Felany Melanie: Prequel to the movie Sweet Home Alabama

The many hats of Author/editor Chris Eboch 
Author/editor Chris Eboch has her foot in two worlds: children’s literature, as Chris Eboch and M. M. Eboch, and as Kris Bock, in adult literature. Chris has written over sixty books for children, including nonfiction and fiction, early reader through teen. Chris’s books on writing, You Can Write for Children, and Advanced Plotting, and posts on her blogspot, Write Like a Pro! A Free Online Writing Workshop, are chock full of down-to-earth advice for authors interested in honing their craft. Chris has been a member of SCBWI-NM for many years, has served as Regional Advisor, and currently serves in a new capacity as Published Authors Coordinator. Chris takes an active part in helping fellow authors succeed. We are very fortunate to have her. Read more about Chris in my WOTM February 2019 post: "Writing Tips from Author Chris Eboch".

As Kris Bock, Chris writes novels of romance, mystery, and suspense. Her Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the employees and customers at a cat cafĂ©. And novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes include The Mad Monk’s Treasure, The Dead Man’s Treasure, and The Skeleton Treasure.

And now Chris has embarked on a new young adult romantic comedy series with her brother, author and educator, Doug Eboch. The new series features “Felony Melanie,” Jake, and their friends seven years before the events of the movie Sweet Home Alabama. Doug wrote the original screenplay for Sweet Home Alabama as his master’s degree thesis script at the University of Southern California (USC). The box office hit, which came out in 2002 and stars Reese Witherspoon, is still a popular romantic comedy frequently found on TV. Chris and Doug’s new series is a natural extension of the movie.

In the first novel, Felony Melanie in Pageant Pandemonium, Melanie qualifies for the Miss Alabama Princess Pageant. The prize could be her ticket out of Pigeon Creek. But can a “trailer trash” girl outshine the snooty debutantes? Meanwhile, Jake and his buddies suspect someone is sabotaging the pageant. In order to save the pageant and Melanie’s chance to win, the gang must show they’re more than what people see on the surface.

The authors held an online video book launch in May. The actors who played Clinton and Wade in the movie answered questions from the audience in a lively chat. The launch recording is on YouTube at "Felany Melanie" on YouTube.

Doug currently teaches screenwriting at Art Center College of Design and at Loyola Marymount University, both in California. He has published books on script writing as well as novels and short stories as Jacob Love. The Hollywood Pitching Bible: A Practical Guide to Pitching Movies and Television, by Doug Eboch and Ken Aguado, “a book that tells the truth about the art of pitching in Hollywood,” is now in its 3rd edition and is available on Amazon.

Have you ever thought about writing a screenplay? Several members of SCBWI-NM have done just that. Consider it. If you're an author, you already have what it takes in abundance: tenacity and determination.

Visit Chris at: www.chriseboch.com; https://www.krisbock.com/; and her Amazon page:  https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Eboch/e/B001JS25VE/ .
My writing partners and me
enjoying The Ghost on the Stairs,
one of Chris's ghost stories

Linda Wilson, a former elementary teacher and ICL graduate, has published over 150 articles for adults and children, and several short stories for children. She has recently become editor of the New Mexico SCBWI chapter newsletter, and is working on several projects for children. Secret in the Stars: An Abi Wunder Mystery, Linda's first book, will be out soon. Follow Linda on https://www.lindawilsonauthor.com.

More Research Tips

More Research Tips for Descriptive Writing Projects

We strengthen our writing by using descriptive details that match and develop the topic.
Today let’s talk more about research for descriptive writing.

Research like it’s a treasure hunt to find your perfect topic, or gathering information to expand an interest area. When you land on that topic, consider these points for fresh, active, and believable descriptions:

•    Pursue topics that resonate with you, and inspire you to write

•    Search out topical details, then write them in an organized way to provide the reader a visual pattern they can imagine

•    Be specific with factual details, always fact check to confirm the accuracy

•    Choose details that play a role in your piece, building its credibility

•    When working with a stationary subject—stay with the focus; its texture or its inherent qualities

•    Write to make the subject realistic & relatable

•    Use verbs that don’t need assistance from an adjective to convey action

•    Strong verbs can depict movement: storms, slings, rising, burst, sprawled, staggered, creak, squawk, crackle, shriek, clatter, tinkle, jingle, thud

•    Linking verbs do not convey action. They express a state of being and require an adjective to make sense. If not necessary, linking verbs cause clutter—avoid them

•    State of being—no action—linking verbs include: would, should, can, must, might, may

•    Consider using the narrative, first person point of view, as yourself—write what you see, hear, taste or smell. And, write those details in the same order you notice them.

