What Should Go in the Front Matter Section in a Short, Helpful Book

In a previous article, I outlined the 5 Essential Sections of a Short, Helpful Book (a shook™).

I thought it would be valuable if I went a bit deeper on a few of these sections and give specific tips and examples for the most critical parts and chapters in each section, starting with the Front Matter Content.

Please note you could have other content in this section, and I describe some of these other parts in both The 100-Page Book and The Magic of Short Books (you can buy here).

Here is a brief, but helpful description of the major parts of a short, helpful book’s Front Matter section:


1-Reader Bonus/Gift Offer: This is the right-hand side page that is first seen when somebody opens your shook. In many books, this page is left blank or is the title page. In a shook, this page is specifically designed to be a reader bonus/gift page where readers can get a valuable bonus/gift (your Passive CTA).


2-Foreword: This is optional, but if it makes sense and you can find a V.I.P. to write the foreword to your shook, it can make it that much more powerful. My client, Dr. John Frank did this when he had his former NFL teammate, Joe Montana, write his Foreword. When thinking about a person to write it, consider who you would like to have associated with your shook and who may be inclined to share it with their circles of influence simply because they were asked to write the foreword. If you cannot find a notable V.I.P., consider asking a valuable customer to write it for you.


3-Who Should Read This Book?: I like to be upfront and transparent with my shook’s goals and exactly who I created it for. While I appreciate people who are interested in my shook, if they don’t fit the profile of the types of business owners I’m looking to attract and work with, they do me little good. This chapter allows me to boldly proclaim who should and should not read my shook. In turn, this will strengthen the bond with my target readers, since they know I wrote it specifically for them.


4-My Promise to You: Starting your shook off with a bold promise is a smart way to keep you focused on what you must deliver and prepare your readers for what to expect. Few business owners set any sort of lofty expectation these days, so making a promise from the beginning shows you are different than the masses.


5-Introduction: I recommend all shook authors start their shook with a “reason why” introduction that articulates the reason(s) why you are publishing it. Let your readers know what they will get by reading it, why it’s different, and why it’s important they read it now. An excellent book recommendation for crafting your “why” is Start with Why by Simon Sinek.

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About Mike Capuzzi

Mike is a publisher, Amazon # best-selling author, and coach for business owners, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders looking to stand out from the competition by authoring, publishing and leveraging short, helpful books. He is the author of 19 books, including two Amazon #1 Best Sellers. Learn more about his publishing opportunities at BiteSizedBooks.com.

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