy products or join organizations in the field in which you’ve written. A list of organizations and associations, manufacturers and distributors, Web sites and other sources are invaluable to your readers.

Source: (Edited by Norman) iUniverse – Parts of Your Book