Writing Done Right
Parts of a Novel
Summary: This article shows you the parts of a book and where they go in the formatted manuscript.

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Today we will look at the parts of a novel and where they go in your finalized document.

Producing a novel includes more than just the text of your book. There are parts of a book that are required, and a smart author will also have a place to promote their other work. This article will walk you through the various steps of creating your book.

The Parts of a Novel

If you grab any book off your shelf and open it up, you will find several pages of information before getting to the actual story. Some of these pieces of information are optional, but some of them are required. Follow along with this simple list. We will indicate whether it is optional or required and where they should be located.

  • Reviews: (optional) - Opening the first few pages before anything else. If you have good reviews already, be sure to include them here.
  • List of other works: (optional) (sometimes listed at the front, often this list is at the back) - This is a list of other books used as a handy reference to let your readers know what other books you have written. If you have authored other books, you should include a list of books.
  • Title Page: (required) - This is always on a Right Page. It includes the Author and Title. This page is usually formatted nicely with large print.
  • Copyright Page: (required) - This page includes ISBN, LCCN, declarations, copyright and publisher information. It is the first Left page after the Title page.
  • Story: (required) - This is your actual story. It usually starts on a right page and may also start with the title of the book again, though not as elaborately styled as the title page.
  • Acknowledgments: (required) (sometimes is in the front of the book after the Reviews) - It is a best practice to acknowledge the many people who helped make your book a reality, even when you paid for their services.
  • About the Author: (optional) - This lets your readers know more about you. Often this will be followed by your list of books unless they are listed in the front of your book.

Gathering Information

This information applies to United States authors. If you are in another country, you need to check with some local authors for more information.

If you need an LCCN, you need an account at the Library of Congress.

If you need an ISBN, look here.

Here is a page with info on your copyright page.