How Should Your Book Be Laid Out?

We get a lot of people asking us how their book should be laid out, what is the order of things when it comes to the sections either side of the main text. Well, we have put together this guide to help you decided what goes where.

Some of the sections you will probably never use others will be essential to your work so don’t be worried that the list is so long, just pick those that are relevant to you, any questions you know were we are. . .

The following is for references will be referred to in the guide:

  • Leaf – What we publishers refer to as pages.
  • Recto – When a book is open and laying on its spine, this is the right-hand leaf. Always odd numbered.
  • Verso – When a book is open and laying on its spine, this is the left-hand leaf. Always even numbered.

Whilst these rules are not hard and fast they are the norm and we try to follow them where possible. The layout is broken down initially in the following way:

  • Front Matter – The pages at the beginning of the book before the text or body, we normally number these pages using roman numerals.
  • Text or Body – This is the main part of the book, your manuscript and will be traditionally numbered.
  • Back Matter – The pages at the end of the book that contain additional information such as references, appendices, glossaries and indices.

Each of these initial stages are then broken down further in to the elements that you would recognise, they are as follows:

Front Matter.

  1. Half Title Page – This is also called the Bastard title or a Fly title and is the first page you see when opening the books, it contains the book title nothing else, we don’t tend to use this page but skip straight to the Title Page
  2. Frontispiece – This is an illustration page that would normally be on the back of the Half Title Page facing the Title Page, again, as a rule we don’t tend to use this page.
  3. Title Page – This is normally our first Recto page and contains the title, subtitle, author and sometimes our detials. Other information that can be placed on the title page including the publisher’s location, the year of publication, or descriptive text about the book, illustrations are also common on title pages. We tend to place all our information on the copyright page.
  4. Copyright Page – This is normally our first Verso page of the book on the rear of the title page; this page carries the copyright notice, edition information, publication information, printing history, cataloguing data, legal notices, and the books ISBN or identification number. Rows of numbers are sometimes printed at the bottom of the page to indicate the year and number of the printing however we don’t use this method. Credits for design, production, editing and illustration are sometimes listed on the copyright page although we tend to add a note on the bottom of the title page.
  5. Dedication – This is as it suggests, a dedication, provided by you, the author, and tends to be someone dear to the author.
  6. Epigraph – This is a short quotation should you wish to add one, normally something profound but the individual being quoted must be referenced.
  7. Table Of Contents – This is as the name suggests, a contents page is less common in fiction works but may be used if your work includes unique chapter titles. A table of contents is never used if your chapters are only numbered (e.g., Chapter One, Chapter Two).
  8. List Of Figures – As the title suggests, this adheres to the same rules as above.
  9. List Of Tables – Again, same rules apply as the list of figures.
  10. Foreword – The foreword contains a statement about the book and is usually written by someone other than the author who is an expert or is widely known in the field of the book’s topic. A foreword is most commonly found in nonfiction works.
  11. Preface – Nearly always written by the author, the Preface often tells how the book came into being, and is often signed with the name, place and date, although this is not always the case.
  12. Acknowledgements – Used by the author to express their gratitude for help in the creation of the book.
  13. Introduction – Here the author explains the purposes and the goals of the work, and may also place the work in a context, as well as spell out the organisation and scope of the book.
  14. Prologue – Used mainly in a work of fiction to set out the scene for the story and is written in the voice of the character within the story.
  15. Second Half Title – We tend to use this to divide sections of the book and is always placed on the recto page.

Text or Body

  1. Part Opening Page – We rarely have cause to use this page but both fiction and nonfiction books are sometimes divided into parts when there is a large conceptual, historical or structural logic that suggests these divisions, and the belief that reader will benefit from a meta-organisation.
  2. Second Half Title – Again, we rarely have cause to use these pages however if the frontmatter is lengthy, a second half title, identical to the first, can be added before the beginning of the text. The page following is usually blank but may contain an illustration or an epigraph.
  3. Chapter Opening Page – Most fiction and almost all nonfiction books are divided into chapters for the sake of organising the material to be covered. Chapter Opening pages and Part Opening pages may be a single right-hand recto page, or in some cases a spread consisting of a left, verso, and right-hand page. Statistically, if a spread opening is used, half the chapters (or parts) will generate a blank right hand page, and the author or publisher will have to work with the book designer to decide how to resolve these right-hand page blanks. We tend to use another method where the chapters flow using no blank pages.
  4. Chapter Text – Exactly as the name suggests, the meat of the book.
  5. Epilogue – Mostly used in Fiction is the ending piece of the book, usually in the voice of the author bringing closure to the book story line.
  6. Afterword – May be written by the author or another, and might deal with the origin of the book or seek to situate the work in some wider context.
  7. Conclusion – A brief summary of the salient arguments of the main work that attempts to give a sense of completeness to the work.

