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Organizing your book’s back matter

As I mentioned earlier, there’s a standard order for book parts, and people are used to finding things in that order.

Most books, especially fiction, aren’t going to have multiple back matter sections. Typically for fiction there will be only an acknowledgments section followed by an “about the author” section.

Back matter

  • Acknowledgments (if not in front matter)
  • Appendix(es) (material of any kind that the author thinks the reader will find useful, such as suggested reading)
  • Chronology (if not in front matter)
  • Abbreviations (if not in front matter)
  • Notes (if endnotes are used instead of or in addition to footnotes)
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography (list of works read but not necessarily cited; citations will be in Notes)
  • List of contributors
  • Illustration or photo credits
  • Index
  • Colophon (details about book production)

Numbering in arabic numerals continues from the main text. New sections start on a right-hand page.

Front matter is covered here:
Organizing your book’s front matter

About Sandra K. Williams

Sandra K. Williams loves books, both printed and digital. Since 1996 she has worked with authors and independent publishers, editing and designing books for print. Since 1999 she has built easy-to-use, accessible websites, and she uses her HTML and CSS skills to design reader-friendly e-books.

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