View Full Version : How to start and end an epub book


GraciousMe
11-05-2012, 01:15 AM
My book now has the following order (chapters):

*Cover
*Blank page
*Title
*Dedication
*Copyright (ISBN, credits for design, photos, etc)
*Contents
*About author (other books)
*11 chapters
*2 appendixes
*About author (What, again? Alternative place... Including contact, website, bio)
*Thanks to...

Any comments?

GrannyGrump
11-05-2012, 02:52 AM
The "blank page" is probably superfluous for an ebook --- some of your readers will be annoyed by an extra page-turn for a blank screen. Just a thought from one of the reading public.....

Toxaris
11-05-2012, 03:01 AM
Skip the contents and the about author. For an ePUB a contents is not required (built-in TOC) and the about would be better placed at the end.
Be aware, a separate TOC is required for mobi.

Jellby
11-05-2012, 04:23 AM
I'd put the dedication after copyright and contents (if needed), so it comes right before the actual book.

DiapDealer
11-05-2012, 05:41 AM
I agree with the dedication being just before the actual book.

And right or wrong ... I immediately assume someone didn't quite know what they were doing when I encounter a completely blank screen in an ebook.

GraciousMe
11-06-2012, 04:15 AM
Skip the contents and the about author.

Sorry, the first About Author was really an incorrect title. It is actually testimonials from a couple of people (beta readers, somewhat famous) who read the book.

I guess it is good to have that early on.

Jellby
11-06-2012, 04:21 AM
I think they are best left out of the book, put them in the download page or something like that.

GraciousMe
11-06-2012, 05:20 AM
I think they are best left out of the book.

Why?

They have a place in paper books, why not in ebooks? (They are not written by neighbours or ex-girlfriends, I should perhaps point out, but by pros in the field.)

mrmikel
11-06-2012, 05:39 AM
These pages are there to sell the book in book store, to get you to buy it. By the time you have it in your reader they are superfluous, unless you are unsure you should have gotten it in the first place.

GraciousMe
11-06-2012, 06:00 AM
These pages are there to sell the book in book store, to get you to buy it. By the time you have it in your reader they are superfluous, unless you are unsure you should have gotten it in the first place.

Okay, I see your point.

Jellby
11-06-2012, 06:45 AM
They have a place in paper books, why not in ebooks?

Yes, in the back cover, for you to see them in the bookstore and get you to buy it. As mrmikel says, once you have the book they have no use (in my opinion).

In any case, if you feel you should keep them, I'd prefer them at the end, so they don't interfere with the reading experience.

GraciousMe
11-07-2012, 04:03 AM
Yes, in the back cover, for you to see them in the bookstore and get you to buy it.

I see it a bit differently.

A foreword by a different author tends to function as a kind of testimonial, making the reader friendly towards the work.

And conversely testimonials work a bit like a foreword.

DiapDealer
11-07-2012, 07:30 AM
I see it a bit differently.

A foreword by a different author tends to function as a kind of testimonial, making the reader friendly towards the work.

And conversely testimonials work a bit like a foreword.
They already have the ebook open on their reader. How much friendlier do you think they're going to get? ;)

GraciousMe
11-07-2012, 10:11 AM
They already have the ebook open on their reader. How much friendlier do you think they're going to get? ;)

A lot? I buy many books that Iīm not "friendly" to. Buying, not = friendliness.

I remember an edition of Maldororīs songs, this wild, gruesome book. It had a forword by some academic guy, somebody whom the author might well have despised. That testimonial-foreword made me unfriendly -- towards the academic!

GMcG
11-08-2012, 06:12 AM
As far as I have read these forums the readers want to go straight to the story. They don't want to scoll through too many pages they are not interested in so far.
And think of Amazon. They mostly offer a look into the book. So how long will it take until an interested reader gets the sample he wants to read? With your structure of the book there is:
Cover (often more KB than the text), Blank page, Title, Dedication, Copyright, Contents, About the author and horrido, here we are, 11 chapters with perhaps three pages of it at the end of the sample. (I have a slow modem connection, it takes some time to get there.)

I would reduce the number of pages before the novel and compress them. For instance, the titlepage with only two lines (author and title of the novel) is a waste of space. It could be:
Author
Title in the first third of the page, big letters
Dedication 1-3 lines in the middle
E-mail and
Homepage at the bottom with working links (for tablets), small letters
Copyright only one line like: C 2012 GraciousMe.

The copyright could be noted also in the metadata with the complete copyright including credits as a separate page at the end of the book. A TOC in the book is not necessary if it is a novel with chapter numbers only. Otherwise, I have an html-TOC as part of a book with a collection of stories. The headlines of the stories make the TOC.

So my proposal is:

*Cover
*Title (author, title, dedication, e-mail, homepage, copyright)
*Novel
*2 appendixes
*Acknowledgments...
*About the author (photo, bio, other books (each book a separate page with small cover and blurb)
*Copyright (ISBN, credits for design, photos, etc), thus including the complete book.

It's very short, isn't it?

George

GraciousMe
11-09-2012, 07:18 AM
So my proposal is:

This is not a novel and it will not be on Amazon because it is written in Swedish. But the advice is still valuable, thanks.

derangedhermit
11-11-2012, 08:54 PM
This [...] will not be on Amazon because it is written in Swedish.
Amazon does not accept books in Swedish?

travger
11-13-2012, 12:31 PM
I agree wholeheartedly with having less scrolling/clicks to do until the chapters begin, but I rather like the inline toc in mobi in the beginning of the book - it gives some feel about the 'heftiness'.

Author introduction and copyright are very nice at the end, I always feel a bit uncomfortable when last chapter ends with no sign that it's also *THE END*.
If I'm interested about author during/before reading, I'll use the toc, but I don't want to be forced to reading about author before reading the book.

Whenever I've modified my books, praises were the first to go (sometimes to the end, but mostly deleted).

Just my two cents.

JSWolf
11-14-2012, 10:22 PM
Start with Once

End with End

GMcG
11-15-2012, 08:15 AM
@travger
For a book like that of GraciousMe with some more contents than just "11 chapters" you could use a software generated TOC instead of a TOC as part of your book. Like in Calibre:

For EPUB:
Convert --> Table of Contents: Force use of auto-generated Table of Contents
For MOBI
Convert --> MOBI Output: Do not add Table of Contens to book (don't opt for it).

I would prefer this alternative, if a TOC is not needed for the story but if you want one for the book.

George