Idea Categories to investigate and expand:
•    Transportation, information technology, art history
•    Social issues to champion: eldercare, childcare, education
•    Hero’s caring for others
•    Setting up a Website, a Business Platform and Branding
•    Social Media: evaluating and choosing the best platform for your industry, groups, & reaching readers often

Elevate your descriptive writing:
•    Use metaphors, similes, and comparisons
•    Sight, Sound, Taste, and Texture words to add dimension
•    Details that differentiate
•    Stay on point and write with clarity and economy

Earlier Post links in this series—Descriptive Writing for Fiction and Non-Fiction:
Make it with Specificity: https://www.writersonthemove.com/search?q=make+it+with+specificity
Write it with Research I: http://www.writersonthemove.com/2020/05/write-it-with-research.html

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her writer’s website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/  
Visit her caregiver’s website and read the Mom & Me memoir at: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/
Facebook: Deborah Lyn Stanley, Writer    https://www.facebook.com/deborahlynwriter/?modal=admin_todo_tour

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Ideas For Handling Change

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

We can easily mark 2020 as a year of incredible change. A year ago, I would not have imagined our world would face a worldwide pandemic and a lock down of our country—and other countries around the world. Businesses including bookstores have come to a screeching halt.

Some of my writer friends tell me they have stopped writing and can't sit at their computer. I understand the distraction but I also have some ideas for you about how to handle change. Pandemic or not, the world of publishing is always shifting and changing. Publications start and publications close. Publishers open and then some publishers close their doors. Editors come and editors go. Yet books and magazines continue to be made and sold. With the pandemic, a number of conferences cancelled. Other events moved to become virtual online.

I've learned to use several new tools or services lately. Instead of standing in line at the post office (which I have done for hours over the years to mail my books), I've signed up at Stamps.com and I'm printing my own postage (media mail for books), then taking them to the post office and dropping off my packages. If you sign up at Stamps.com for their free trial and getting $100 value--using the promo code, when it is completed, behind the scenes, they will give me $20 in free postage. Here's the promo code: C-HDZ9–YNV.

For years I've been using a cassette tape recorder for interviews—either in person or on the phone (using a simple recording device). Last week my old tape recorder broke. I've ordered a new one but the change forced me to look for alternative ways to handle my interviews. I belong to several online groups and ask them for recommendations. Several journalists recommended TapeACall. This phone app will not only record the call but transcribe it. Now the transcription isn't perfect but it's way better than transcribing the tape—especially if you take notes and correct the transcription right shortly after recording. From learning about this app and making this change, it is going to save me a lot of time.

One of the big recent changes that I've made started before the pandemic. In February, I took an intense book funnel boot camp to learn some new techniques for selling my 10 Publishing Myths (follow this link to check out the offer). The training involved using a number of different websites and tools. Some of the most successful Morgan James authors (bestselling year after year) are using these techniques. Will my new book become bestselling? I don't know but I'm trying it.

These ways are just a few of the changes I've made. How are you handling the various changes in our world? I have several recommendations:

1. Move to online events and virtual promotion. I have been promoting online for years but if you haven't been, now is a great time to jump into this process.

2. Be willing to try new services and new techniques. If something breaks or gets interrupted, look for new tools. Ask colleagues for recommendations, pick one and get started.

3. Keep writing and trying new publications and new opportunities. Even if you only write 20–30 minutes a day, that time at your keyboard is much better than doing nothing. Can you write a page a day? As you do, gradually increase your number of pages.

4. Continue pitching and knocking on doors—the opportunities are there. They may be harder to find but they are certainly there. Our book sales at Morgan James are up five percent. Magazines continue to be published and need your writing. Whether you are beginning or have been writing for years, every writer (including me) needs to pitch to get the opportunity.

How are you handling change? What tools or methods are you using? Let me know in the comments and I look forward to learning from you.


