If you’re ready to create the front material for your book, you may find yourself wondering, “What is a title page?” and “Why is it necessary?” Though it may seem redundant, a title page is an important part of the overall look when it comes to a novel or a work of nonfiction, and it is essential for taking yours from the realm of manuscript to a professional, published book.
Why Are Title Pages Necessary?
It’s common for authors to forget about the title page of their books until the last minute, but we’re here to tell you this is not a good idea. After all, a title page can seem deceptively simple, but it is one of the very first impressions your book will make on the reader, especially if it’s an e-book. Thus, a hastily created title page can make your work look sloppy or even unprofessional.
Title pages are necessary because they set the tone for the rest of the work. They sometimes have an image or exciting fonts for the title, which is one of the last times the author can get creative with the way the book is presented. After this, the text must simply speak for itself. And since you’re reading this, we’re sure you’ve already put plenty of time and effort into your text.
What Makes a Good Title Page?
After you feel confident that you know the answer to “What is a title page?,” the next question you’ll want to ask yourself is, “How can I make my title page attractive and striking to my readers?” You need to know what goes into a good title page as well as what to avoid.
In most cases, your title page will need to include at least these three pieces of information:
- The title of your book (as well as any subtitles)
- The name(s) of the author(s)
- The publishing company
A title page can get by with only this. In fact, it is sometimes best to include the bare bones of information so the page will not overwhelm the reader. However, you may also want to include the following:
- The name(s) of the editor(s)
- The name(s) of the illustrators(s)
- The name(s) of the translator(s)
- The publication date (or just the year)
- The number of the book in a series (if applicable)
The Dos and Don’ts of Title Pages
It’s always a good idea to have a few rules in mind when it comes to creating a good title page.
- You’ll want to make sure you keep the page itself from looking too cluttered, so include only the most necessary information.
- However, you want the page to stand out, so you may want to use imagery. It can help to place a ghosted image behind the text in order to draw the reader’s eye to the title without making the page itself look too busy.
- A fun font can help the title stand out and look exciting without seeming simply like a mirror image of the book’s cover.
- Let people know who helped to create the book in its current form—authors, illustrators, and so on—but don’t get bogged down by mentioning everyone. This can wait until the acknowledgments.
One of the best ways to determine what you want your title page to look like is to go to a bookstore or library and look inside the covers of some of the other books in the same genre as yours. This can help you get a feel for what’s common among other works and what you might like to see on your title page.
Letting Your Title Page Do the Talking
Your title page is more than just the name of your book, and it certainly shouldn’t be a waste of space. More than anything, the title page introduces people to your book after they have already chosen to open up the cover. It’s almost like your way of shaking your reader’s hand and saying, “Nice to meet you.” As such, you want to make sure your title page is engaging but professional, which is a balance you can strike easily if you take the time to create the page that suits your work.