Friday, May 01, 2020

Writing: What Goes Into A Book?

There are many things the indie-publisher has to learn, and many occasions when they say, "But my publisher usually handles all that." Well, you're doing it now, and although you can get advice (as I did) from many trusted sources, some of this will be learned by trial and error (as was my case).

If your book is non-fiction (and in a few cases for fiction), it has a note at the front. A particular pet peeve of mine is someone who calls it a "Forward." It's a "Foreword." A word that is at the front. I colleague and friend of mine with whom I wrote or edited several technical books continued to call it be the wrong word. I hope you won't make the same mistake.

You'll want to put in a copyright notice--sometime like "Copyright 2020, Richard L. Mabry." Nothing fancy. No need to mail something to yourself and let the postmark show you copyrighted it on such-and-such a date. You wrote it, so you hold the copyright. But it never hurts to put that at the front of the book. If you need a medical or legal disclaimer, that goes here, also.

If you have blurbs for your past books or nice reviews for this one, they can go in front or at the end, whichever you prefer. If you're going to write another book, a "tease" of a short segment of it after your current book is nice. I didn't even think of this in my first few indie-published books. But we live and learn (and take advice from others).

Authors usually put "acknowledgements" or "author's notes" at the front, as well as a dedication if they want to add one. If, by now, you're thinking this is too much, realize there are people who help you, as well as books on the subject. My favorite (and the last time I looked on Amazon, it was free in e-book form) is Salvette's Frontmatter, Backmatter, and Metadata. It has more than I needed, but better too much than too little.

There's more, but--like me--you'll probably learn it by experience, and a little at a time. Good luck.


Priscilla Bettis said...

Thanks for the tips.:-)

Richard Mabry said...

Priscilla, this won't come up (ie, it will be looked past) until you have to put a book together for publication. Then, most likely you'll learn in a hurry (as I did). Thanks for your comment.

Patricia Bradley said...

Great advice, Richard. I've indie published three novellas and I learn something on each one of them.

Richard Mabry said...

Yes, each self-published novel is an experience. If we do enough of them, I guess we'll know it all--but, of course, it will have changed by then.