When our world is changing, how to you handle it? Get ideas here from this prolific editor and author. (ClickToTweet)

 W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. His work contact information is on the bottom of the second page (follow this link).  His latest book for writers is 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to SucceedOne of Terry's most popular free ebooks is Straight Talk From the Editor, 18 Keys to a Rejection-Proof Submission. He lives in Colorado and has over 200,000 twitter followers

Writing a Memoir - 5 Rules

By Karen Coiffi

Writing a memoir is different things to different people. Some people are looking for closure, or a cathartic release from a traumatic event in their lives, others simply want to share their experiences with readers. Or possibly, the author wants to impart some wisdom or insight to the reader.

Whatever the reason behind writing a memoir, there are a few rules that should be adhered to.

5 Rules to Writing a Memoir:

1. Know what you want to convey to the reader. Know why you’re writing a memoir and let the reader in on what to expect. This will help give your story direction and focus – it will provide a basis for it to move forward.

2. Decide on what format you will write your memoir, but keep in mind that trying to stick to a purely chronological order can cause a problem with the flow of the story. One possible alternative is to divide the story into specific topics within the overall subject (your life), possibly childhood, education, marriage, family, or other topics important to the story.

The idea is to realize you have options. You might try brainstorming some alternative memoir formats. You can also do some research by reading memoirs by traditional publishers; go to your library and ask the librarian to offer some suggestions. Finding ones that are recently published will be helpful; you need to know what the current market is looking for.

Another aspect of structure that needs to be addressed is how you speak to the reader. In a Writer’s Digest article, “5 Ways to Start Your Memoir on the Right Foot” by Steve Zousmer, it says, “Is the conversation external or internal? That is, is writing your book the equivalent of sitting down in your living room and telling a small group of people the story of your life (external), or are you having an internal conversation with yourself while allowing readers to listen in?"

3. Whether you’re writing a mystery, a romance, or a memoir, you need to hook the reader. Again, read other memoirs for some examples and ideas.

As a former accountant who now writes, if writing my memoir, a possible beginning might be, “From the pencil to the pen.” This possibly has the potential to arouse enough curiosity to hook the reader.

Your experience and story is unique, try to come up with something that reflects that.

4. Don’t let your memoir be a platform to get even with those who you perceive have harmed you in the past. You may feel good about venting, but your readers won’t. This will turn off agents, publishers, and readers. Remember, your memoir should be to entertain, enlighten, help, instruct, uplift, motivate, inform, or encourage your readers; it shouldn’t be all about you and your vendetta.

5. As with any form of writing, the bare bottom basic is to have a proofread and edited manuscript. Even if you intend to have your manuscript professionally edited, you need to know the basics of writing. This aspect of writing entails effort – effort to learn the craft of writing, including revisions, proofing, and editing.

If you are having your manuscript professionally edited, the editor will expect to be given a relatively polished manuscript to work on. Unless of course, you’re having the memoir ghostwritten, in which case you and the ghostwriter will determine what shape, if any, your manuscript needs to be in.

But, assuming you’re doing it on your own, at the very least you need to be part of a critique group, a non-fiction writing group, or one specifically for memoirs. A critique group will help you hone your craft and will spot a number of problems within your manuscript that you will not be able to find on your own. And, be sure the critique group you choose has experienced and published authors, along with new writers.

So many new writers don’t think this aspect of writing a memoir applies to them. Or, they just don’t want to put the time and effort into learning the craft of writing. But, if you intend to submit your manuscript to traditional publishers, or if you are self-publishing, having a polished manuscript is a must. It’s a reflection of you and your writing ability, and it will be a factor in how readers view your book.

The Possibilities

If all the elements and rules of writing a memoir are applied, and your particular story offers unique insights, has a universal theme, has a one or two sentence WOW elevator pitch, is memorable or provocative, it may have the potential to soar.

Memoirs that have gone above and beyond include:

“Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert
“Julie and Julia” by Julie Powell
“Marley and Me” by John Grogan

This article was originally published at:


Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children's author and a working children’s ghostwriter as well as the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move. You can find out more about writing for children and her services at: Karen Cioffi Writing for Children.

You might want to check out Karen's new book, How to Write a Children's Fiction Book. It's 250+ pages of ALL content: instruction, advice, examples, resources, assignments, and more!


Writing Tips from Story Genius

Overcoming Writing Distractions

How to Write More, Sell More, and Make Money Writing

Evaluate Your Work Week Every Friday

If you're a writer, every Friday you should spend some time looking back over the marketing plan and writing schedule you created on Sunday or Monday to evaluate how you've spent your work week.

If you follow your marketing plan during the week, on Friday you should feel pretty good about the progress you've made the last few days.

