Creating ebooks whether it’s meant for Kindle, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo or whoever, you have the option of inserting front matter or back matter sections. Now before we get into it, these are merely meant as suggestions and there are definitely some who refuse to put a Table of Contents at the beginning of their book for instance since it sucks up some of their Amazon “Look Inside” preview. I’m thinking these authors must have very short books then because I don’t see any reason why you should care.
Table of Contents: Somewhere at the beginning of your book you’re going to want a TOC. It usually follows right after a Title Page or Copyright for the book.
Ideally a proper TOC would include some of these necessary components:
About the Author: An About the Author page is written in 3rd person and refers to your background, accomplishments, awards won and the titles that you have written. What I personally like to do for my authors at Indie Formatting Services is have their Author blurb first and then follow it up with their website, Twitter, and Facebook links. There’s usually a mention about their Mailing List as well if they have one. I find it becomes a nice, solid length of text but also includes every single important social link possible.
Also by the Author: Would follow that up with the More Books by Author page. Now, if you’re just starting out chances are you won’t have a lot of titles so feel free to incorporate this into your About the Author Page. But, for those others that have let’s say… 3 books or more, I would suggest creating a separate page.
Usually start off by thanking the reader for picking up the book and ask if they wouldn’t mind sharing, reviewing or talking about the book.
Following that I list the titles that are available now for sale and include the links directly to the ebooks. If this is a Kindle version of the book, all links would point directly to Amazon. If it were Apple Books, then the links would go Apple Books store, etc.
Then usually list a Coming Soon but not every author would have a need for such a thing.
If you find you have way too much extra space and would like to fill it up some, take the opportunity to put in some of the blurbs for your Titles. It will fill the text up nicely and also serve as an ad for your book without them going to Amazon right away. Obviously include another link directly following the blurb as a reminder. Again, keep it simple and make it easy for them.
Bonus Short Stories or Chapter Excerpts: One other option you could include would be Bonus Short Stories or even Chapter excerpts from one of your other titles. Put these options in both print and ebook versions of many of your titles. Chapter excerpts our usually the first Chapter, maybe 2 it depends on the Prologue. Just provide extra bonuses to your readers but there are also times you would do this for purely marketing reasons.
For example, you could have a KDP Select free promo coming up so go in and adjust said title to include a Chapter excerpt from one of our bestselling titles or maybe a New Release. Freebies snag thousands of downloads so it’s the perfect opportunity to introduce readers to something completely new to them. Make sure you’re including something that makes sense though! A work by the same author would be ideal but if you can’t do that, then at least focus on the same genre.
In summary, this is something that can always change and you should! This is something here at Indie Formatting that I am doing for author’s and I have Updated books for author’s numerous times. Sometimes it’s for arbitrary things like updating new web links to Amazon or throwing in Previews for KDP Select promos. This is one reason why ebooks are fantastic. They can always be changed and updated to reflect the trends in the industry. In the end find what works for you the best and stick with it. If anything, it should bring more exposure to you as an author and your titles as they continue to sell well into the future.
It may seem like a lot written down in a post like this but it’s really not, all of my stuff is about 3 pages total. I know I have read elsewhere of readers complaining about authors stuffing everything but the kitchen sink into the backs of their books but that’s not what I’m talking about here. Speaking of which, the reason the readers are complaining is because it offsets their reading completion percentages. If you have well over 20-25 pages of “ads” in the back of your book that’s going to have an effect on your percentages or locations of your book. Readers dislike seeing that they have pages upon pages to go and find out suddenly that the books is over!
I’d like to hear from you now. What do you find works best? Are you doing anything differently that I didn’t list?