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Front matter: Editor's Notes #349
September 29, 2021

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.
—Vincent Van Gogh

In this issue:

1. A useful list of front matter for a book
2. Tickled my funny bone
3. Interesting Web site
4. Writing prompt

1.A useful list of front matter for a book.
The front matter of a book comes before the actual text. The list here includes the most commonly used items included in front matter in the order in which they most commonly occur.

If your book is published by someone else, you many not be responsible for some of it, but if you self-publish, it’s all on you.
  • Half title (Commonly the title without the subtitle)
  • Series title, other titles already published, frontispiece (an illustration), or blank
  • Title page (Full title with edition if applicable, author, editor, translator)
  • Copyright page (Copyright notice, publisher, publishing history of the work, translation information, International Standard Book Number, acknowledgements, credits and permissions to quote, grants, Cataloguing-in-Publication data, paper durability statement)
  • Dedication
  • Epigraph
  • Table of Contents
  • List of illustrations and list of tables
  • Foreward
  • Preface
  • Introduction

If you are uncertain what some of the elements in the list are, the link in Interesting Web site is for you.

2.Tickled my funny bone
In the front yard of a Funeral Home:

Drive carefully. We'll wait.

3. Interesting Web site
This blog post gives a brief explanation of the parts of a book’s front matter.

4. Writing prompt
I think of the front matter of a book as a sort of filing system for publishing information. Knowing where to look saves time.

Write two or three paragraphs about someone who finds something interesting either in a physical file cabinet or in an unusual place, like the front matter of a book.

I’d love to see what you do with this one.

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