What front and back matter items should you include in your book and tips on how to write them

As an author, it can be challenging to decide how to structure your book and what elements to include. While the content of your book is critical, the way you present it can also make a big difference. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to help you understand the purpose of different book elements and when to use them.


The dedication section of a book is a brief message from the author to someone they want to acknowledge and honor. It’s usually located at the beginning of the book, before the main content. When writing a dedication section, it’s important to keep it concise and heartfelt, expressing gratitude and appreciation for the person or people being honored. Consider the purpose of the book and how the dedication aligns with that message, while still remaining personal and authentic to the author.

See below for a few examples of book dedications and the intent behind them!

  • 1. “To my loving family, whose unwavering support and encouragement have been the foundation of my journey. This book is dedicated to you.”
    • A heartfelt dedication acknowledging the author’s family for their constant support.
  • 2. “In memory of Jane Doe, a brilliant soul who left us too soon. This book is dedicated to her everlasting spirit and the joy she brought into our lives.”
    • A dedication honoring someone who has passed away, emphasizing their impact and celebrating their memory.
  • 3. “To my dearest friend and partner, John Smith, for believing in me even when I doubted myself. Your love and belief in my dreams have been my guiding light.”
    • A dedication expressing gratitude to a significant other or close friend for their unwavering belief in the author’s abilities.
  • 4. “To the brave men and women of the armed forces, whose sacrifice and dedication protect our freedom. This book is dedicated to you.”
    • A dedication paying tribute to the military and recognizing their dedication and sacrifices for the greater good.
  • 5. “To the readers who have shared this incredible journey with me. Your enthusiasm and support have made it all worthwhile. This book is dedicated to each and every one of you.”
    • A dedication addressed to the readers, expressing gratitude for their support and acknowledging their role in the author’s success.

Please note that these examples are fictional and provided for illustrative purposes. Actual dedications in published books can vary widely in style and content.


A preface is typically written by the author and comes before the main text of the book. Its purpose is to give readers an idea of what to expect from the book and how it came to be written. In a preface, you can explain why you wrote the book, what inspired you, and any challenges you faced during the writing process. It’s also an opportunity to thank anyone who helped you along the way.

See below for an example of a short book book preface!

In the wake of the devastating events of September 11, 2001, our nation was forever changed. The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York City not only shattered buildings and claimed countless lives but also tested the resilience and heroism of those who answered the call to duty.
This book is a tribute to the brave firefighters who rushed into the chaos and wreckage, risking their own lives to save others. It is a firsthand account of their experiences, an intimate glimpse into the harrowing moments and the unwavering spirit that defined their actions on that fateful day.

As a firefighter myself, I had the honor and privilege of serving alongside these extraordinary men and women. Together, we faced unimaginable challenges as we navigated the treacherous debris, battled the suffocating smoke, and braved the imminent danger that lurked at every turn. The bonds we forged amidst the chaos became unbreakable, a testament to the strength of our shared mission and the unyielding camaraderie that sustains firefighters in the face of adversity.
Through the pages of this book, I invite you to join me on a journey back to that defining moment in our nation’s history. Together, we will revisit the events that unfolded, but more importantly, we will uncover the untold stories of heroism, selflessness, and sacrifice that emerged from the ashes.
This is not just a recollection of the horrors witnessed, but a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the indomitable courage that resides within ordinary individuals when confronted with extraordinary circumstances. It is a tribute to those who paid the ultimate price and a celebration of the unbreakable spirit of the firefighting community.

May this book serve as a tribute to the fallen, a testament to the strength of unity, and a reminder that even in the darkest of times, the light of hope and bravery shines through.


The introduction is usually the first chapter of the book, and its purpose is to set the stage for the rest of the book. In an introduction, you can explain the main idea of the book, provide context for the subject matter, and outline the structure of the book. You can also use this section to grab the reader’s attention and give them a reason to keep reading.

An introduction is typically a bit longer than a preface, so we won’t include an example below. HOWEVER, the real joy will come when and if Streamline Books gets to help you write YOUR book introduction.


A foreword is written by someone other than the author and comes before the preface and introduction. Its purpose is to provide an endorsement for the book from someone who is respected in the field. The person writing the foreword could be an expert in the subject matter or someone with a personal connection to the author. A foreword can give readers a sense of the book’s credibility and value.

See below for an example of a book foreword written by a fictitious author, that keeps in step with the aforementioned book preface!

When I was approached to write the foreword for this remarkable book, I didn’t hesitate for a moment. The story within these pages resonates deeply with me, as it captures the essence of heroism, sacrifice, and the unwavering spirit of those who answer the call in times of great adversity.

