While writing the story is the first part to building your dream novel, making sure that it has all the key components and presentation metrics before sending out to an agent or publisher is essential.
Here, we list out few components both mandatory and optional, which any title must have and adhere to.
1. Dedication – Who is the book dedicated to? [Optional]
2. Acknowledgements – Have acknowledged or thanked everyone who you has helped you in preparing the script? You may do so in preferably one (1) page. [Optional]
3. Preface – This is usually added when you have an interesting story to tell about the book – such as an interesting conversation with someone which triggered the idea for a book. [Optional]
4. Foreword – You may wish to place a foreword which comprises an interesting interaction or a story which has imbibed you to write this book. If another person wishes to introduce your book to the readers, you may include that here. Suggest to use not more than one (1) to two (2) pages. [Optional]
5. About the Author – Make an interesting note of about two hundred (200) words about yourself. You could use some of the following pointers, if you find them useful. [Mandatory]
i. Your personal background - Which city/ state/country are you from? Where have you lived for most parts of your life? What are you aims and hobbies?
ii. Your professional background – What is your qualification? What is your work experience? Are you the winner of any special awards or are you aiming for any such awards? What is your goal in life?
iii. Your publishing background – Have you been published before or is this your debut novel?
iv. How do you want your readers to reach you? Your website, your blogs, your mail id or social networking page
6. Author Image - Send us a high resolution image (preferably 35mm x 45mm) of yourself to be placed either in the About Author section of in the back cover of the book [Mandatory]
7. Reviews – Adding reviews that you have received for your book from reknowned writes, authors, journalist, known personality or influencer would provide additional mileage to your book [Optional]
8. Back Blurb – This is the short note or brief that appears on the back cover of the book. Make a note of about two hundred (200) words. [Mandatory]
9. Epilogue – This is written at the end of the book to bring a closure to the script. It is the final chapter at the end of a story that often serves to reveal the fates of the characters; usually presented by the same narrator as that of the story. [Optional]
10. Prologue - A prologue is written at the beginning of the book, usually used to open the story and capture interest. It can be used to provide back story details, details of the world in which the story is set, or a character introduction within the confines of the narrative, which will help the reader understand the narrative before they get into the story itself. [Optional]
11. Next book sample content - If your next book is a part of the same series as the current book or if it is another book that has been published under your name, you may add a maximum of three (3) pages from such a book at the end of this one. [Optional]
12. Disclaimers: If you wish to use a Disclaimer in the book, here are a few formats for reference. You may choose one or write your own. [Optional]
i. Memoir or recent history:
Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.
ii. Novels or short stories:
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
iii. Memoir or autobiography
I have tried to recreate events, locales and conversations from my memories of them. In order to maintain their anonymity in some instances I have changed the names of individuals and places, I may have changed some identifying characteristics and details such as physical properties, occupations and places of residence.
iv. Informative/Documentary book:
Although the author and publisher have made every effort to ensure that the information in this book was correct at press time, the author and publisher do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause.
v. Health and alternative healing books:
This book is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians. The reader should regularly consult a physician in matters relating to his/her health and particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.
vi. Sports/training books:
The information in this book is meant to supplement, not replace, proper (name your sport) training. Like any sport involving speed, equipment, balance and environmental factors, (this sport) poses some inherent risk. The authors and publisher advise readers to take full responsibility for their safety and know their limits. Before practising the skills described in this book, be sure that your equipment is well maintained, and do not take risks beyond your level of experience, aptitude, training, and comfort level.
13. Contents: Provide the chapter name and corresponding page numbers [Mandatory]
14. Cover: A book’s cover is a potential reader’s first contact and impression of the book. According to a Wall Street Journal study, “a person spends about eight seconds looking at the front cover of a book.” This means that not only is the cover the most important marketing tool in your kitty that can help in sparking the curiosity of the reader, but also that you have very less time to create an impact. Hence, it is crucial to get the design right.
Objectives and parameters to be taken care of while preparing the Cover,
i. Parts of the cover: The cover of a book comprises not just the front cover but also includes the back cover and the spine (edge). Design of all the three elements is equally important and should be in sync.
ii. The cover should ideally capture the following three aspects which explain what the book is all about, the genre of your book, the general subject matter or focus, an idea of the tone or “ambiance” of the book.
iii. The title of the book should be legible. The font should be readable even when radically reduced in size, as on a mobile screen. Do not use fonts/colours that are too fancy and make reading difficult.
iv. Do not crowd the cover with too many different elements, colours, fonts or special effects. Make sure that every element that you are adding to the cover adds value to it,
a. Don’t use more than two fonts on the cover; avoid fonts such as Comic Sans or Papyrus
b. Stick to using few colours on the cover. Check different colour palettes available online to see which colours complement each other. Garish colour combinations are not recommended
c. Use background colours that help the book to be visible on even white screens
v. Check to see the thumbnail image of the cover if it looks attractive at a smaller size? A lot of readers buy books on a Kindle or a mobile device, so the cover needs to be clearly visible to them.
vi. Make sure you are not violating any copyrights with the images/artwork/clip art you are using. It is best to buy any image that you might need to use and give credit wherever required after due permission is taken for the use of the same.
Book Sizes and Types
1. Regular Book Sizes for Fiction and Non Fiction for Paperback Printing –
i. 5inch x 8inch
ii. 5.5inch x 8.5inch
iii. 6 inch x 9inch
iv. 7inch x 9inch
v. 8inch x 11inch
2. Binding – Soft Cover; Hard Cover
3. Paper Type –
i. Plain Paper (70 – 80 GSM)
ii. Coated Paper ( 90 – 120 GSM)
4. Types of Print - Interior Colour (B&W Interior Colour); Full Colour (Interior & Cover)
Add your comments and ideas in the Comments section below!