Bottom Line It For Me, Baby Version (200 Words Or Less):
The series based on content from my how-to reference book on self-publishing, The IndieAuthor Guide, marches on. In the series, I present topics from the book to the extent of detail possible in a blog post. Note that I'm not covering editing, designing your own book cover, creating your brand or publishing to the Kindle here, since those topics are already presented on my website in the form of free pdf guides. I’ll include links to previous posts in the series here in the Bottom Line It section. So far, I've posted topics on Publishing Options, Rights, Royalties and Advances, What's the Deal With ISBNs And Bookstores, Choosing A Publisher , Getting Organized, parts one and two of DIY Formatting For POD, A Word About Industry Standards and Build A Manuscript Shell - Page Setup. Today's post is Build A Manuscript Shell - Front Matter.
Go On An' Run Yo Mouth, I Ain't Got Nuthin' But Time Version (Can't Promise It Won't Go On Forever):
Your book should have all the same front matter as a mainstream-published book. That means a copyright page, dedication page, title page, and table of contents. The page facing the reader when he opens the front cover should be blank. Set a placeholder on the first page of your word processing document for this page, followed by some carriage returns and a page break.
Note that you may find this blog entry easier to follow if you actually open your word processor to a blank document and follow along with the directions, switching between this window and your word processing window as needed.
To insert a page break in MS Word™, under the Insert menu on the toolbar, select ‘Break’. In the Insert Break dialog, select ‘Page break’ and click OK. To insert a page break using the keyboard shortcut, hold down the Ctrl key while pressing the Enter key.
This brings you to page two of your word processing file, which is actually the reverse of that blank page the reader sees when he opens the cover of the book. This is where you will put your copyright information, in the basic format shown here. The print in the image may be a bit small to read, but it’s essentially the same format as any mainstream-published book.
You will notice that the left-hand margin on this page is much narrower than the left-hand margin on the previous page. This is because the left-hand margin on the first page consisted of a Gutter plus a margin, since on that page the left-hand side is where the page will be glued or sewn into the book’s spine. On this page, which will be the reverse of the first page in the printed book, the Gutter is on the right-hand side.
The effect can be jarring when viewed onscreen. Remember that each page of the finished book will consist of two pages from your word processing document: one will be the ‘front’ of a printed page and the other will be the ‘back’.
The blank page directly beneath the front cover is page one of the book, an odd-numbered page. Its reverse is page two of the book, an even-numbered page. When the book is open, pages on the left will always be even-numbered (because they are always the backs of odd-numbered pages) and pages on the right will always be odd.
Recall the facing-pages preview in the Page Setup dialog box. If these were two facing pages bound into a book, the one on the left side would be even-numbered and the one on the right would be odd-numbered. The Gutter will always appear on the left on odd-numbered pages, and on the right on even-numbered pages.
If you do not have all of the information needed for your copyright page (i.e., ISBN, EAN, etc.), leave placeholders as necessary. Just don’t forget to go back and update your copyright page when all the needed information is available. If your book mentions brand names of products or services, add copyright and trademark information about those items to your copyright page, following the format shown on the copyright page of The IndieAuthor Guide. Finally, select all the text on the page and apply your custom copyright Style to it. Insert a few carriage returns and another page break.
Now you’re on page three of your word processing file, which is the front of the second page in the book. This will be your title page. Enter your title, subtitle (if applicable), and author byline as desired, then apply the correct custom Style to each item. Enter a few carriage returns and a page break.
This brings you to page four of your file, which will be the reverse of the title page in your book. It may be blank or display titles of your other published books in an Also By [author name] list, according to your preference. Enter a placeholder, carriage returns and page break as shown here.
Now you’re on page five of your word processing file, or the front of the third page in your eventual book. This is your dedication page. Enter your dedication message about 1/3 of the way down from the top of the page, then select all of its text and apply your custom dedication Style to it. Enter a few carriage returns and a page break.
Page six of your word processing file is the back of the dedication page in your book. Enter a placeholder, carriage returns and a page break, following the prior examples of blank pages.
The next page, page seven of your word processing file, is where the table of contents goes. Enter a ‘Table of Contents’ header and apply your custom formatting Style to it, then the usual carriage returns and page break. The actual table of contents will be inserted much later, when the book is being prepared for print.
Now you’ve reached page eight, the reverse of your table of contents page. This page may or may not have text on it in the printed book, depending on the length of your table of contents. For now, set it up like the other blank placeholder pages, but instead of inserting a page break after the carriage returns, insert a Next Page Section Break.
This is done via the Break menu, as described previously. You’re inserting a section break instead of a page break to create a new ‘section’ for chapter one of your book. This is necessary because headers, footers and page numbers aren’t typically displayed on ‘front matter’ pages (copyright page, title page, dedication page, table of contents) but are displayed on the pages making up the main body of the book. Since headers and footers are applied on a per-section basis, if you want headers and footers on some pages but not others, you must set up separate document sections for each instance of changed formatting. Going forward, each chapter will be set up as a new section in the document.
Your front matter is set.
Up Next: A Word About Copyright, and Setting Up Headers and Footers