Importance of the Front Matter
Most likely you have gone through a book and noticed that there was some information on the first pages of the book. Many are the cases where this information in the first few pages of a book is usually ignored. This information, however, contains very important content that should be read. The total of the contents in the initial pages of a book is called the front matter.
The initial section in a book, or the front matter, usually contains very few pages. The first section of any book is also known as preliminary matter. We can only have the title of the book as the front matter in some scenarios. In other cases, it may contain much more information in addition to the title of the book. In addition to the title of the book, the front matter may include prologue and preamble. The introduction of the book as well as the preface can be contained in the preliminary matter together with a number of title pages.
The type of the publishing used for the book in most cases determines what is contained in the preliminary matter. Publishing companies usually determine the kind of preliminary matter contained in a book. We have different examples of front matter as contained in different books.
For instance we have the half title which is a page that only contains the main topic of the book. Other topics and the identification of the author of the book are usually not contained in the half title of the book. We then have the title page or pages in some books. It is in this pages that information on the complete book title, other titles and the identification of the author are found.
Various books may contain various content on the title pages. The identification of the printing company together with its address may also be found in the title pages of some books. Content regarding reprinting of the book and the actual event of printing can also be found here. Many more details can be found on the title pages.
Another section of the front matter of a book is the dedication. This section usually indicates the names of the people that the author chooses to write the book to. In some cases there occurs an echo by the writer concerning a matter that is not particularly in line with the publication. This quotation appears in the preliminary matter as an epigraph.
The table of contents is also contained in the front matter of a book. This is usually midway in the front matter section and it could be just plain or giving more information. The table of contents usually gives a list or further details of the chapters of the book. Individuals mentioned by the author as helping him or her in the authoring of the book are found in the acknowledgements in the front matter.