title page

Title Page: How to Make a Stellar Title Page

Salmaan Ahmad

Salmaan Ahmad

March 27, 2024

Your title page is important to your book. Opening a book, readers are met with various pages before the actual book content begins. Often named the front matter by publishers, the first few pages sometimes seem more of a formality than necessary. Some of these pages are even omitted by self-publishing authors, hoping to cut down on excess printing or just to simplify their book’s appearance. But title pages are too important for any author to consider omitting and is much more impactful than authors and readers may even realize.

Typical Title Page Content

Much more than restating a book’s name, the content included on a title page section gives readers key information as well as the author and those who contributed to the making of the book. The content included will vary based on the specifics of each book, but any or all of these may be included in the section.

  • Full book title
  • Book subtitle, if any
  • Author’s name
  • Editor’s name (anthologies)
  • Illustrator’s name (illustrated books)
  • Photographer’s name
  • Translator’s name, if used
  • Publisher’s name and location
  • Publication information: date, edition number and series notice (if the book is part of a series)

Why Do Books Have Title Pages, Anyway?

The way a book looks is due, in part, to the historical development of book publication. When printers began churning out books relatively quickly with the advent of the printing press, books typically began immediately on the very first page. No precious pages or ink was wasted on “extras” like a title, a table of contents or any of the other pages we have commonly come to refer to as the front matter of a book.

But over time, as printing became more widespread, books began to be crafted with a specific design element in mind. Creative fonts, delicate illustrated details and even the introduction of color to the page all contributed to creating the initial pages before a book’s content intended to appeal directly to the reader’s eye.

As printing flourished, authors and publishers introduced introductory pages in book printing that would perform the most basic informational services to readers. Over time, however, the title developed into a place where authors, printers and publishers could add stylistic elements to a book as well as provide key marketing content to help potential readers learn about a book’s contents.

As the title section became more standardized, its inclusion transitioned into an expectation rather than an optional section for most books. Today, the title page is the most recognizable and most often included front matter that traditional publishers and self-publishing authors utilize in the printing of modern books.

5 Ways Title Pages Help Your Book

Aside from the obvious uses of a title page, to inform readers of the basics about your book, it also contributes to your book in other meaningful ways that you might not have thought about. As a self-published author, you can choose not only which content to include on this page but also how you want to inject stylistic elements into the pages of your book.

These personalized choices, graphic elements, and format selections all work together to help your book in ways beyond simply providing necessary information about the authors and contributors, when it was published, and where it may fall in a series of books.

1. They Build Reader Anticipation

When a reader opens a book to a beautiful title page, the author can start to create excitement right away before the reader even reads the first word of the story. By integrating stylistic choices with unique or impactful fonts or choosing a format that hints at the theme or genre of the book, authors can use this otherwise utilitarian page to grow excitement about the book in readers.

Small touches like graphics or illustrations added to the title page can hint at the book’s contents as well, offering a small but meaningful way for authors to hook readers into the story ahead of time. Creating a specific mood or vibe can begin right on the title page with a fun typeset choice or even a well-chosen photograph that contributes to the content included on the title pages.

2. A Title Page Reflects Author Creativity

Even though an author’s primary creative outlet may be the written word, title pages provide another outlet to showcase their creativity and artistic vision to the reader. Use of whitespace, interesting typography, compelling design elements, or even an unusual approach to including the necessary title page content can all reveal an author’s vision for their work. Instead of a simple or standard title page format, authors can use their imagination to make a title page section that reflects the innovative ideas that will be revealed later on in the book’s pages.

3. They Offer More Marketing Opportunities

While we may think of title pages as part of the printed book, when books are sold on the digital market, a thumbnail of the book’s cover and first few pages of content are often all of the physical books that a reader can view before making their decision to buy the book or not. When an author creates a unique, surprising, or otherwise memorable title page, readers are treated to an additional hint about the author’s approach to the book.

This seemingly unimportant page can play a key role in capturing a potential reader’s attention and possibly be one of the factors that influences them to decide to read the book. Self-publishing authors can create a one-of-a-kind title page that can not only act as a place for readers to learn about the book’s development but also a marketing page that can help sell the book to potential readers.

4. A Title Page Demonstrates the Book’s Niche

In a crowded marketplace, books that demonstrate their niche in more than just the book’s description or a well-crafted book cover design can be appealing to readers who love that genre. A title page can reflect aspects of the book’s niche with the use of color, graphics, and overall design, further capturing the attention of a potential reader who may be looking for their next book selection within the genre.

5. They Set the Tone for the Book

Authors only have a few opportunities outside of the book cover to demonstrate the mood and tone of their book. A whimsical title page design can set the tone for a children’s book while more serious works call for title pages with less flourish, graphics, or color. Self-publishing authors can use the title page area to present a visual layer to their written work, hint at surprises or twists and turns in the book’s storyline, or simply present the tone the author will convey later in the book’s pages.

Injecting Interest into Your Title Page

Readers love to see a surprising element in a book, and an unexpected title page is the perfect place for a self-publishing author to showcase their creativity. With a fresh, original approach to your book’s title page, you can capture a potential reader’s attention while hinting at your book’s contents. Including a fun, unusual, or unanticipated title page is the perfect way for a self-publishing author to use every page of their book to demonstrate their own creativity and personal brand as an author.

Working with a trusted printer like Publishing Xpress will ensure that your fresh, original ideas for your title page will look exactly how you imagine when your gorgeous book is ready to put into the hands of your readers.

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