The first decision that you have to make when producing your own self-published book is what size the finished product will be. In the industry this is called the trim size, or the size one page when it has been trimmed down so that all the pages are flush. Standard trim sizes run anywhere from 5" x 8" to 8" x 11" although you can make a book in any size you want (this is one of the major advantages to self publication--you are not limited to the formats offered by professional printers). When you set your initial page size it should be 1/4-inch larger than your finished trim size in both height and width to compensate for trimming done to make the signatures flush (ie. a 5" x 8" book should be formatted in your word processing program to a page size of 5 ¼" x 8 ¼".
The next step is setting up all the front matter in the book. This is all of the material that preceeds the actual content of the book: The title page, copyright page, a table of contents, a dedication page, and a forward or preface are all common pieces of front matter.
Title Page - The title page is always a right-facing page (odd numbered) and includes the title and author name and illustrator name if applicable. Titles are usually placed 1/3 of the way down the page and centered with the author name centered below in a smaller type size.
Copyright Page – The copyright page is printed on the back of the title page and includes all the copyright information for the book including the symbol ©, the year the book is published, and the name of the copyright owner. In addition there may be an ISBN(International Standard Book Number) number, an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) number, a list of prior publications, permissions, and acknowledgments plus a web address or contact information. Because this will be a self-published book it will not qualify for a Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication (CIP) data number and will not be indexed by the Library of Congress.
Table of Contents – A table of contents also starts on the page after the copyright (the right-hand facing page) and includes a chapter listing and listing of illustrations. It can also include the forward, preface, index, epilogue and any reference sections. Standard formatting places the chapter titles left-justified and the starting page number in the far right tab.
Dedication – The dedication page follows the table of contents on the first open right-facing page. It is often placed in a similar manner as the title, 1/3 of the way down the page, and is often italicized.
Forward or Preface – The forward or preface starts on the next open right-facing page and is generally numbered with roman numerals.
After the front matter comes the core matter of the book. This is the actual content of the book starting with page one. Core matter formatting is discussed in the technical formatting section below.
After the conclusion of the core matter the back matter begins. Back matter includes any of the following; epilogue, afterward, about the author, bibliography, index, glossary, and a list of resources or references.
Epilogue or Afterward – These portions are sometimes considered a continuation of the novel and are thus numbered as a continuation of the book. For example, if your book ends on page 199, the epilogue or afterward will pick up from there and start on the next right-facing page (in this case page 201).
Bibliography, Index, Glossary, Resources and References – These sections have no consistent numbering technique. In most cases they are not numbered at all. In scientific and nonfiction books a numbering system that incorporates a decimal system may be used so that the first section is section 1 and the pages are numbered 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 etc. Section 2 would then be numbered 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 and so on and so forth.