What Is a Front Matter 

Glossary > Front Matter

💬 Definition of Front Matter:

Front matter refers to pages or sections that appear at the beginning of a book before the main content. It includes various elements that provide essential information about the book and its publication.

Related questions about a front matter:

What are the elements of the front matter?

  • Half-title page: has the title of the book
  • Title page: comes after the half-title page and includes the book's full title and subtitles.
  • Frontispiece (optional): is placed opposite the title page and may have an illustration or image. 
  • Accolades (optional): includes praise from esteemed publications and authors about the book.
  • Copyright Page (colophon): contains details about copyrights, the year of the edition, the font used, the ISBN, the publisher, and the printer. 
  • Dedication page: has the name(s) of those to whom authors are dedicating the book. 
  • Table of contents: lists chapter and subchapter titles and their corresponding page numbers. 
  • Epigraph (optional): is a quote or passage placed right before the first chapter that reflects the book's theme. The author may take it from other works of fiction, poetry, songs, etc.
  • Preface: is an introduction written by the author in which they offer details regarding the book creation or give context to the present edition. 
  • Forward: is an introductory section written by someone other than the author.

The elements may vary depending on the publisher or author's preference.

What is the purpose of a front matter?

The front matter is important for:

  • Context: Elements such as the foreword, preface, and introduction offer insights into the book's content, purpose, and background. 
  • Navigation: The table of contents in the front matter helps readers locate and navigate specific sections or chapters of interest.
  • Copyright: The copyright page in the front matter gives details regarding the legal rights and the copyright holder.

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