Self-publish

Bookend Your Book: Front Matter and Back Matter

Books consist of many components, all of them important when creating a full, complete, and professional work. One of these components that often causes self-published authors pause is the Front Matter and Back Matter.

While these components are in two separate locations in the book (the front and the back), they serve essentially the same purpose: they bookend you content, propping it up with important information that your reader may not need, but should have available. Allow me to elaborate.

Front Matter

The front matter is everything on the pages leading up to the actual content. This will include title pages, copyright, dedication, acknowledgments, and a table of contents. Now this is self-publishing, so none of this content is mandatory (except the copyright page for a book in distribution) but it is best practices to hold to some publishing industry standards.

A common layout for front matter pages might look like this:

  1. Half title
  2. Blank
  3. Full title
  4. Copyright
  5. Dedication (Optional)
  6. Also by {{Author Name}}
  7. Acknowledgments (Optional)
  8. Blank
  9. Table of Contents

From here, you’ll start your contents, remembering that odd pages appear on the right, so you may have to insert a blank page to locate your first contents page on the correct side of the book. Again, how you organize and utilize all of the front matter materials is up to you. The above example is a common layout and one many authors use. You may need to edit to suit your specific needs. For example, some authors prefer to add the Acknowledgments to the back matter.

Its also common to use a different font or a slightly smaller font for the front matter. This serves as a visual clue for readers, so they’ll know when the book’s contents begin.

Back Matter

The back matter should be after the contents end. This material serves to prompt your reader to continue engaging with you and your work. The back matter consists of the following pieces:

  • Acknowledgments (Optional)
  • About the Author
  • Advertising for back list or upcoming titles
  • Sample from a forthcoming title
  • Connections to your social media, author website, and Newsletter

You can be creative with your back matter more so than your front matter. The goal is to prompt readers to continue to engage, so a call to connect is a very good idea. Using images here can be very effective too. Include an image with your about the author page. Show an image of your forthcoming title’s cover. Even if you’re printing in black & white, having an image will catch your reader’s eye. If they pause only a moment on the page, they might see your call to connect, like you on Facebook, subscribe to your newsletter or blog, and be that much more likely to buy your next edition.

Remember, there is no strict formula for setting up the front and back matter for you book. These elements bookend your content, the front matter providing specifics related to the content primarily, and the back matter focuses on keeping your reader invested after they’ve consumed the content. Make the most of your book, include high quality front and back matter.

Getting Global with your Book

Self-publishing is a tremendous boon to the general writing public. From printing and binding a family history, to crafting a lavish work of fiction, to a manual or text book companion to your work or teaching career–print on demand and self-publishing have opened up a new world of possibilities.

Lulu employees, at book fairs and conferences, over the phone with our customers, and even just talking with our friends, are greeted roundly with astonishment when we reveal that anyone can not only publish for free, but can also put their book online for sale for free as well. You could publish a book today, and in less than two months time that book would be available for sale on retail sites around the world.

“Really? Free?”

You would not believe how many times I’ve heard those two words. They’re most often followed by ‘What’s the catch?’ or something similar.

There is no catch. Lulu publishing is completely free. And accessing our distribution network is completely free.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

I’m not going to lie to you; it is a bit more complicated than it sounds. It’s still free! But you will have to comply with distribution requirements, format your files to specification, and take the reins for editing and designing your book. This is self-publishing after all.

If you’re ready to take on the challenge and want to get your book out there to the world, Lulu’s GlobalReach distribution service is the perfect tool for you. Free listing on major book retail sites, free publishing tools, a free ISBN. And you’ll be able to take advantage of Lulu’s high quality print on demand network to earn the best returns in the industry.

 

Book Publishing: The Economics of Self-Publishing

Self-publishing is a demanding project to take on. As a writer, you’ve already labored over the words and phrases of your book, researched and studied the ins and outs of writing effectively, developed plots and characters…you’ve done a lot of work! Now to get the manuscript published, you’ve got to take on even more roles, notably laying out the book, designing a cover, ensuring the content is error free, actually publishing, establishing an ISBN, claiming a copyright, distributing…AND THEN you’re just at the beginning of the sales portion of your self-publishing journey.

