Front Matter and Back Matter. . .Why it Matters

As self-published authors, we handle all the work ourselves. That means we need to be thinking about things such as copyright statements and author biographies and links that will lead readers to our other books. In other words, front matter and back matter. . .matter.

Copyright Statements
In traditionally published books, the copyright statement usually comes at the end of the book. I've discovered through trial and error that books are more easily accepted at the various platforms when the copyright statement appears at the beginning. This is the statement I use:

Published by HTJB, Inc. (which is my company)
Copyright 2011. HTJB, Inc.
Cover by NAME

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. To obtain permission to excerpt portions of the text, please contact the author at
All characters in this book are fiction and figments of the author’s imagination.

You may feel free to copy and paste this copyright statement and adapt it to your own purposes. If your book has been previously published, I'd recommend adding that information to the copyright statement AND to the write-up you use on the retailer sites. Readers get angry when they buy a book they've already read that's being passed off as new, so make sure to alert them that the book is previously published every chance you get in the buying process.

Back of the Book
Here is your chance to hook readers on the rest of your book. I recommend adding a chapter of another book—the next book in a series or the first chapter of another single title in the same genre—whenever possible.

**Helpful hint: When including an excerpt, LEAVE OFF the "Chapter 1" heading. Having two Chapter 1s in the same file can send some ebook processes into a tizzy. I always use the first chapter of the next book, but I don't call it Chapter 1.**

I have to give credit to my colleague Courtney Milan for this next idea... a to-do checklist for readers. As Courtney said when she introduced the idea to our self-published loop (, everyone is welcome!), readers like to help out a favored author and are willing take a few small steps toward that goal. The to-do list Courtney suggested now appears in the back of all my books, with a few of my own enhancements:

Thank you for reading Fool for Love! I hope you enjoyed it. If you did, please help other readers find this book:
1. This book is lendable, so send it to a friend who you think might like it so she can discover me, too.
2. Help other people find this book by writing a review.
3. Sign up for my new releases e-mail by contacting me at, so you can find out about the next book as soon as it's available.
4. Come like my Facebook page.

You also want to include an author bio that includes your other books as well as your social media properties, website, blog and email address. Make it easy for your readers to find you and your other books. This is a wonderful opportunity to begin a relationship with your readers.

Customized ePub and Mobi Files
The Formatting Fairies offer customized ePub files. What does that mean? In short, we provide ebook files that include links to your other books that are unique to each platform. So your Mobi file for Amazon would include links to all your available Kindle books. Your ePub file for B&N would include all the links for your available Nook books. This makes it easy for readers to buy your other books on the platform of choice without having to go looking for them. These interactive lists of other books should appear in the back of your ebook. 

You might also want to include some reviews at the end of your book to give readers a taste of what others are saying about your books.

Questions? Comments? 
Post them here or via email. To engage the services of The Formatting Fairies, click on the files "Home" and "Work Order" in the upper right hand corner of this blog.