One of the most important pages in your book’s front matter is the title page.
Why is it so important, though, when it basically repeats everything you see on the book’s cover, along with some extra details you could easily just save for the copyright page?
And even if you know what goes on the title page, how do you create one worth remembering?
Read on to learn everything you need to know.
You’ll learn the rest as you go.
- What Is a Book Title Page?
- How to Make an Unforgettable Title Page of a Book
- What’s the Difference Between a Title Page and a Cover Page?
- What Should Be Included in Book Title Pages?
- What is a Half-Title Page, and Why Do Books Have Them?
- What to Consider When Designing a Memorable Title Page
- How to Format a Title Page
- 11 Title Page Examples
What Is a Book Title Page?
A book’s title page is usually (but not always) the first internal page with any printing on it.
Like the cover, it bears the book’s title, subtitle, and author name(s), but the colors are usually limited to black and white (or grayscale).
The primary purpose of the title page is to tie the book’s cover (exterior) to its interior. While the contents of a title page can vary from one book or genre to another (as you’ll see in the examples further down), the essentials remain constant.
How to Make an Unforgettable Title Page of a Book
The title page isn’t where the reader is likely to linger, much less remember for a long time. Even so, you want it to look nice and provide the necessary information.
You can make it less forgettable by:
Integrating an interesting design element
Using an eye-catching font
Ensuring the information is correct and without errors
Starting with a book title page template can help you create an eye-friendly and functional title page. Templates can also take the guesswork from formatting your book’s title page, saving you time.
What’s the Difference Between a Title Page and a Cover Page?
The most significant difference between the title page in a book and the cover page is their location. The cover page is external (and therefore the first thing the reader sees), while the title page is internal.
It’s usually the first printed page in a book unless there’s also a half-title page, which is definitely a thing (weird as it sounds). We’ll cover that in just a sec.
The next significant difference has to do with each one’s content. The title page often has publisher information; the cover page does not. The cover page can feature brief quotes from influential readers, while the title page generally doesn’t.
What Should Be Included in Book Title Pages?
While not all title pages look the same, any full title page can have the following:
- Subtitle (if the book has one)
- The names of authors (or editors if this book is an anthology)
- The name of the illustrator (if your book has one)
- The name of your translator (if applicable)
- Publisher name and location
- The year of publication
- Publisher logo (if there is one)
A novel title page probably won’t have a subtitle, but it’s just as likely as a nonfiction book’s title page to have everything else on the list.
What is a Half-Title Page, and Why Do Books Have Them?
If a book has one, a half-title page contains only the book’s title. It comes before the full title page. Not many books have them anymore.
Half-title pages are from a time when books were bound in a place separate from where they were printed.
The half-title page serves two distinct purposes:
- To protect the full title page (in case the first page of the book was damaged), and
- To tell the bookbinder the title of the book
According to Books Tell You Why, the half-title page made it easier to quickly identify a book’s contents before the title was routinely printed on a book’s spine.
What to Consider When Designing a Memorable Title Page
Your book’s title page shouldn’t be an afterthought. You want this page to be interesting enough for readers to pause and appreciate the stylistic connection between the cover and your book’s interior.
That comes with a few caveats to consider:
- Respect the white space (just as you would for your book’s cover)
- Make sure the fonts you choose match your book’s style and genre
- Make sure you have the commercial license for any fonts you use
The fonts on Atticus are all free to use commercially, but not all the fonts in MS Word are. Make sure you’re not violating any copyrights before using them on your title page.
How to Format a Title Page
The process of formatting your title page will depend on the software you use. We’ve included detailed steps for MS Word and Atticus to make your job easier.
You can also use these steps to create a book title page template, saving you time whenever you need to create a title page for a new book.
1. Formatting in Word
MS Word is probably the software most authors use to create their books, but it’s not the best one available. If this is what you have and are used to, though, use the following steps to create a brag-worthy title page.
- Insert a page at the beginning of your document (using a page break).
- Set your book’s trim size and margins. Don’t forget to set mirror margins for the print edition and add a gutter measurement.
- Using one or more lines for each, type in the title, subtitle*, author name, and other title page content.
- Using Word’s style menu, set specific styles for each piece of content ( title, subtitle) and modify the font to match the ones used on the book’s cover.
- You can also create a style for “Author Name” or “Creator Names” to set specific styles (font, size, etc.) for the names of authors, publishers, illustrators, editors, etc.
- Use the same justification (center, left, or right) for your title and subtitle as seen on your book’s cover and update each style. Use complementary positioning for other content (author name(s), etc.).
- If you prefer, you can also add decorative borders, horizontal lines, and other stylistic features to add visual interest to your title page. Use the “Insert” menu.
- With the print edition, make sure your title page is on the right-hand side of your book, with the gutter measurement on the left-side edge.