As an actor, I have had the privilege of stepping into various roles, portraying characters who exhibit extraordinary bravery and resilience. But nothing compares to the real-life heroes who walk among us, whose acts of courage often go unrecognized or fade into the background noise of everyday life.

In this book, you will delve into the experiences of the brave firefighters who risked their lives on that fateful day in September. Their dedication, selflessness, and unyielding determination to save others serve as a beacon of inspiration for all of us.
Through the author’s vivid storytelling, you will be transported to the heart of the chaos and feel the weight of the monumental task these men and women faced. You will witness their moments of doubt, their unwavering camaraderie, and their unshakeable resolve to confront the unimaginable.
What struck me most as I read these pages was the humanity and vulnerability that lie beneath the shield of bravery. These firefighters were not invincible superheroes; they were real people who faced their worst fears head-on and emerged as beacons of hope for a nation in mourning.
Their stories serve as a reminder that courage is not the absence of fear, but the strength to persevere in spite of it. It is the selflessness to put others before oneself, to run towards danger when every instinct tells you to run the other way.

To the author of this book, I extend my gratitude for capturing the essence of these incredible individuals and sharing their stories with the world. Your words serve as a testament to their bravery and ensure that their legacy will endure for generations to come.

To the readers, prepare yourselves for a gripping and emotional journey. This is not just a book; it is a tribute to the heroes who rose above the ashes, a reminder of the power of the human spirit, and a call to action to honor and support those who continue to risk their lives every day.

May this book ignite a flame within your heart, inspiring you to embrace compassion, empathy, and courage in your own lives. Let us never forget the sacrifices made on that fateful day, and may we strive to honor the memory of those we lost by embodying the spirit of resilience and unity that defines us as a nation.

Together, let us carry the torch of remembrance and gratitude, ensuring that the stories of these courageous firefighters are forever etched in our collective consciousness.

With utmost respect,

[Name of a Famous Actor]


An afterword is written by the author and comes at the end of the book. Its purpose is to provide further context or reflections on the book’s content. In an afterword, you could explain the impact you hope the book will have, or share any final thoughts on the subject matter. You could also use this section to update readers on any developments since the book was written.


An acknowledgments section is an opportunity to thank the people who helped you write the book. This could include family members, friends, editors, agents, and anyone else who provided support and feedback during the writing process. Acknowledgments can also give readers a sense of the community that helped bring the book to life.

See below for an example of an acknowledgements section!

Writing a book is a solitary endeavor, but it is never truly accomplished alone. It is with profound gratitude and heartfelt appreciation that I extend my deepest acknowledgments to those who have supported and guided me on this journey.
First and foremost, I want to express my sincere appreciation to my family. Your unwavering belief in me, your endless encouragement, and your understanding during the countless hours I spent immersed in this project have been invaluable. Your love and support have been the bedrock of my strength throughout this process.
To my friends, who provided both a listening ear and a much-needed respite from the writing process, thank you for your unwavering support. Your words of encouragement, coffee dates, and shared laughter were the fuel that kept me going during the challenging times.
I am indebted to my Streamline Books team, whose expert guidance helped shape this manuscript into its final form. The team’s insightful feedback, attention to detail, and unwavering commitment to excellence elevated this book beyond what I ever thought possible. Thank you for your collaboration and for believing in this project.
I extend my gratitude to the brave men and women who generously shared their stories and experiences with me. Your openness, honesty, and willingness to revisit painful memories were essential in capturing the authenticity and depth that I strived for in these pages. It is through your voices that this story finds its resonance, and I am humbled and honored to have been entrusted with your narratives.
Lastly, but certainly not least, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the readers. Your enthusiasm and support are the ultimate reward for any writer. It is for you that this book was written, and I am deeply grateful for your time, attention, and engagement with this narrative.
Writing this book has been a labor of love, and it is because of each and every one of you that it has come to fruition. Your contributions, whether big or small, have left an indelible mark on this project, and I am forever grateful.
With heartfelt thanks,
[Your Name]

Incorporating elements like a preface, introduction, foreword, afterword, and acknowledgments into your book can help you connect with readers and provide additional context for your subject matter. When deciding which elements to include, think about what will best serve the needs of your readers and help you achieve your writing goals. At Streamline Books, we can help you create a professional and polished book that will engage readers and leave a lasting impression.

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Madi Reade

Madi is a Content Writer at Streamline Books. She lives in Florida and loves writing and editing as work and hobby. When not writing high-quality copy for work, she's enjoying time at the beach or traveling the country with friends!