Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Writing 101: Why You Need a Title Page

Ever literally read a book cover to cover? If you have, and maybe even if you haven't, you've found that there are extra pages at the start of any book. You flip through them to get to the good parts, barely giving them a glance. But if you think you can skip that extra stuff now that you're self-publishing, you're wrong. You need a title page...period.

In the Beginning, There Was Junk

Honestly, the title page is a rather worthless waste of ink in books -- or so I've always thought. It usually consists of just a few elements, some of which are really redundant.

  • The title: Obviously. The title page is used to repeat the title again. That's in case you missed it on the cover while you were buying the book, transporting the book or selecting the book to read. The author's name is usually placed here as well, because it's very likely you did miss that.
  • The publisher: Often, the title page will contain some information about the publisher -- the name, the address, and so forth. When you're the publisher, you don't have to do any of this but you can if you like. Some self-published authors create their own publishing labels to give themselves more of that professional sheen.
  • The copyright: Legally, you've got to add a copyright to your book. You also have to legally obtain one. Don't self-publish without doing so. Find appropriate copyright wording online so you may include it on your title page. Add this! You want the disclaimer there, just in case.
  • ISBN: If you've got an ISBN, this is where it goes.

Much of it is unnecessary, and you could just as easily put the copyright at the end of the book if you wanted to. But I maintain that you've got to have a title page for one simple reason: all the "real" books have them. If you want to make your book look polished and professional, you must add a title page. It's easy to do, and it will make your book look very well put together...so do it!

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