Once the book is finally done and published, you’re new task is pushing your book, establishing contacts, leads, engaging readers through book signings, and selling both online and by hand. Publishing itself may seem easy at this point. Profitably publishing, now that is a challenge.

You might stop at this point and think “why bother?” Why go the self-publishing route? Why take the time, energy, and money to do all the work yourself (or hire designers/editors to assist you) when you could pitch the book to traditional publishers, hand the book over to them, claim a nice advance, and sit back while they do the heavy lifting?

There’s one really good reason to go the self-publishing route. And what better way to convey that reason than an infographic!

That’s a lot of information, I know. Let’s break down two of the most important points:

1) Revenue – Self-Published authors earn 80% of their revenue for each sale with Lulu. In the above example, selling 3,000 copies resulted in four times the revenue earned! Earning power and potential is one of two differences that will lure a writer to self-publish (the other being editorial control). When you sell your work, you want it to truly me your work and you want to earn what you deserve. We agree, and by putting the author in the driver’s seat, we can direct substantially more revenue to the author.

2) Sales by Publisher – This is interesting enough to be worth looking again at the specific segment of the inforgraphic. Look at those Yellow portions. That’s the piece of the book selling market (ebook and print) including just Indie and Single Author publishing. 41% of ebooks, and 27% of Amazon print bestsellers. Think on that a moment. An idea (self-publishing) that is only fifteen years old has already taken over more than a quarter of the biggest bookseller in the world. And that doesn’t even include small and medium sized publishers.

 

Traditional publishing is out there. And if you can get your book picked up by a publisher, it might be right for you. But if you’re looking to make the most from each sale, to retain control over your work, and to have the freedom to publish just the way you want, Lulu is the only real option. The book is yours! You wrote it, so you should see the profits.

If you need some more information to get started publishing, check out the Lulu Toolkit!

Pre-Publishing Checklist

Writing a book is hard work. We appreciate just how challenging and time consuming it is to outline, draft, revise, redraft, edit, proof, finalize, and in the end produce a manuscript ready for publication.

And once you’ve finally gotten to that stage, an entirely new set of tasks confront you.

The file will need to be formatted to conform with layout requirements. The basic rule for self-publishing is to layout your book as a PDF, with all front matter and back matter included. There’s a lot of work that goes into laying out your manuscript, like selecting fonts, spacing, inserting page numbering, setting pages to appearing in the correct location (left or right side pages), and orienting all text in the right locations on the page. Most of these elements come down to your personal desires. But there are a few things you absolutely have to do if you want to be sure your book will look professional when you print the physical copies.

Use this checklist to make sure you’ve hit all the critical points for your file prior to uploading:

Print Books:

  • If you create a PDF file for uploading, all fonts must be printable and embedded
  • Pages are sized to match the Book size and are in the same orientation (portrait or landscape)
  • Front matter (Title Page, Copyright, Acknowledgment, Table of Contents, etc.) included in file
  • Images sized properly and inserted at 300dpi resolution
  • Margins, header/footer, and gutter are properly set (min 0.5”, 0.5”, 0.3” mirrored)

Once you have your print book prepped and ready, you can easily take the source file and make an ebook. The first thing you’ll want to do is to open the file in Microsoft Word (or your text editing software of choice) and wipe all that formatting you added for printing. All of it can go.

With the file cleared of all formatting, use this checklist to reformat and prepare your file for ebook conversion.

Ebook:

  • Word Files: Remove headers/footer/page numbering
  • Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3, are used to indicate titles, chapters, and sub sections.
    • Heading 1 is used for Title (which must appear on the first line of the first page)
    • All heading styles are used sequentially (1, 2. 3) in the document
  • All other text is in Normal Style
  • Automatic formatting turned off, and all automatically created elements removed or added manually (Such as lists or numbering)
  • Images sized approximately 500 x 500 pixels, at 72dpi resolution, and inserted “in line”
  • No text boxes or Borders.