Back Matter

  1. Postscript – From the Latin post scriptum, “after the writing” meaning anything added as an addition or afterthought to the main body of the work. This, in our experience, is rarely used.
  2. Appendix or Addendum – A supplement to the main work and tends to be used more in non-fiction. An appendix might include source documents cited in the text, material that arose too late to be included in the main body of the work, or any of a number of other insertions.
  3. Chronology – In some works, particularly histories, a chronological list of events may be helpful for the reader. It may appear as an appendix, but can also appear in the frontmatter if the author considers it critical to the reader’s understanding of the work.
  4. Notes or Endnotes – These come after any appendices, and before the bibliography or list of references. The notes are typically divided by chapter to make them easier to locate.
  5. Glossary – A glossary comprises alphabetically arranged words and their definitions.
  6. Bibliography or References – Again normally found in non-fiction this is a list of source materials that are used or consulted in the preparation of a work or that are referred to in the text.
  7. Contributors – A work by many authors may demand a list of contributors, which should appear immediately before the index, although it is sometimes moved to the frontmatter. Contributor’s names should be listed alphabetically by last name, but appear in the form “First Name Last Name.” Information about each contributor may include brief biographical notes, academic affiliations, or previous publications.
  8. Illustration Credits – Again this is normally used where there are several contributors, we would normally use the title page to credit an individual illustrator.
  9. Index – An alphabetical listing that can be used for any of the following: people, places, events, concepts and works cited along with page numbers indicating where they can be found within the main body of the work.
  10. Errata – We have never needed to use this but it is normally used as a notice from the publisher of an error in the book, usually caused in the production process. These are not used to correct typographical errors or to insert additions or revisions. “It should be used only in extreme cases where errors severe enough to cause misunderstanding are detected too late to correct in the normal way but before the finished book is distributed.” (Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. p. 33)
  11. Colophon – A brief notice at the end of a book usually describing the text typography, identifying the typeface by name along with a brief history. It may also credit the book’s designer and other persons or companies involved in its physical production.

This is an extensive list but includes all elements should they be required, most however are not normal in fiction writing and tend to be most relevant in non-fiction technical and informational works.

We hope this list has been of assistance to you, please feel free to add your comments below.

ShieldCrest Publishing expands its operation worldwide

Although ShieldCrest’s authors are from all over the world and its eBook sales have always been available worldwide, the UK has always been the predominant market for sales of hard copies.  One of the reasons is, of course, the cost of moving heavy paper around the world.

However, it has now established marketing and printing of its books in key locations throughout the world, including the USA. This makes it much more accessible to interested purchasers overseas who can obtain copies of ShieldCrest author’s books from local retailers with their books printed locally.

ShieldCrest is already established as the leading self-publisher for service, price and quality. This has largely been achieved because it publishes all its author’s books in-house and this move further secures its rapidly increasing dominant position in the market.

There will be a major announcement towards the end of the year of the company’s expansion into a new area of publishing so to ensure you don’t miss this and to keep up with all the company’s activities, its authors and new book releases make sure you add your email address and follow these announcements.

More about ShieldCrest here

Incredible success by our author Richard Hardaker

Congratulations to Richard for the outstanding success of his book entitled “Executive Protection – The Next Level”.

His book has become the de-facto standard for all training in, what is becoming, a more and more important industry.  His considerable personal experience in personal protection for royal families and other significant people and organisation has been recognised and his book tells its own story as it is sold throughout the world and will shortly be translated into Spanish and other languages.

He says;

“Close Protection (CP) is renowned for its excellence in providing top level protection to many levels of society. The fact that CP is being used in the first place means that there is a real risk to the person being protected.
Providing the right calibre of individual or team is necessary to ensure that the correct concentric level(s) of security is measurable to the threat.
This book is aimed at those who aspire to be managers, team leaders or supervisors with the responsibility of recruitment and selection of a team. Having a CP licence is merely the first step…”9781911090847

For more information and to purchase your copy, please click Here.

Related Links:

  • ShieldCrest Publishing – Here
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Fanny And Victorian Jack – Lynne DM Noble

Introducing Fanny and Victorian Jack, the first book from Lynne DM Noble from her new series of children’s books. The book is illustrated by her husband Michael Hutchinson.


Fanny and Victorian Jack is the first of a series of books written especially for children.9781912505135 Fanny has Asperger’s syndrome and is passionate about nature. Jack appears from Victorian London and shows Fanny a world of poverty and hardship that she could never have envisaged.