Word also gives you the option of using the “Insert” menu to add “Cover Page” using one of its built-in templates. However, the design options are limited, and the covers look better suited to a business or academic report.
If you choose this option, you can still modify the style options — font, font color, font size, justification, etc. — to make the cover look the way you want.
2. Formatting in Atticus
- Once you’ve uploaded your book or started a new one in Atticus (from the “Home” page), go to the bottom “Add Page” button on the left-hand panel and click on the arrow to scroll through the options. Select “Title Page” and add it.
- If your title page doesn’t automatically go to the “Front Matter” list, click and drag it up.
- Select “Title Page” from your left-hand menu and add your title page content to the appropriate fields on the “Writing” tab (top of the page).
- Click on “Formatting” at the top of the page to choose a theme for your book and see how your title page will look. S
- Scroll down to modify any other formatting details: chapter heading settings, paragraph settings, ornamental breaks, image settings, ebook settings, print settings, etc.
Atticus is, by far, the easiest and most intuitive way to write and format a book for publication. Check it out and try it free for the first 30 days if you’re curious.
3. Formatting in Google Docs
In a pinch, if your book project is a short one (like a prime candidate for Kindle Short Reads), you can write and format a book using Google Docs and download it as a PDF or a Word document.
If you’d rather do basic formatting in Google docs, use the following steps:
- Start at the top of your document and insert a page break to create a separate first page.
- Add text for the title, subtitle, author name, publisher information, and any other pieces of information you want to include on your title page (names of illustrator, translator, editor, etc.).
- Go into the “Page Setup” in the File menu and set your page size based on the trim size you’ve chosen for your book’s print edition.
- Use the style menu in the Google Docs toolbar (to the left of the font selector) to set styles for each piece of text and modify the font, font size, and other stylistic details until you have it looking the way you want it to look.
- Download your book or just the first page as a PDF and see how it looks. Adjust the style settings until you have it looking just right. And make sure your book’s page numbering (“Insert” menu) doesn’t start until after the title page.
11 Title Page Examples
Check out the variety and get some ideas for your own book’s title page design.
1. Children’s Book Title Page Examples
#1 — The Railway Children by E. Nesbit (children’s book: fiction)
Like many children’s books, this one uses an illustration to embellish the title page. It also lists some of the author’s other published works.
#2 — Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Like the previous example, this cover features an illustration and another famous title by the author. The illustrator, Garth Williams, even added his signature at the bottom.
#3 — Fables de Florian (Illustrated by Benjamin Rabier)
Another illustrated title page, this one also features publisher information and the illustrator’s name. The author is, presumably, Florian since no other author is mentioned.
#4 — The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
This illustrated title page bears the title along with the author’s names and the publishing house. Fonts for the title and author name match those of the book’s cover.
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2. Nonfiction Book Title Page Examples
#5 — The Life of the Spider
This nonfiction book’s title page features a border with spidery detail, complete with a large spider centerpiece. Along with the title, author name, and publisher information, it mentions the illustrator, translator, and preface.
#6 — Encyclopedia Brittanica Dictionary of Arts and Sciences
This reference work has a title page packed with information related to the book’s purpose, composition, authorship, and information on the publisher and illustrations used.
#7 — Fibonacci: His Numbers and His Rabbits
This minimalist title page has only the title, the author names, and publisher information (name, place, and year).
3. Fiction / Novel Title Page Examples
#8 — The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Another minimalist cover, this one uses a bit of color to set off the main part of the title. It also contains the descriptor, “A Romance,” the author name, and publisher information.
#9 — Edmund DuLac’s Fairy-Book: Fairy Tales of the Allied Nations
This detailed title page features a decorative border and other ornamental details and an elaborate font for the title and subtitle. Publisher information is at the bottom.
#10 — The Traitor by Thomas Dixon, Jr.
This novel’s title page bears the title and the author and illustrator’s names, with a coat of arms underneath. Publisher information is printed at the bottom.
#11 — Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus
The author’s name (Mary Shelley) is nowhere on the title page. Below the title, subtitle, and mention of three volumes, an epigraph comes before the reference to “Vol 1.” Publisher information is at the bottom.
What Are the Pages After the Title Page?
The pages that follow the title page in a book will often depend on the type of book and how well-known the author is. Generally, though, you can expect to see most of the following:
- Copyright page (with copyright date, author and publisher names, ISBN…)
- Dedication page
- Testimonials/reviews from influential readers and publications
- Table of Contents
- Acknowledgments page (unless this goes at the end of the book)
- Foreword, Preface, and Prologue or Introduction
Now that you’re better acquainted with the title page, it’s time to design one of your own. Start with a template (which you can save for other projects) and add the information specific to your current work in progress.