Unlike the front matter of print books, that will be laid out over several pages, you want the front matter of your eBook to be as short as possible – I aim for a couple of pages. Why? Because on Amazon, when someone clicks on the ‘Try a sample’ feature, the sample they are sent is a percentage of the book. If the book is short, and the first part is all front matter, chances are, the reader won’t actually get to read much of the book itself, and therefore is less likely to get hooked and buy the whole book.
I remember once downloading a sample of a book (which was traditionally published) and the front matter went on for so long, I only got to read a single paragraph of the actual book. Needless to say, I didn’t buy it. Don’t worry that you’ll be ‘giving too much away’ if someone cares enough to read the whole first chapter, then they are much more likely to buy.
Here’s what you need in your eBook front matter:
- Book title
- Author name
- Publishing Imprint
- Copyright/date/author name
- Cover artwork copyright
- Edition number
- Other books by the author
Here are two examples from my own books:
In the front matter, it is a good idea to make the other books, the publishing imprint and if available, the cover designer website, into hyperlinks, which means that the reader can click on the link and be taken directly to the website, or to the book page on Amazon to buy the other books. For any Amazon links, be sure to use Universal links.
This is where you put much of the info that would normally go at the front of print books, as well as a few other things. At the back is where you put:
- The full legal page
- Author bio and photo
- A call for reviews
- Mailing list sign up
- Excerpts from other books
Though the back matter will consist of more pages than the front in eBooks, try not to go too crazy, as you will disappoint readers when they are loving your book and think they have 10% of story left, only to find that it’s actually all back matter! So I wouldn’t recommend putting the first chapter or a longer excerpt at the back for this reason.
Disclaimer:All views, ideas and tips presented on this website are my own, based on my own experience and the experience of my clients. It is by no means the only way to do it, or the right way to do it, but it is the way that works for me. Please take what helps you and makes sense to you, and don’t worry about the rest for now. Please know that I take no responsibility for anything that happens as a result of you following my advice. I have created this blog as a resource for Indie Authors to help them make the publishing journey a little easier. I am not affiliated with any of the companies I mention, other than the fact that I use their services myself.