Fanny desperately wants to help Jack and his family find a way out of the poverty they are in. Hesitatingly, she begins to explore what she can do to help but not before tragedy strikes Jack’s family. Fanny found that it is the things that we often throw away that became the most useful in helping Jack and his family. Along the way, Fanny finds herself transported into the slums of London and she learns first-hand about the reality of life for the Victorian Poor.

This book can be read alone by confident readers and provides insight into an age which is very different from ours. It is useful for aiding understanding in school projects on this era. Younger readers may like to read this with an adult as it is written to aid discussion and increase a child’s understanding of how the past has affected the age we are living in now. The story is intended to extend and develop a child’s vocabulary.

Finally, the story is designed to raise awareness of some of the challenges of living with Asperger’s Syndrome.

For more information and to purchase your copy please click here

Related Links:

  • ShieldCrest Publishing – Here
  • Author WebPage – Here
  • Amazon – Paperback – Here
  • Waterstones – Paperback – Here

Burning Obsession – Vernon Rodgers

Introducing the second of two books published by Vernon Rodgers with ShieldCrest Publishing, Burning Obsession.


On his way to be sentenced for a crime he didn’t commit, Jack Milburn, for some9781911090892 inexplicable reason, purchases a lottery ticket. Days later, in the prison television room, he discovers the ticket is the winner of a major prize, possibly even the jackpot, although there are other winners. The ticket being in his wallet when he was sent down, the only way to retrieve it is by his wife collecting it when she visits. This she does. On her next visit she informs him there was only an old ticket in the wallet when she collected it from the desk. He trusts her. Why wouldn’t he? He certainly can’t trust his fellow inmates and probably not most of the prison guards. Who has the ticket? Where are their winnings? How long will it take and how far must he go before, if ever, he can recover them?

For more information and to order your copy click here

Related Links:

  • ShieldCrest Publishing – Here
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  • Amazon – Kindle – Here
  • Waterstones – Paperback – Here
  • Kobo – ebook – Here

A beautiful story beautifully illustrated – “Noah! Can I have a Kiss?” by Phillippa Bailey


Phillippa’s book is based on her own children and is a beautiful story about a little brother owl who knows his big sister loves him very much. She hugs and kisses him every day. But Noah runs away, he thinks it’s just a game.

One day, his sister goes away and he misses her so very much and when she returns, they both realise just how special they are to each other.

This is a heartwarming tale of the loving bond between two siblings which has been beautifully  illustrated.

Author pic - new - to use in book - cropped


Phillippa kisses her children every day and believes that kissing is a meaningful and natural expression of love. She wanted to capture the beauty of this in a story that both children and parents could enjoy.


  • ShieldCrest Publishing – Here
  • Special offer price – Here
  • Amazon Books – Here
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Scan the barcode below in your Amazon app.

ISBN 9781911090755


Mick Greenhough’s exposé of the origins and real goals of the EU in his book “Brave New Europe” gets rave reviews.

9781911090489Mick Greenhough’s book is selling well and we have had to reprint it many times due to the demand.

Mick became concerned at what was happening in Brussels and decided to research the origins of the EU and what he found horrified him so he decided to publish this book to make others aware of his findings.

He says: After studying the history of the EU intently, I wrote this book when it became very clear to me that the government and other ‘Remainers’ were either deliberately lying to us or they did not have much idea what the EU is about. The few MPs I spoke to either had a very sketchy understanding of the EU with many blank areas of knowledge or were in a state of complete denial.

His comment is borne out by MEP  who wrote the following review on Amazon two days ago on 6 September 2017:

 “This is an eye opener. As a Member of the European Parliament, I thought I had pretty good knowledge of the origins of the European Union but the author has opened my eyes to the extent that active Nazis were able to influence the founding of the EU. A most interesting read, highly recommended.”

wrote in his review on 19 June 2017

“This publication puts everything into prospective. A must read for all who want the truth.”

n 8 July 2017 said; German Foreign policy by default.”

Excellent book for giving an over view of the evil EU project.
Have bought 3 copies for avowed Europhiles who new nothing of the machinations to deceive the British people. Not one Europhile I have ever met knows of ” Corpus Juris”

“Brave New Europe” is not a normal book with a flowing narrative. It is a compilation of relevant articles, comments and quotes that combine to inform and point in a direction. Like pieces of a jigsaw they fit together to give the whole picture. The references have all been in the public domain for many months or years without any objections or contradictions.

Much of the information within this book will come as a surprise, even shock to new readers. When you have read it then form your own conclusion as to the nature of the EU and whether the British public were right to reject it.

  • ShieldCrest Publishing – Here
  • Special offer price – Here
  • Amazon Books – Here
  • Google books – Here
  • Waterstones Books – Paperback – Here

Scan the barcode below in your Amazon app.