Formatting your Front Matter
When we look at author files, one of the most common problems we see is in the layout of the front matter. (The front matter is all of the material—title page, copyright page, table of contents, dedication, etc.—that appears before the main text of the book.)
With that in mind, we’ve come up with a list of things to keep in mind while you’re formatting your book.
1. No matter what, the first page of your PDF file will be the first page of your printed book. It will always fall on the right-hand side of the book. No matter how you choose to paginate your book on the pages, in the world of printing and computer files, this first page is officially page “1”.
2. Because of this, all odd-numbered pages in your PDF file will fall on the right-hand side of your book. All even-numbered pages in your PDF file will fall on the left-hand side of your book.
4. If you’re having trouble visualizing the page flow of your front matter, we recommend prepar- ing your front matter as a separate file with no page numbers. We can combine the files for you (this service is included with our Standard Set-Up).
5. If you’re viewing your file in Acrobat Reader: Under the “View” menu, go to “Page Display.” Se- lect “Show Cover Page in Two Page View.” Then select “Two Page Scrolling.” This will display your file in the same way it will print, with odd-numbered pages on the right, and even-numbered pages on the left.
6. If you’re viewing your file in Microsoft Word: Unfortunately, there’s no way to view your file in the same way it will print. If you’re viewing your Word pages side by side, it is essentially showing you the reverse of how your book will actually print. Please keep this in mind.
7. All books end with an even-numbered, left-hand page. If your file ends with an odd-numbered page, the book machine will insert a blank page at the end of it.
8. Most traditionally-printed books begin and end with two blank pages. However, since blank pages are charged at our standard page rate of $0.02/page, you may choose to not include them.
When in doubt, we find it’s often very helpful to open up a traditionally-published book on our shelves, and actually look at the way it’s paginated and the way the front matter is set up.
When necessary, we’re happy to insert blanks or rearrange pages for you. As part of the Standard Set-Up, we can handle these sorts of file fiixes twice—once in the original file, and once in your first upload of revisions after you’ve seen your proof. However, after those two instances they’ll incur a small extra fee for future revisions, which is why many authors prefer to handle it themselves.
Following are some diagrams showing traditionally-formatted front matter. We hope they help! Correctly formatted front matter, as viewed in Acrobat.
The page numbers shown below the pages are the pages in the file itself. The page numbers shown on the pages are the page numbers seen in the document. We’ve decided to use roman numerals for the front matter—a common method of pagination—for illustrative purposes. If you’re having any trouble, we recommend not in- cluding page numbering in your front matter. Also, please note that the front matter elements we’ve included— dedication, Table of Contents, epigraph, etc.—are not needed in every book. Perhaps your book includes fewer, or more, front matter elements. This is just intended to show you how no matter what your book includes, it should always begin on an odd-numbered, right-hand page.
blank Title Page
copyright page dedication
continued on next page blank epigraph
blank Table of Contents
blank Main text begins (Chapter 1)
vi 11 or 1
Some people choose to begin their main text with page 1, no matter what the actual page number is in the file (in this case, page 11). This is the simpler way to proceed if you’re submitting your front matter and main text as two separate files, for combination later.
Other people prefer to begin their main text with the actual page number in the file.
Both of these methods are perfectly fine, normal, and traditional. Correctly formatted front matter, as viewed in Microsoft Word (page-by-page view)
Title Page copyright page
continued on next page epigraph blank
Table of Contents blank
Main text begins (Chapter 1)
11 or 1