By Bobbi Linkemer
Earlier in the year we published a post about what front matter in a book is. In this post, we will discuss back matter, the information that is published at the end of a book and follows the chapters or basic text.
Although there are no must-adhere-to rules, you will find that back matter generally includes specific information. The following identifies the most common information found in back matter.
Bibliography. If you have read other books and quote other authors and professionals, a bibliography is a way of acknowledging these sources - this in addition to noting the sources in your copy or with footnotes. A bibliography also gives readers a list of references to read if they wish to dig more deeply into your subject.
Appendices. Sometimes, you have so much background information or detail that if you included all of it in the main body of your work, you might overwhelm your reader. That is what appendices are for. Appendices offer a good place to put scientific data, charts, reports and detailed explanations without disrupting the flow of your text.
Glossary. This is an optional, alphabetically arranged dictionary of terms peculiar to the subject of your book.
Epilogue. If you have "one last thought," this is the place to express it.
Index. When a book is filled with facts or topics a reader might want to find quickly, an index is the fastest way to find them. There are two types of indexes - subject matter and detailed. The best recommendation is to hire a professional indexer instead of using the index feature of your word processing program.
Building a book is like building anything else. Adding back matter to your book is one way to enhance the reading experience of your book.
[The majority of this post was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from How to Write a Nonfiction Book, from planning to promotion is 6 simple steps, written by Bobbi Linkemer. To visit her website, go to http://www.WriteANonfictionBook.com.]