And, you should have marked off several items on your "to do" list each day.

But every Friday, as you're evaluating what you've done during the last 5 days, also be on the lookout for behaviors and actions that you've taken that were not on your marketing plan - actions that really didn't move you any closer to your major career goals for the year.

For example, how much time did you spend on Facebook or Twitter during the week, just sharing cute pictures, interesting quotes, or silly sayings?

Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are great for writers like you.

But only when used strategically.

Otherwise, they can rob you of valuable writing time.

Were there actions on the week's marketing plan that you KNOW would help move you closer to your goals, yet you didn't take these actions because you felt a little "uncomfortable" about them?

For example, did you plan to query a magazine with an article idea, yet you didn't get the query written for fear it would be rejected?

OR - did you plan to contact some local businesses with proposals for writing services you could offer them, but then you "chickened out" and didn't get this done?

Obviously, the first thing to evaluate each Friday is whether you even had a marketing plan and writing schedule in place for the week.

If you didn't have these things in place, then your first task for the coming week is to get your marketing plan and writing schedule created.

Think of this - The life you are living and the success you are experiencing right now are a direct result of the actions you've been taking day after day, week after week.

If you aren't happy with your life and/or your business right now, then you need to get tough on yourself and start taking the actions that will ultimately lead to the life and business you really want.

Evaluating how you spend your time each week will help you realize what you need to do differently the following week if you are finally going to get serious about reaching your goals.

Try it!

For daily writing tips, resources, and other helpful information to build your writing career or your writing business, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge now at http://www.morningnudge.com or visit writebythesea.com.

Suzanne Lieurance is a freelance writer, the author of over 35 published books, and a writing coach.

The 5 Rs of Refreshing Your Writing Goals

So much has changed over the last several months. In-person events have been cancelled, projects have been delayed, and many businesses and publications have shut their doors.

On the flip side, a lot of organizations have pivoted, a variety of virtual gatherings are popping up each week, and new publications are taking shape. People are writing their experiences, creating solutions through new businesses, and doing their best to adjust to this new world.

So, how are you doing? What are you doing? Are you ready to embrace your writing goals? Want to set new ones?

Here are the 5 Rs of refreshing your writing goals:

Revamp: When plans change, sometimes the easiest thing to do it roll with it. Did your live book-release tour get cancelled? Set up a virtual book tour of blogs and podcasts. Apply to speak at conferences. Or start a workshop of your own.

Reboot: When was the last time you spent time looking at your website, blog, or social media? I'm guessing it's overdue for a makeover. Make sure your social media and blog have a new-ish - professional - photo of you, and your experience is up-to-date. Don't forget the consistent blog posts and branding. Your online presence is most people's first impression of you. Make sure it's an accurate reflection of you, so you are ready for future work and new connections.

Revisit: Have your pitches-in-progress stalled? Has an editor not gotten back to you? It's all good. You know what you can do instead? Spend time on that passion project you keep meaning to go back to but never have the time. Whether it's a book idea, short story, or article, your fresh eyes on it may be just what you need to fast-track it forward.

Research: Trying new things is just as - if not more - important than revisiting old projects. Want to explore a new genre? Great. Ready to discover whether a podcast, videos, or a new social media platform is right for you? Fantastic. Unless you experiment with new genres, formats, and mediums, you don't know what's out there. ... And you could discover something that is a game-changer for you in the process.

Reach Out: Are you missing real-people connections and conversations? Want to know how old friends and colleagues are doing? Ask. Send an email. Schedule a Zoom. Or pick up the phone. People will be thrilled to hear from you. Plus, you never know what opportunities can come from a conversation.

* * *

As a writer, there's no better time than now to take a good look at your goals and adjust them accordingly.

#ChangeHappens. However, when we embrace change, set new goals, and make a plan, it's a much smoother road ahead.

* * *

How are you refreshing your writing goals? What new goals have you set? Please share in the comments.

* * *

Read my post on 5 networking goals you can pursue from home.