These checklists are not the absolute and final list of things that have to be reviewed when making a book. A number of things can come into play based on the specifics of your project. The best thing to do is to review your files carefully once you’ve uploaded and converted. Then, once you complete publishing, order a copy to review yourself and give it a final look over.

We promise, the first time might seem like an insurmountable job, but with each book you publish, the process gets easier and more intuitive. As always, our support team is ready to help if you run into any problems you can’t overcome on your own.

Lulu as a Business Partner

As you may well know, Lulu has been the go-to print on demand, self-publishing platform since 2002.

Yet there’s one misconception we run into time and again. Many hear terms like ‘self-publish,’ ‘indie-publish,’ or ‘print on demand’ and envision a fraught author, hunched over their laptop, tapping out their masterpiece. That’s a common perception, and its not entirely inaccurate.

The idea that self-publishing is reserved for fiction authors is just plain wrong. People need books for a variety of reasons. Everyone with information they need to solidify and make accessible has use for books. Authors are not just story tellers. They are information entrepreneurs, they are business owners, experts in their fields, educators, trainers, travelers, cooks, entertainers, storytellers, journalists…this list could go on. I’ll stop short and get to the point.

Lulu is more than a publisher for fiction writers. We’re a print partner, ready to help your business, big or small, with a range of printing needs.

Whether you’re a business owner, or work in human resources, or a motivated entrepreneur, or a public speaker, or…I’m listing again. If you’ve got information you need to share to further your career or to make your business run smoothly, we’re ready to be your partner.

Here’s an example: Imagine you’ve developed a product. It’s a new take on an old idea, and something you know adherents of the old idea will love. You’ve got a market for this product, and you’re transitioning from development to entrepreneurial business person. You’re going to sell this product, and as you prepare to go to market, you also have to establish instructions. Customers will not be happy with your amazing product if they receive it and can’t turn it on!

But manuals aren’t cheap either. If you went with a more traditional printing method, you’d have to order a set quantity of the instructions and have them inserted into the packaging for your product. Not only does this cause you to incur another production cost, you’ll have an instruction manual that can only be updated by getting a new print run.

What if you could make the manual available without including it? Users who need or want the manual can order it (even a digital version if you wanted). The investment goes from substantial (making and printing a number of manuals and including them with each product) to negligible (just the cost to create the manual file). In fact, Lulu already has authors who do just this:

Raymarine UK Limited – Lulu Store

Raymarine makes and sells marine electronics for a wide range of nautical and boating uses. Their electronics require set up and training to use correctly. Rather than investing in pre-printed manuals, Raymarine has their manuals on the Lulu Bookstore, and users who need a manual can come to us and have one printed.

Manuals and instructional material can be important for internal use as well. Does your business use a training manual? Imagine being able to update the manual periodically with ease, and printing out only the most recent version for your new employees. Imagine the cost savings of having only the manuals you need at the ready, rather than stocking a number of them on hand.

Our print on demand tools allow Lulu to be an adaptable, quick means of printing exactly what you need when you need it. Here are some of the many ways a book can be useful for a business or entrepreneur:

  • Manuals/Instructions
  • Internal training
  • Reporting material
  • Advertising tool to promote your knowledge/product
  • Product catalog
  • Education material (custom text books, curriculum specific material, work books)

For years now Lulu has been a dependable business partner for professionals and companies with all kinds of printing needs. We’re ready to help you and your business with easy to use, fast, affordable, and high quality printed products.

What is Lulu?

One of the most common questions we get at trade shows and events is “What, exactly, is Lulu?”

For us, that’s a bit of an odd question. But we eat, sleep, and breath Lulu, so answering the seems obvious to us – We’re your free to use, self-publishing solution!

But new users, making their first forays into the publishing world may not fully understand how self-publishing works, and the many benefits of using Lulu as your publisher and printer.

So with that in mind, our top-notch videographer put together a short video explaining how self-publishing with Lulu works:


For more detailed information, see our extensive Knowledge Base

You can also see our entire video catalog online

If you’re ready to get started, head on over to our Create Page!

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