What Extras Belong In My Book, Part One?

The words we write are an important part of our books. They tell the story and guide the reader to and through the message we want to convey.

However, for most books they only tell part of the story. You may have noticed that our attention spans have gotten shorter and shorter. Books that have illustrations, tables, and graphs get more attention.

During the time while you are working on your Game Plan you want to start thinking about what extras you want to add to your book.

  • Will you create (or have created by a designer) some line drawings to illustrate some of your thoughts?
  • Will a graph draw attention to a specific statistic you want your readers to be aware of?
  • What about photographs? Will they enhance your message?

When you are Scribbling It you can add marginal notes indicating where you want to add this information. And again when you Spiff It Up you may notice times that you want to add marginal notes not as directions for yourself and your designer but as an element of your book.

You will want to think about how you want to present the stories you add to your book. Will they flow in the narrative of your book? Will you put them in boxes as additional information separate from the main writing?

These are all ways of adding visual interest to your book and breaking up the flow of black letters on a white page.

In addition to items that add interest and break up the density of your book itself there are a number of pages or sections devoted to specific purposes that add to the experience of your reader but don’t really belong in the body of your book.

This week I will discuss some elements frequently added to the front part of a book. In a future article, I will discuss elements frequently added to the back of the book.

Most books, especially non-fiction books, will contain the following sections in the front of the book:

  • A disclaimer basically saying the book represents your experience and/or that of your clients but there are no implied guarantees that the reader will have the same experience. This may also reference any affiliate relationships you have with any companies you mention. Note: Frequently with an affiliate relationship if the reader purchases the item mentioned you receive some type of payment.
  • Acknowledgements of people who have impacted your life greatly and/or helped in writing the book or bringing it to completion.
  • A dedication to one or more people, frequently family members, a teacher, or mentor.
  • A table of contents, a critical addition, in my opinion, to a non-fiction book if you want your reader to be able to go back and relocate something in the future.
  • A foreword or preface, frequently written by someone other than the author.
  • An introduction that sets the stage for your book but may be separate from the main message of your book.


I’ve given you a lot to think about in this article. While many of the elements mentioned will be found in almost every book, I doubt that any book would include all of them.

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Deciding which of these extras to include in your book can be challenging. If you would like some help with this I’d love to partner with you as your Book Enchantress. It’s time to share your powerful gift with the Universe.

Give me a call at 843-593-0045 or use this link to schedule a call to talk about what is involved.

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