There are several pieces of your book: the foreword, the acknowledgments, the about the author page, and so on. But how do you know what order to put these in? Each publisher and author’s team will have their own preferences and standards. Below is a typical flow of content you can use or modify. You do not need to use all of the pieces listed.

Front Matter

  • Title page 1 - include book title only, in the same font used on the cover
  • Title page 2 - include book title, author, and publishing imprint
  • Copyright page - include your PCN, ISBN, and copyright info here
  • Praise for (insert book title) - optional - insert if you have some reviews
  • Dedication - optional - 1-2 sentences
  • Table of Contents - nonfiction only
  • Acknowledgments - this is where the author thanks their book team in 1-2 pages
  • Foreword - optional - this is about 1,000 words written by someone else offering credibility
  • Preface - optional
  • Introduction by the author - optional
  • Prologue - optional


  • Chapter 1
  • All the chapters in order
  • Conclusion - optional

Back Matter

  • Resources - optional
  • References - optional - list your bibliography, notes, permissions, or citations used
  • Glossary - optional
  • Appendix - optional
  • Index - optional
  • About the Author - 250 words written in 3rd person alongside your author photo
  • Also by the Author - optional - promote your other titles here

About the Author

Your author bio is also called About the Author. You will use this either on the back cover, on the last pages of the interior, or both. You can also use this bio on your social media pages, press releases, and website. Pro tip: Keep this under 250 words.

Here is a basic formula from Melissa Cassera:

(Author’s name) is a professional writer living in (insert city, state). He/She writes books for people who (love/enjoy/crave) reading (insert genre). He/She helps her readers

turn X into Y

bring more X into their lives

resolve X problem

feel X

Find more about (author) at (website).

Back Cover Text [BCT]

Your back cover text (BCT) is used on the back cover. Next to the front cover, the back cover text is the next most compelling piece to encourage readers to open and then buy your book. You can also use this BCT on your social media pages, press releases, and website. Pro tip: Keep this under 250 words.

Here is a basic formula from Publishing Professional Nathan Bransford:

[protagonist name] is a [description of protagonist] living in [setting]. But when [complicating incident], [protagonist name] must [protagonist’s quest] and [verb] [villain] in order to [protagonist’s goal].

Action You Can Take:

  • Write your BCT and have it edited.

  • Write your author bio and have it edited.

  • Have a professional headshot made

  • Update your social media accounts and online presence with your new bio and headshot