Day 19. Transforming your Manuscript into an eBook
Any published book is made up of three parts:
The Front Matter.
The first few pages of the book. This includes the title page, any dedications and acknowledgements and the table of contents—with a list of all the major divisions of the book including parts, sections and chapters.
In print books the copyright page usually follows the title page, but many digital romance authors move the copyright page to the back of the eBook.
Why? Because the opening pages of eBooks can be sampled online and downloaded as an extract in the ‘Look Inside’ feature. Authors want readers to enjoy the text of the book and not have to read through a page of copyrights notices.
The Body of the book. The text of the manuscript.
The Back Matter. The final pages of the book.
This would normally include:
- Your biography and official author photo.
- Links to your website and social media platform where a reader can connect with you and give you feedback about this book and your work in general.
- A list of any other books you have written and links to your author page. This is especially important if this book is part of a linked series featuring the same characters in the same family or community.
- The copyright page.
Using the back and front pages as a promotional tool
“The moment after someone finishes your book is the point when they are most favorably inclined to you as an author.” Courtney Milan
So what should you add to the front and back pages of your eBook?
- Thank the reader, and invite them to sign up for the new releases newsletter at your website or to subscribe to your blog.
- Then ask them to post an honest review. Make it easy by sharing the link to the online bookstores where your book is live.
- The call to action which should be linked to some offer which is of value to your readers. A special gift, like the one which I am offering with this eBook that you are reading now, links to free exclusive book extracts or other bonus content.
- Invite them back to your website to read a free extract from another of your books, a short story or something else that they would find interesting and valuable. And while they are on your website, why not sign up for your updates or more free chapters and stories, or subscribe to your blog?
These are all valid ways to move the reader from Amazon over to your website, where you can ask for their email address in a friendly and useful way without the hard sell.
Note – you can add links to other Kindle books that you have written in the back pages of your Kindle eBook on the Amazon Kindle Book store, but you have to remove those references when loading your book as an ePub file onto other bookstores like Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes and Google Play. So for non-Kindle eBooks, direct the reader straight to your website.
The back page of your book is the ideal opportunity for a self-published author to make a stronger connection with their readers.
Remember – never ask a reader for favours. Always be the one providing valuable content for free.
Clearly this offer will only be attractive if you have created an excellent book and your readers want to know where they can find out more.
For my book
Front Matter: The Table of Contents, a Book Description followed by an invitation to join the Sophie Brent Reader group and receive free books and exclusive news.
Body of the Book: Formatted text.
Back Matter: Thanks and Request for a Review, the Book Cover and Chapter One extract of the next book, a list of all of the books in the series, and a very short Copyright page.
Should look super!
Have fun. Nina