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Old 01-21-2013, 04:58 PM   #1
1611mac
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Is there a name for "pre chapter one" blurb?

I do ebook conversions and I never know what to call (for TOC) certain little "blurbs."

In a p-book these are most often found after the table of contents and before the Introduction and/org Chapter one. I'm NOT talking about title page and such.) This "blurb" is often a Quote or Excerpt, etc. I suspect that oftentimes they are used only to fill the blank left hand page across from Chapter one beginning.

I want readers of my ebook to be able to navigate to the "blurb" from the TOC. What would an appropriate TOC entry be?

Thanks ahead of time for your input.

.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:05 PM   #2
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Preface, Prologue, or Foreword, perhaps?
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:06 PM   #3
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Sounds like an epigraph to me.

ETA: Assuming it's a quote from a different work. Otherwise, preview teaser seems apt.

Last edited by ATDrake; 01-21-2013 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:15 PM   #4
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Sounds like an epigraph to me.
After reading the definition it does sound like a Epigraph to me! Has anyone ever seen this word in a TOC? People won't know what it is.

ykim54- Thanks but it's not a Preface, or Foreward. Perhaps could be considered a Prologue, perhaps....

I think prologue fits a TOC better than epigraph though I do think it's an epigraph. What do you all think?
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:26 PM   #5
ATDrake
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After reading the definition it does sound like a Epigraph to me! Has anyone ever seen this word in a TOC?
Yes, but I have quirky reading tastes sometimes.

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People won't know what it is.
Eh, they'll find out when they click on it. And learn a new word in the process. Win-win!

You can go with prologue if you prefer, but generally they're not really serving the same function. (Especially in certain types of experimental or speculative literature.)
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:28 PM   #6
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If other people will be reading this ebook, and it's not just for personal use, then I'd go with either preface or prologue. The definition of "Prologue" in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is:

Quote:
The preface or introduction to a literary work.
Epigraph might fit it better, but it's a little obscure and it might just confuse people.

Quote:
Eh, they'll find out when they click on it. And learn a new word in the process. Win-win!
Normally, I'd agree with that but if the ToC is for the sake of conveniency, then I'd go with the term more people would be likely to recognize. That's just my opinion.

Last edited by sneakyspider; 01-21-2013 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:38 PM   #7
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OK.. now I'm really curious. Wikipedia says some authors use epigraph at new sections etc.. I remember seeing these now... But I wonder how eBook publishers handle this? Leave it out of TOC entirely?

I really would not have an issue leaving it out of TOC but since a lot of reader apps actually skip material prior to first "Chapter" tag it would never be seen....
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:09 PM   #8
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Epigraphs are generally meant to be part of the story or a mood-setting lead-in (if fiction), and some of them are quite important. I have a set of old Robotech novelizations where every single chapter is preceded by an epigraph of fake quotes from made-up books, interviews, and other materials done "in-universe", and they really add to the world-building.

I'd just have the chapters in the TOC go as usual, but have the chapter nav link go to the appropriate epigraph which starts the section, and use a page-break if necessary to set the following narrative text off.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:20 PM   #9
Andrew H.
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Originally Posted by ATDrake View Post
Epigraphs are generally meant to be part of the story or a mood-setting lead-in (if fiction), and some of them are quite important. I have a set of old Robotech novelizations where every single chapter is preceded by an epigraph of fake quotes from made-up books, interviews, and other materials done "in-universe", and they really add to the world-building.
Yeah, epigraphs have been used for hundreds of years and are very common. But I think they are usually considered to be part of the chapter and not something you reference in the TOC.

(I think most chapters in the Foundation Trilogy have an epigraph from the Encyclopedia Galactica).
Quote:

I'd just have the chapters in the TOC go as usual, but have the chapter nav link go to the appropriate epigraph which starts the section, and use a page-break if necessary to set the following narrative text off.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:20 PM   #10
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...I think prologue fits a TOC better than epigraph though I do think it's an epigraph. What do you all think?
I would not use the term "prologue" in a TOC for an epigraph; it's not the same thing. Nor would I go with "preface" or really any of the others for the same reason.

In my opinion, it's an epigraph, so if you're going to have it labelled in a TOC, that's the appropriate word to use.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:10 AM   #11
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Why not just use Excerpt? (Or Description if it's the back cover blurb)

You don't need to be consistent between books so just use the word for what the blurb is instead of trying to find a "one word fits all" naming convention.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:37 PM   #12
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I would not use the term "prologue" in a TOC for an epigraph; it's not the same thing. Nor would I go with "preface" or really any of the others for the same reason.

In my opinion, it's an epigraph, so if you're going to have it labelled in a TOC, that's the appropriate word to use.
Uh-huh.
In fiction an epigraph is usually a fragment that sets the tone/scene for what is to follow, whereas a Prologue is a self-contained scene that precedes the narrative.
In every book I've seen Prologue and Epilogue go into the TOC but epigraphs don't.
Probably why the term isn't in common usage.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:41 PM   #13
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I would not use the term "prologue" in a TOC for an epigraph; it's not the same thing. Nor would I go with "preface" or really any of the others for the same reason.

In my opinion, it's an epigraph, so if you're going to have it labelled in a TOC, that's the appropriate word to use.
+1. In fact, if I were reading a book where the TOC listed an epigraph as a prologue, I'd be pretty put off, because I'd worry that if something that insignificant and easy to research is wrong, there might be significant research issues involved in the story as well.

Though, I can't recall ever reading a book that actually listed the epigraph in the TOC. I've got quite a few books that have epigraphs on the "Part one" "Part two" etc. pages of multi-volume novels, but the TOC lists those as "Part one" "Part two" etc. with the epigraph as a nice bonus when you actually get there.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:32 AM   #14
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I usually just name them "useless obscure quotes". Of course, since I clean up books for my personal use only, no one else will see my editorializing there.

(Not talking about those that are created by the author, such as those mentioned above used in the Foundation series).
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:44 AM   #15
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The short piece that you're talking about, is it written by the author or someone else? To me, it's only an epigraph if it's a quote by someone else. (am I right or wrong about that?)

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