Scrivener Compile: What to Include in the Front And Back Matter Of Your Novel

book_pages_400The Front and Back Matter is the name given to the elements of a book that, as a reader, you would flick past without paying much attention to. For novels, they get in the way of the story but they can still help you to associate with the reader and heighten the enjoyment that the reader takes from your book.

In this post I will briefly explain the reasons behind the Front and Back Matter that I used in my book The Christmas Number One.

Scrivener allows you to add the Front Matter, and the Back Matter, to the elements of the Manuscript by just creating another page in the page hierarchy. I discuss how to use the Compile functionality here.

Front Matter

Front Cover – Obvious, but I hold this in the front mater section of the menu tree on the left hand side, as below. All other Front and Back Matter is included in the Manuscript section.

Screen Shot 2012-12-28 at 12.04.33

Title Page – This happens to be the page that the eBook automatically opens on when viewing on an eReader. It should just show the book’s title, Author’s name, and Publishing Company.

Copyright – Below is the template that I used in my book. If you have an ISBN number then this would be the page you would include it on.

Copyright © 2010 by Wily E. Coyote
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

Printed in the United States of America

First Printing, 2010

ISBN 0-9000000-0-0

Falling Anvil Publishing
123 Mesa Street
Scottsdale, AZ 00000

Dedication – You can either go sentimental and heartfelt, or tongue in cheek; a person you know or the world in general. It doesn’t matter who you dedicate it to but I wanted to try a be a bit witty because it’s a rare opportunity for the reader to really get to know the Author. One of the best I’ve seen is below:


Epigraph – This is just another name for a quote at the beginning to put the book in to some sort of context, or to put the reader in the right frame of mind. Everyone loves a good quote and it’s always easy to find one that relates to anything you want.

Preface – This is often written by the Author and explains how the book came into being and frames the context of the story, the message etc. Another rare opportunity for the reader to get to know the Author.

Back Matter

Note from the Author – I’ve only included this page at the back of  The Christmas Number One. It briefly talks to the reader and more importantly passes on my details so that they have all of the information at hand in order to continue the relationship with me. The best time to sell to a reader is when they’ve just finished enjoying one of your books.

In the future, when I have more books, I will include a page for each book I have written. The beauty of eReaders is that they are connected to the internet. You can attach a link that means that the reader can simply click and buy the next one. Very useful.

That’s the material that I’ve included at the front and back of my book but there’s a lot more that you could put in there. For a definitive list of all the elements you could include, read this fantastic guide on The Book Designer. The next post of my ‘How to Self-Publish a Book’ Guide will cover ISBN codes.


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