Step-By-Step POD, Step 6 (Front & Back Matter with Title Page)

Hello, again. Now we are on to Step 6 of the process of getting your novel ready for Print-on-Demand publishing with CreateSpace. I hope you have been finding the posts useful. If you have any questions, or feel I have missed addressing anything to this point, please drop me a quick email.

So then, on to Step 6. The next thing you need to do is create or modify your Front and Back Matter. I can’t tell you exactly what to include here as many novels appear to be somewhat flexible in the layout. Look at a few books on your shelves to get an idea of what is required.

If you previously published an eBook, be aware that you will need to modify your front matter. As I mentioned back in Step 2 of the process, you will need to go to your copyright page and ensure that it reads correctly for a “print” book. For example, if you have a statement that says, “Please purchase only authorized electronic editions . . .” in your eBook document, or anything else that would pertain only to eBook editions, reword the copyright page to suit a print novel. And you will need to enter a new ISBN number on the copyright page for your POD book, as well; the one you used for your eBook cannot be used again. Therefore, if you haven’t got one yet you may want to look into that at this point. I can’t comment on how to go about that because in Canada, where I live, getting an ISBN requires a different process than for the U.S. (If you live in Canada, email me or just use a search engine to learn how to go about getting your own ISBN number(s) free of charge and relatively painlessly.) If you have already obtained your ISBN and have laid out your front matter, you may want to skip to the next blog post.

Typically your front matter may consist of a few pages:
1)    If you have them, one page may consist of review excerpts or endorsements by fellow writers.
2)    That page may be followed by one containing a teaser or short excerpt from the book. This portion of a scene should contain a good hook or demonstrate what your book is about.
3)    Follow that with a Title Page which will include your title and author’s name.
4)    Then a copyright page on which you will list your copyright, disclaimer (“. . . is a work of fiction. Names, characters . . . are the product of the author’s imagination . . .” You know the one.) Publisher and ISBN, rights (“All rights reserved . . .”), etcetera.
5)     If desired, you may follow that with an Acknowledgements page to thank the people who may have helped you with research, editing, or what have you.
6)    And lastly you may wish to create a Dedication page. Or some combine the Dedication on the same page as the acknowledgements.

If you have yet to create your front matter and have nothing in place prior to the beginning of your first chapter, the following are the instructions for getting this information in place: Go to the very top of the first page of your document, hold down Ctrl and hit the Enter key to add a blank page BEFORE Chapter One. Hit enter to move to the next line of this blank page. If you cannot see a Paragraph Mark on the screen when you hit the Enter key, turn on Show/Hide. (On your Home tab, click the Show/Hide button which looks like a paragraph mark.) This will show your formatting characters. Hit Enter a couple of times on the blank page that now precedes Chapter One to add a couple of paragraph marks. (Don’t worry about the extra space. You can delete them a little later when you format your Front Matter.)

Then, using some published novels from your book shelves as a guide, format the front matter for your novel. Don’t forget to be creative on your title page. Choose some interesting fonts, and perhaps mix and match. I often choose a different font for the first character of a word.

If you have difficulty getting your font to layout properly on your title page, you may have to put the first character of each word in a text box, and then create another text box for the remainder of each word of your title so that all the aspects of the title that you want to format differently are in separate text boxes. (Just choose “Simple Text Box” from Text Box drop-down on the Insert Menu) Putting letters or portions of words into separate text boxes allows you to drag them into positions which aren’t possible if you keep the characters together.

You need to ensure, however, that the text boxes do NOT extend into your margins or you will receive an error message from CreateSpace when you upload.

When you start working within the text boxes, you may have to right click on the text box and play with the formatting of the boxes in “more layout options” or “wrap text”. For example, if the text, by default, shows up in the box with an indent, remove it by dragging your ruler mark over or you won’t get your title to format properly in the box. Also, if there is a border on the box, you will need to remove it so that there is no line around the text box. Right click, click “format shape”, choose “line color”, the select “no line”.

The screen capture below shows the five overlapping text boxes that I used to create the title page for DANGER’S KISS.

DK 2 Cover Page capture-20130203-124439

Formatting your title page can take a lot of time depending on how creative you want to be. Typically your title will be about a third of the way down the page with the author’s name along the bottom of the page. However, there are other formats so choose what you think looks best for your title and author name.

Next create your Back Matter. This may include a “Letter to the Reader”, a brief biography of the author, and review excerpts of previous books. Once again, check a few published novels on your book shelves to get ideas of the kinds of things you might like to do. If you did not include a list of “other novels” written by the author in the Front Matter, then you may want to include it in the Back Matter.

And that’s it for this session. Stay tuned for the next blog which will discuss adding your section breaks so that we can move on to headers. Have fun!

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