Randall Wood

The Anatomy of a Book


I was asked by a writer who was just starting out just what all goes into a book? She wanted a checklist, a sum of the parts so she didn’t miss anything and have to scramble at the end when it was time to hit the publish button and possibly make a mistake.

So here’s my list, not necessarily in any particular order, of what goes into a fiction book.

 1. Coverart.

               -One for e-books (Front only)

               -One for Paperbacks (Front, spine and back)  

               -One for Hardcovers (Inside front flap, front, spine, back and inside back flap)

               -A square cover for Audio.

2. Title page

3. Copyright page

4. Table of Contents

5. Quotation page*

6. Dedication page*

7. Content (The story itself, try not to forget this part!)

8. Acknowledgments

9. Review request/Link page

10. Pre-view chapters

11. Author photo

12. Blurbs

13. Author Bio

14. Back copy. (Metadata)

15. ISBN

16. Barcode

17. Price*

18. Publishers Trademark

19. QR Code*

That’s it. The items marked with *asterisks are optional. Item 17 depends on where you are selling it. Obviously an e-book cover does not need the price on it. A hardcover that you plan to move through the bookstores may need one. It’s up to each author/publisher to make that decision based on what’s current in the publishing world these days. Items 5 and 6 are things I do. I like to include a quote that’s relevant to the story, one that gives a hint as to what might be happening. Dedications are self-explanatory. If you can’t think of anyone to dedicate your book to feel free to park my name there for providing this awesome checklist. QR codes are still trying to catch on but if you have something to link to I say why not?

Don’t ignore 15! Yes, you need an ISBN, more than one. (See my previous post on ISBN’s and Metadata)

A tip on item 13; take a lot of them, in different clothes and locations. That way you have enough for several years of books and the readers will think you never age.

“Damn, this is his 462nd book and he still looks good!”

That’s it. If I missed something write me an email and I’ll update the post!  

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