Deciding on Back Matter for your novel
This post is the forty-third in a series about writing a novel. You can check out the list of past topics at the end of this post.
Last week, I covered Front Matter (all the pages BEFORE your story) in your book. Today, I want to talk about Back Matter or all the pages AFTER your story.
If you don’t list anything after your story, you are wasting a prime opportunity to connect with the reader. They just read and loved your story. This is a prime spot to point them to your other books or even ask for a review. (Thank you for reading my book. If you enjoyed it, please take a moment to leave a review at your favorite retailer.)
Here are some things to consider including in your back matter…
About the author
This section is pretty self-explanatory. My only comment is this needs to be a brief bio. Think of what you might find on the inside cover of a hardback or paperback novel. This is not the time to list out every one of your accomplishments. Try to keep it to about 100 words or less.
Here is what is listed in my latest book, Blood Bond:
About the Author
Susan Noble has always loved dragons and magic, so it is no wonder that she became an author of fantasy novels. As a cat lover, she also had to throw in a telepathic cat to the mix in her The Elemental trilogy.
When she isn’t writing, Susan is an active volunteer in her neighborhood and at her children’s schools. She lives with her husband, two children, three cats and two Cocker Spaniels in Texas.
You can find out about Susan on her blog Into Another World.
List of other books
This is where you list other books that you have written. This can be listed in the front OR the back of the book. I personally like it at the back of the book when publishing an e-book.
Here is what could be listed in my last book.
Discover other titles by Susan Leigh Noble
The Search (short story prequel to The Elemental trilogy)
Summoned: Book 1 of The Elemental
Quietus: Book 2 of The Elemental
Destiny: Book 3 of The Elemental
The Heir to Alexandria
Connect with me
This is where you can let your readers know how to reach you. Feel free to list your blog, Facebook, Twitter or even your email account. You can see an example above under About the Author.
Promote your next book
If they loved your book, point them to the next one. At the end of the first two books in my trilogy, I always let the reader know there was another book coming. Here is the teaser from Quietus.
Here ends Book Two of The Elemental.
Book Three continues the tale of Lina and Val
as they try to repair the damage to the Land
and realize their battle with Selda isn’t over yet.
Now at the end of my short story, The Search, I actually included the prologue and first chapter of book one of my trilogy.
The story of Lina and Tosh continues in Summoned: Book One of The Elemental.
Please enjoy the prologue and first chapter of Book One after the “About the Author” section.
Promote someone else’s book
You might team up with another author and promote each other’s work in your book to broaden your readership. You could include an “If you like this book, you might enjoy books by (insert author name)” or even include a sample chapter from their book. Be sure to include links.
This is similar to the foreword (which could be included in the front matter) in that it explores how the book came to be written.
In a non-fiction book, you also could have a bibliography, index or glossary as part of the back matter.
There really is no limit to the amount of information you can put after your story has come to an end. It would be a waste not to include at least one or two of these items as your back matter to help you sell more books and build a fan base.