Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Book Backmatter

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Today, I'm gonna talk a little about what you need to do in your book's backmatter. Yeah, that stuff that comes after the novel ends. So, grab your pens and notebooks and let's get going!

Open up that document that contains your book. Pan over until you get to the end. What do you see?

For most authors, you probably see something that looks like this:
About the Author:
K. Littlegross is...

Then maybe social media links.

After that...?

How about we change the way you think about your book's backmatter. Everything that comes after the last page of the story is considered backmatter. If someone just read all the way through your book, chances are they like your writing. If they didn't, they would've quit reading a long time ago (unless they're just one of those people who can't stand not finishing something they started).

Let's use that to your advantage, shall we?

On the FIRST page after your book ends, try adding something like this:
"Thank you for reading my (novel/short story/serial/etc...). I hope you enjoyed it. If you wouldn't mind, would you kindly leave a review? Not only does it help others gauge the book's worth, it also helps me know what I did right and what I might be able to do better. Readers are the reason I write! I love hearing from fans."
Give them a way to subscribe to your newsletter and tell them why they should. Do you do exclusive giveaways in your newsletters? Mention it! Or, ask them to like your amazon author page. Don't forget the LINK!


Now, here are a couple of other things to include before your About the Author page:
  • An excerpt from another work of yours (don't forget the sales page link at the end!).
  • An excerpt from a fellow author in the same genre (don't forget the sales page link at the end!).
  • Acknowledgements (I suggest putting this in the back so it doesn't interfere with the sample percentage).
These are things to include on your About the Author page:
  • Your author photo (resize to small [72dpi], please)
  • Your bio
  • Your bibliography (don't forget to link them to the sales page!)
  • Perhaps a review quote or two
  • One synopsis from a book in a similar genre you've written
  • Awards you've won for writing
  • How to find you on social media
  • Another request for that review
Why should these things be in this order? Because a reader will get bored wading through author "stuff" unless they've become super fans.

You'd be surprised at how much difference these little things make. Remember to update past books when you publish something new. It isn't difficult, and it'll keep your fans coming back for more.

How many of the above do you implement now? Were you aware of what you could do with the back of your book? Tell me about it!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

4 comments:

  1. Good stuff! I need to do some updating stat for my backmatter!

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    1. I'm glad it helped, Heather :) Fingers crossed!

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  2. This is something I've done for a long time, and yes, absolutely it makes a difference. Word of caution about excerpts--keep them short. Back when I got started in 2010, we were all trying to help each other out, so we'd have a full chapter from our next book, another author's book, and then all this other stuff--which makes the book seem artificially long to people who watch the percentage left on their ereader. Which led to some poor reviews for work being "too short" or ending "abruptly"--all because there was 20% left in the book (or whatever it was) that was all back matter.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the tip, Kait! Good to keep in mind, and good to see you around the blog :)

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