MWUAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!! And you thought I was done pontificating.
Nah. I need fodder for posting. And the research and writing my own portions didn’t take as long as it did to write the last post, but to put everything I felt worthy posting about in a post meant for one really long post or a couple of smaller, easier to digest ones.
Sadly, I’ve becoming aware of my own internet reading habits since coming on to WordPress – like the wordcount thingy in the lower corner of the blog-blurbs that appear in My WordPress Reader (2365 words!? I don’t have time for that!) as opposed to what I’m willing to do with actual books (Hey Katty, Where do you want me to stack the Torah, the Quaran, the NIV Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon and the Bhagavad-Gita? Oh, right next to the bed and the stack of books on Poisons, Forensics Techniques and the 20 some odd titles relating to historical New York City – because I’m sick and have no qualms about picking one up as “light” reading, in case you’re wondering).
Now that I’ve wandered of target here and- ooo! shiny!
So I’m back to give an update on what else I’ve discovered and come up with for my own Front Matter.
(I feel like I should put the last half of that sentence in all caps or caps and bold or something so it looks more like how it feels. I feel like I accomplished something.)
There’s apparently an Order Of Things Expected for this kind of work. Based on various articles I’ve perused and my own observations from my print collection and lurking on various yahoo groups, this is what I’ve come up with as THE LIST OF FRONT MATTER.
Page 1: Title Page
Page 2: Praise For Book (or for the Author in General)
Page 3: About the Author
Page 4: Blank or Title Page
Page 5: Also by Author Name
Page 6: Credits Page (Imprint information)
Page 7: Title page
Page 7a e-book: Book Blurb of the book this stuff is in
Page 8: Blank
Page 9: Dedication
Page 10: Blank or Title Page
Page 11: Maps (if needed) or a Table of Contents (non-fiction, usually)
Page 12: Blank Page
Page 13: Start first chapter
So let’s go through this. Or you know… skip on to another blog that has cute cat pictures. I understand (finding cute pictures about Front Matter is a lot harder than people realize).
Page 1: Title Page – To be fair, readers like to know what they’re reading. This is supposed to be centered in large font with your name.
Page 2: Praise For Book (or for the Author in General) – Often in the Front Matter, but a lot of self-pubbed authors are saying it isn’t doing much. The word is when they ask their readers “did you notice the Praise Comments from source XXX” most readers just shake their heads and admit that while it makes the book look snazzy, they don’t usually, actually, read them. Based on this, a number of self-pubbed authors have determined that you don’t really need them and they take up space, therefore they delete it in order to save money and keep reader interest. Page 3: About the Author – A Short Biography. Once again, a lot of self-pub authors are cutting this out of their book as well – people aren’t reading it, and if I can trim out another page, it brings the cost down. Authors in the know have said they’d much rather steer people to their website/facebook page/twitter feed where they can cultivate more of an author/reader relationship experience than just a meaningless blurb.
Page 4: Blank or Title Page – Again, centered with big font.
Page 5: Also by Author Name – There’s some mixed feeling on this one: some self-pubbers say it’s better to put it in the Back Matter on both print and e-book, but in the e-book to put in direct buy links so all the reader has to do is click on the title to acquire it, while others say you can just list the series name if you have too many books and have the reader link to that. Others say you should put ALL your titles only in the Front Matter while still more say just put the titles relevant to the actual book you are reading in the Front Matter and everything else in the Back. There seems to be a lot of variation here, but the moral of the story is to make it easier to for readers to discover you HAVE MORE STUFF THEY NEED, therefore, please be consistent.
Page 6: Credits Page (Imprint information) – The legalese bit. Who owns the rights, when, finger wagging about unauthorized copies, this story is just fiction ya’ll, Cover art by, etc. There’s a reason it’s done in fine print – to make it all fit on the same page.
Page 7: Title Page – Again? Seriously?
Page 7a e-book: Book Blurb – Apparently a habit people have is to download now and read later, months later, when they’ve forgotten what it was about the book they’re now going to read that attracted them in the first place – which I find to be an interesting phenomena and perhaps deserving of someone else’s research time for a dissertation in Sociology Today or whatever.
Page 8: Blank or Title Page – I know what I’m trying to read. How many Title Pages do I friggin’ need? I understand that the Blank or Title Pages provide a “beat” between subjects, just like 2 spaces after the end of a period was considered correct when typing once upon a time but is no longer correct (or perhaps “in fashion” would be a better term – since that extra space culled out can save almost a whole page of paper in some instances), but this is getting stupid now that I sit down to actually look at this stuff.
Page 9: Dedication – For Mom, For Bryan, For all the Jerk-Faces who said I couldn’t do it, Whatever. It’s supposed to be centered and the only thing on the page.
Page 10: Blank or Title Page – Are you kidding me? I’ve been trying to get to the book of this title FOR THE LAST 10 PAGES!
Page 11: Maps or a Table of Contents
Page 12: Blank Page
Page 13: Start first chapter – What was I reading again?
So if we take all this list and scratch this out and tape that up, and maybe tighten here and just… one… more… turn… *ping* Ow. I think I pulled something. Getting older sucks.
Page 1: Title Page – I don’t think I can really drop this one. It could make things look weird.
Page 2: Also by Author Name – Obviously this page won’t go in the very first book. Or maybe it will and I’ll just be a wise-ass and throw in title teasers with planned release dates or something, because I should have a backlog by then.
Page 3: Credits Page (Imprint information) – The legalese bit. I don’t think I can get around this one.
Page 4: Title Page – For some reason I feel a need to repeat myself here.
Page 4a e-book: Book Blurb – I’m gonna go ahead and leave this on for the e-book bit
Page 5: Blank or Title Page – If I don’t do 4a, I can delete this one on the print versions, although, to be honest, I’d really like just one file of Front Matter to put on EVERYTHING and be done with it. I’m on the fence about this one, honestly.
Page 6: Dedication – I have to come up with something snazzy and meaningful, but I think I could do it.
Page 7: Blank or Title Page – Once again, I’m not sure about this one, either. I’m thinking I’ll have to actually sit down and generate a fake front matter printout, bind it together, then ignore it for a few weeks and then go back and critique it. I’ll let you know how that goes.
Page 8: Maps, Timelines or Other Reader Information Goodness
Page 9: Start first chapter – What was I reading again?