The Parts of a Book

The Front Matter

The front matter includes the following:

Title page — the full title and author’s name closely resembling how they appear on the cover with the publisher imprint. In a print book, the title page is a right hand page.

Copyright page — includes information about copyrights, edition dates, ISBN, as well as your publisher and printer. Usually appears on the verso (reverse) of the title page.

Dedication page — a page where the author names the person or people to whom they dedicate their book. This is normally a right hand page with the verso blank.

Table of contents — a list of chapter numbers or titles and page numbers where they begin. The table of contents should list both the body and back matter.

Preface — an introduction written by the author.

Foreword — an introduction written by another person.

The Body

The body includes the following:

Prologue — a chapter-like section sets the stage for the story to follow.

Introduction — a few pages which introduce the reader into the subject matter.

Chapters — sections into which the narrative is divided.



Afterword — final thoughts on the book written by the author or someone familiar with the content.

The Back Matter

The back matter includes the following:

Acknowledgments — a section to acknowledge and thank all those who made contributions to the book’s creation.

About the author — this is where the author gives a brief summary of their work and personal life.

Appendix — additional details about the book.

Endnotes — supplementary notes that relate to specific passages of the text, and denoted within the body by superscripts.

Glossary — definitions of words or other elements that appear in the text in alphabetical order.

Index — a list of terms used in the book along with the pages on which they appear, almost always in alphabetical order.

Bibliography — a comprehensive breakdown of sources cited in the work.

Not all books contain every part listed above. Novels and other works of fiction usually have a title page, copyright page, a dedication, and table of contents in the front matter. There might be a prologue before the first chapter in the body. End matter may list only information about the author and perhaps an appendix listing other books by the author.

Nonfiction may use many more of the parts such as introductions, glossaries, indexes, and bibliographies.

Van De Graaf Canon

Van De Graaf’s Canon
Left: Tschichold’s “golden canon of page construction”.
Right: Rosarivo’s construction by division of the page into ninths.
Rosarivo’s method of ninths is equivalent to van de Graaf’s canon.

The following pages were designed with margins based on Rosarivo’s method of ninths which is identical to the Van De Graaf Canon. The trim-size is 6×9 inches and the font body font is IM FELL ENGLISH PRO, an OFL font. The font is 12 point on 15 point leading. The chapter title is Cinzel and the dropped capital is Cinzel Decorative (both OFL fonts). The small cap lead-in is Cinzel 12/15. In the Van De Graaf Canon the combined inner margins of a spread are equal to the outer margins. This page layout was created with Adobe Indesign CS5.

For a 6×9 inch trim-size the width divided by 9 in accordance with Rosarivo’s method of ninths is .66 inches and the height divided by nine is 1 inch. Thus the inner margin is .66 and the outer margin is 2x .66″ or 1.33″. The top margin is 1 inch and the bottom margin is double the top margin or 2 inches.

Above: Margin settings using Rosaviro’s method of ninths in Indesign for 6×9 trim-size print book.
Above: For a 5.25×8 inch trim-size the margin settings would be: Top .89″ Bottom 1.77″ Inside .58″ Outside 1.16″
Kelmscott Press The Nature of Gothic by John Ruskin page layout in accordance with Van De Graaf and Rosarivo method of ninths circa 1851.