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The Back Matter: Give Readers MORE Than They Expect

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

An online devotional for writers

A Word From The Word

And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. (Romans 16:17, NLT)

A Word For Writers

The Back Matter: a #devotional for writers based on Romans 16:17 with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter #WritingABook #WritingTips

You’ve written “The End.” But your book is not quite finished. What will you include in your book’s back matter?

While front matter is the information that introduces your book, back matter provides additional information related to your book’s topic.

In fact, book creation platform Pressbooks lists 25 different kinds of back matter you can potentially include in your book, from acknowledgements to bibliography, epilogue, glossary, index, reading group guide, and additional sources.

Those extra resources give your reader more information that she expects, making your topic clearer and allowing your reader to dig more deeply into your topic. Back matter adds value to your book.

For instance, Romans 16 provides a loose example of a book’s back matter in its …

  • Acknowledgements: Paul mentions 29 people by name, including greetings to those in Rome (Romans 16:1-16) and greetings from those with him in Corinth (Romans 16:21, 23).
  • Afterword: Paul adds a final bit of information with the need and way to discern false teaching (Romans 16:17-20).
  • Credits: Tertius is credited with recording the letter on Paul’s behalf (Romans 16:22).

How precious those extra words would have been to the believers at Rome! 

There’s no magic formula or rules to follow as you choose the kinds of back matter to include in your book … except one. Use back matter to give your reader more than she expects.

A Wise Word

Back matter adds value to your book.

A Word To Pray

Gracious Father,

Your desire is for me to keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. I desire that for my readers, also. Show me what extra resources to include in my book’s back matter to add value to their reading experience.

In Jesus’s name, Amen.

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