Yesterday’s post covered how to lay out the beginning of your printed book, and today is going to cover how to lay out the end of the book. The back matter is as important as the front, and the space should be utilised as much as possible.
So, here are the sort of things you could include in your back matter of a printed book. I will cover the back matter of an eBook in a future post, as it varies a little from print.
#1. Author Biography
Including a paragraph or two about yourself in the back of the book is a great way to connect with your readers. They generally like to know a little about the author of a book if they have really enjoyed it. The bio doesn’t have to be a serious one, or even have a huge amount of detail in it, but it’s good if your personality shines through.
#2. Author Photo
I resisted this one for a long time, I didn’t want my face inside my books! But I realised that readers like to see who wrote the book, that it helps them to connect to the message easier. Plus, I was tired of doing fairs and having people be really shocked that I was the author, now, I just point out my picture in the back and say – “See? I really did write them, honest!” I will write about author photos in a future post.
#3. Contact Details
I love getting fan mail! If you would like to get fan mail, then make sure you include some contact details in the back matter of your book. Your email address is fine, but if you want snail mail, then be sure to include a postal address. You can always get a PO Box style address if you don’t want to give away your real one. I’ve had a few handwritten letters now, and I absolutely love hearing from my readers.
#4. Mailing List Sign up
If a reader has enjoyed your book, chances are, they’d love to know when your next one was being released, and the way to let them know is by getting them to sign up to your mailing list. So have a link to where they can find the sign up form. When it comes to marketing your book, it’s been proven that the most effective way to sell more books, is to have a healthy mailing list of people who are waiting eagerly to buy your next publication.
#5. Call for Reviews
Reviews are worth more than gold to Indie Authors. To have a lot of positive reviews on Amazon (and sometimes, even negative reviews are a good thing) is what you need to get more book sales. But it’s not worth trying to buy reviews or do review swaps. Focus instead on trying to get anyone who reads and loves your book to leave a review, by asking them to do so at the end of your book. And if they sign up to your mailing list, but haven’t left a review, then you could also send them a personal email of thanks, and nudge them gently towards writing a review if they have the time.
This applies mainly to non-fiction books, but if you have referenced other works in your story it applies too. Just like you have to in essays for school or university, you should have a reference or bibliography section in the back of your book, listing all your sources of information.
#7. Excerpt/Preview of Next Release
If you’ve already written the next book, then you could include the first chapter or an excerpt of it in the back of the book as a teaser for the reader. This will encourage them to keep an eye out for the next book in your series.
#8. Blurbs of Your Other Books
If you have other books already published, then you could include a small image of the cover and the blurb from the back cover of each of them.
Though not a typical thing to do, as a small way of repaying the people who help me with my books, I feature adverts for their businesses in the back of my print books. I also feature my own advert for my publishing services.
Is there anything else you would include at the back of your book? Let me know if you have tips to share with other authors by commenting below.
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.