Parts of a Book: Basic Vocabulary So You Don’t Miss Anything

You have finished writing your story and now you would like to publish your book, but surely while you are preparing the manuscript you have had some doubts about how the parts of a book should be organized.

It is very common that even if you are an experienced reader and have spent your entire life between novels when editing your own book, you doubt the order, purpose and necessity of the initial and final pages that make up your work. Where does the colophon go? What page should the preface go on? What information do they provide?

Don’t worry, book writing company we are here to offer you a complete summary of what the parts of a book are so that you can use it in all your publications. Although these complementary pages are taken for granted in the internal structure of your book, it is a step that many authors ignore and that can make the difference between a professional finish and a homely finish.

If you would like to know more, you can always take a look at our blogs “How to do the graphic design of your book” or “How to create a book with Word”

What are the parts of a book?

First of all, we are going to establish a difference between the two basic parts that make up a book: the external part and the internal part.
In this post we will not talk about the external parts of the book, but rather the division of the interior of the book, which we know as the “gut”.
We can divide the gut of a book into three main sections:

Opening pages : that go at the beginning of the work, before the story
Main body : the story itself
End pages : parts that go at the end of the work, after the story

Each part and subpart of a book fulfills an objective and aims to communicate specific information. When you know them you will be able to take advantage of them better. Remember that all pages with text (except the legal page) must be placed on the right.
Our Word templates include some of these pages, but now that you’re going to learn about all the parts that make up the gut, feel free to include the ones you need in your book. 

Internal parts of a book

Initial pages

Courtesy pages

The courtesy or respect pages are the blank pages that you find as soon as you open a book and right at the end. They are used to give a feeling of clean visual space. As an invitation to take a breath and prepare for what is to come and also to reflect when you finish. Its objective is also to square the sheets used for printing. This part of the book is especially useful for writing dedications, putting the date or city in which we acquired the book and even, if we are lucky, getting the signature of the author of the work. These pages are never numbered and we recommend including at least one at the beginning and end.


The cover is the first page on which only the title of the work appears. Typically, it is printed in a smaller font size than that used on the cover. It can also be called ‘false cover’.
More and more this inner page is disappearing from our works, but if you are looking to increase the number of pages, you want to leave more blank space or you simply think that it gives more style to your book, do not hesitate to use this resource.

Facade or interior shutter

Once past the cover we will find the Inside Cover. The title of the book, the subtitle, the author and the publisher appear on this page.

Legal page

This page is one of the most important parts of a book and is the only one that goes on the left side. You can find it on the back of the inside cover and opposite the dedication or index. It should, therefore, be on an even page. This page shows all the legal data of the book: edition number, year of printing, number of reprints, name of the author, original title of the work, ISBN, legal deposit, place and date of publication, copyright, etc.
Many people never consult this page, but it can contain very interesting data to learn more about the history of the work and who has participated in it.


The dedication is not mandatory, but who isn’t excited to dedicate their work to someone? In this blog we give you the keys to writing a good dedication.
Remember that the dedication goes on its own page, on the right, and that normally the text is centered or aligned to the right, a little above the middle of the page.


The motto is the part of the book you can reserve to introduce a quote, verse, part of another work, etc. Remember that it is on a separate page.

Introduction, prologue, preface 

The introduction is the first part of the book that introduces us to the theme of the novel. It can be divided into various parts (introduction, prologue, preface, etc.) and can be written by the author and other people. Normally, these are people close to the writer or experts on the topic the book is about.
Depending on its importance, it may go before or after the index.


The index contains a list of the contents per book, divided into parts, chapters or subchapters. Each of these divisions is accompanied by the page number on which they are found. Thus, the reader can identify and find the Non Fiction Ghostwriter quickly.
The index is not mandatory, it is increasingly common for novels to do without it, and it can go at the beginning or at the end of the work (if they are simple indexes)

Main body

Your history

This is where we get to your story! The main body is the story itself, your novel, which can be divided into parts, chapters, etc.

Final pages


In the epilogue, events after the completion of the story, reflections or conclusions are collected. It can also serve to clarify some issues, close still open plots or even leave others open for future continuations.

Appendices, annexes

This section includes relevant data, tables, documents, etc. relevant in the work. They are included at the end because if placed on the initial pages or in the body of the work they would hinder reading. 


The glossary includes a list of terms used during the work and their definition or explanation. It is also normal to find lists of abbreviations on these final pages.


At the end of the book we can find the colophon page. It provides information about the volume, such as the place and date of printing, the printer, and the logo. Sometimes it can include how many volumes have been printed, the font, and the type of paper.

Example of colophon from the editorial Errata Nature

Courtesy pages

Indeed, the courtesy pages are back! Leave a blank page at the end of the book to give the reader a break.

It has been a bit long, but we hope that this explanation has helped you to better understand the parts of a book. This knowledge is essential, especially if you are thinking about publishing your book, and we hope that it has helped you clarify your doubts about which parts may be the most useful for your work.

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