Anatomy of an eBook - Front Page Material

Front page material, also called front matter, are all the pages that come between the cover page and the table of contents (start of the actual content). Since most retailers make the first 5-10% of an e-book available as a free sample, choosing the front page material is important. If you add too much, it might prevent readers from actually getting a sample of your writing.

So what items are usually included in the front page material?


This is a trick example because your book cover is NOT added to your e-book file. Covers are uploaded to retailer sites separate from the actual e-book.


This is optional.

You can add testimonials or snippets of reviews as the first page of your book. This can give readers a quick glimpse at what people are saying about your e-book.

Before deciding to add blurbs, there are a few points to consider:

Title and Copyright Page

This is absolutely required.

The title and copyright page is the first page within your e-book that contains all the information needed to identify it.

The usual format is:

optional: Published by PUBLISHER at Smashwords/Kindle/Specific retailer

Do not add links or references to other retailers. That means that if you publish at Smashwords through their distribution channels, you can list Smashwords, but not specific retailers like Amazon, Apple, etc. Likewise, if you publish to Amazon, you shouldn’t mention Smashwords, Apple, etc. Referencing competitor sites can result in your book not being accepted by specific retailers.

A good rule of thumb is don’t encourage or link readers to specific sites to purchase or review your e-book. Generic requests to leave reviews are good, however they are more appropriate in the back page material, after the book has been read.

Do not list your ISBN inside your e-book. This is added on your upload page for various retailers and depending on the retailer, may be supplied by them at that time.

Discover Other Titles

This is optional.

If you have other e-books already published, you might want to list the titles to encourage readers to search them out. This is particularly helpful if you have a series of e-books.

Sample format:

Discover other titles by NAME:

License Statement

This is optional.
All Smashwords books are sold DRM-free, without copy protection or encryption. Amazon gives authors the option to choose DRM or DRM-free when you upload your e-book. Having DRM makes it difficult to share e-books through unauthorized ways, while DRM means there are no restrictions on how someone can use your e-book, regardless of the license it holds.

Adding a license statement to your e-book is a way to give a gentle reminder to your readers how you’d like them to handle your e-book.

There are three license statement blurbs that Smashwords suggests to their authors, with a note that customizing to your specific situation and wishes is always a good idea.

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Thank you for downloading this ebook. You are welcome to share it with your friends. This book may be reproduced, copied and distributed for non-commercial purposes, provided the book remains in its complete original form. If you enjoyed this book, please return to your favorite ebook retailer to discover other works by this author. Thank you for your support.

Thank you for downloading this ebook. This book remains the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy from their favorite authorized retailer. Thank you for your support.


And now it’s time for your content.

As you can tell, there is very little in the front page material that is required. In fact, only the title and copyright is required, and it can be as simple as 3 lines. Everything else is optional and based on what you want to include.

Anatomy of an eBook - Front Page Material

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