* * *
Debra Eckerling is the author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals. A writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of the D*E*B METHOD and Write On Online, Deb works with individuals and businesses to set goals and manage their projects through one-on-one coaching, workshops, and online support. She is also the author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages, host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat and #GoalChat Live on Facebook, and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

Breaking Old Reading Habits: Modern Classics for Genre Readers

Breaking Old Reading Habits: Ten Literary Works That Might Convince You to Love Literary  

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Multi award-winning writer of fiction, poetry and author of
the much-honored #HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers

Because I so often hear, "I don't read literary novels," or even, "What's a literary novel?" when I taught at UCLA Extension’s esteemed Writers’ Program or when I’m talking to clients or writers a conferences, I've compiled a list that I hope might convince those who think they hate literary to try reading them--at least every so often. Those of you who already love literary, will find at least one or two books that aren’t already in your library.

None of these books are real classics--the kind you may have detested in high school. You know, a little hard to read (though perhaps worth the trouble!) Most have been popular in relatively recent history and a couple are books that Oprah should have picked if she had been doing that when these books were released.

Why not give one or all a try?  Sandwich them in somewhere between the romance, crime, and psycho-stuff that we tend to keep on our nightstands.

Here goes:

"To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. This is one of my favorites of all time.

"A Painted House" by John Grisham. A recent favorite that few called "literary" but got blasted by Grisham’s fans anyway because, I think, they were all expecting his specialty, legal thrillers.

"The Chinchilla Farm" by Judith Freeman. It’s been around awhile but it one of the few good pieces of fiction set in Utah where I set my first novel.

"Dear Corpus Christi" by Eve Caram. This is a lovely little piece by my first writing teacher at UCLA. It deserves wider readership.

" A Child of Alcatraz" by Tara Ison who is relatively unknown because no one ever gives screenwriters much credit so very few are famous regardless of the fact that their talent or the lack thereof can make or break a movie. She has taught writing at UCLA and at Antioch University.

"The Sixteen Pleasures" by Robert Hellenga. Apart from an occasional lapse in drawing his female characters truly, this book, set in Florence during the Arno’s infamous destruction, is a winner.

"Angle of Repose" by Wallace Stegner. You can’t go wrong with this one or any other title written by this novelist and journalist.

"The Wedding" by Dorothy West. This was West's first and only novel because she didn’t get around to storytelling until she was in her last decade. She breaks rules and makes it work. She also makes us understand a portion of black history and black intolerance that many of us didn’t know existed.

"Travels with Charlie” by John Steinbeck is not fiction but it is literary. You might enjoy seeing nonfiction written with passion and style and artistry. Charlie was the last book Steinbeck wrote, the culmination of years of honing his craft.

"Dandelion Wine" by Ray Bradbury is a touching novel that will be loved by those who consider themselves science fiction fans. He is my ideal author of literary cross-genre.

"Dr. Zhivago" by Boris Pasternak. This book is worth the struggle required to sort out the Russian names. Hundreds of thousands of readers did it a few decades ago when we weren’t all so spoiled by authors who too often now cater to short attention spans and formulaic writing.

Okay.  So that's 11. I'll make it a baker’s dozen. 

“Anna Karinina” by Leo Tolstoy. This is a novel that holds up over the decades, especially for women (and men) who still suffer from gender prejudices.

And a little brag. My "This Is the Place" is no longer in print. I get no royalties so that fact  http://bit.ly/ThisIsthePlace.  A review is always a lovely gift to give an author and it sure doesn’t get as many as any of those listed above. But, assuages my conscience a little to mention it. It is still available with Amazon’s new and used feature, usually for less than $1. Set in Utah and New York City, it's a little romantic, a little memoirish, a little historical, a little women's. They're all good categories but I prefer “a little literary.” If I didn’t include this book among my favorites, I wouldn’t be giving you the truest list possible. Maybe my next novel should examine the mirror image twins of false pride and false modesty as its premise. If you love it, feel free to review it on Amazon at https://bit.ly/ThisIsthePlace

Readers' Tip: A nonfiction book, West of Kabul, East of New York, is much like the world’s best literature. The author is Tamin Ansary.  The publisher is Farrar, Straus and Giroux.



Carolyn Howard-Johnson is was named first Woman of the Year  in Arts and Entertainment by members of California’s legislature.  Rolf Gompertz, UCLA professor and Author of “Abraham, The Dreamer” says, “Carolyn Howard-Johnson is a magnificent writer.  Her book is a joy to read. It is a work of literary art.  It is an important book. It is a book that touches the heart, mind, and soul.” 

Learn more about her work at her new website, https://www.HowToDoItFrugally.com

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Your Book's Front Matter - Before the Story Begins

I get lots of questions from my clients as to what comes after the story is written.

