Conversion Open Hours Recap: Front Matter Matters!

By: Stephanie Gomes

This entry is a recap of the March 2015 monthly Conversion Open Hours webinar. Conversion Open Hours are held on the first Monday of each month. April 6th’s topic will be: Think Reflowably!


Top tips for Front Matter:

  1. The Front Matter will be a large chunk of your eBook’s sample file at retailers (the first 10-15% of your file that customers can preview before buying your book). Keep it interesting and concise: include a few short advertising sections; share a few quotes of praise; move lengthy Acknowledgements to the end of the book; make sure the first 10% includes some of the first Chapter.
  2. Highlight your Front Matter (and Back Matter) sections by giving them their own Table of Contents entries. This gives the reader a link they can click on to take them directly to your About the Author, Also By, and any other advertisements that appear before and after the “meat” of the book.
  3. To retain the design of an ornate title page, have it captured as an image instead of reflowable text. Large text and graphics mixed with text will flow poorly and often spill onto 2 screens, so capture them as an image instead.

And now for the boring stuff (but important!):

  1. Self-published or eBook only publishers: Include a Copyright page, examples.
  2. Print to digital publishers: Don’t forget to include your eBook ISBN on your Copyright page.


Free for all topics discussed this month:

Cool tools for proofing your eBook files:

Sigil is a great tool for viewing and understanding the code and content of your EPUB files. At INscribe we particularly love the Tools –> Reports feature where you can see lists of all the links and images within your eBook file. You can download it here.

Calibre also has this reporting ability, but it takes a couple more steps than Sigil to get there and the display is not as fast. You have to first load the file into your Calibre library, then open the Edit tool, then go to Tools–>Reports. Download Calibre from here.

Feel free to contact me or your Client Services Representative if you are interested in the below the even more topics the group discussed:

  • Getting titles live for pre-order so you can use the retailer’s buy page during your pre-publication marketing efforts
  • Creating and distributing retailer specific files
  • Creating and distributing custom sample files (especially good for those of you with larger books and bundled books)
  • Affiliate links
  • Getting more reviews on your titles at retailer websites