While a lot of the questions are about illustrations, what’s been coming up more and more is about the pages that come before the story text begins. The pages before the story are called the front matter.

Just this week, someone asked me about a Dedication Page.

So, here is a list (in order of appearance) of the pages that will or may come before the first page of your story. Some examples are included.

1. Half title page – this is a page at the very beginning of the book that has ONLY the title of the book. It’s usually only used if pages are needed to thicken the book.

2. Frontispiece – this is a page that is an informative or decorative illustration that faces the book’s title page. It appears on the opposite page of the title page. This page is optional.

3. Title page – this is the page that lists the title, subtitle, author, and publisher. I may include the publisher’s location, year of publication, a description of the book, and either the cover illustration or other illustration.

4. Copyright page – this is the page that lists the copyright notice and the “All rights reserved” warning. It should also include the publisher’s name and address; printing details; the edition of the book; and the ISBN(s).

It may also include ordering information, your website URL, disclaimers, and the CIP Data Block from the Library of Congress.

In regard to the CIP Data Block, Kindlepreneur.com explains:

"The Library of Congress issues a CIP data block to you. It is not something you can create for yourself. However, if you’re a self-publisher, you are not even eligible to have a CIP data issued to you by the Library of Congress.

"You can, however, pay to have a P-CIP (Publisher’s Catalog-in-Publication) data block generated for you, if you truly desire. Having P-CIP data can make your book look more professional. It costs anywhere from $60-$100, and can be done by Quality Books, Inc. or CIPblock.com." (1)

5. Dedication – this is a page that explains the author’s source of inspiration and/or who she is dedication the book to. It can be a single name or it can be a paragraph or two. This page is optional.

6. Epigraph – this is a page that includes a quotation, sentence, or poem. It can face the Table of Contents or the first page of the text.

I had ghosted a book series had an epigraph in each book.

Epigraphs can also be used at the beginning of chapters, on the same page the chapter begins or on a separate page opposite the beginning of each chapter.

According to LiteraryDevices.com:

"An epigraph can serve different purposes such as it can be used as a summary, introduction, an example, or an association with some famous literary works, so as to draw comparison or to generate a specific context to be presented in the piece." (2)

This page is optional.

7. Contents Page, also known as the Table of Contents – this page lists each section and/or chapters within the book. It helps the reader navigate the book in longer works, like middle grade and young adult stories.

You would not use a Contents Page in a picture book.

8. Foreword – this page has a short piece written by someone other than the author. Its purpose is to introduce the author and the book. It most often includes the writer’s name and signature.

Usually, the writer of the foreword is noteworthy.

This page is optional.

9. Preface – this page is written by the author and usually tells about how and why the book came to be and the process. It may also include what the book is about and why you think it’s important. This page is optional.

10. Acknowledgments – this page lists the people or entities the author is grateful to for help in the creation of the book. This page is optional.

11. Introduction – this page discusses the purpose and goals of the book. This page is optional.

12. Prologue – this page sets the scene for the fiction story. It can include backstory and should be told in the protagonist’s voice. This page is optional.

13. Second half title – this page helps set off or end an extensive front matter. As the name implies, it’s identical to the first half title page and is added before the beginning of the story text. It is used when needed.

Other pages in the front matter that you may find in some books are: List of Figures and List of Tables. But, for the majority of authors self-publishing children’s books they aren’t needed.

I just want to note here that most of the front matter isn’t necessary until after the story is written. And, if you have a picture book, it won’t be needed until after the illustrations are done.

You’ll need it when you’re ready to get your book formatted to upload your book to sites like IngramSpark and Amazon KDP or when you’re ready to hand it over to a service to upload it for you.

That’s about it for the front matter of your book. The story itself is considered the ‘body of the book.’ I have an article on the 'back matter' of your book. I'll post it here next month.

Hope this is helpful in your self-publishing journey.



This book was originally published at:


Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children's author and a working children’s ghostwriter as well as the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move. You can find out more about writing for children and her services at: Karen Cioffi Writing for Children. Check out the DIY Page!

And, check out Karen's new picture book: The Case of the Plastic Rings – The Adventures of Planetman


Being a Writer – Learn the Craft of Writing 

Social Media & Powerful Headlines

Diversity in Writing - Is Research Enough?

A Call for Writers to Find Balance

By Terry Whalin  @terrywhalin Within the publishing world, I’ve often heard it is harder to sign with a literary agent than to locate a publ...