Back matter is the content that comes at the end of your book, and it is the perfect space to market your other books to readers, especially if you self-publish your books. The best part about this is that aside from the time it takes to create (and possibly format) the back matter, it won’t cost you a dime!

There are five primary types of back matter that you can include in your books. These are universal and will work regardless of what genre you write or who your readers are. This is because the main purpose is to let readers know more about you and cross-promote your books.

1. Epilogue

The epilogue has a specific purpose, which is usually to provide readers with closure by showing a peek at what happens after the final chapter. Another reason for using an epilogue is to give a summary of the book’s theme or message. The epilogue can also serve as an introduction to the next book in a series.

2. About the Author

Readers love getting to know their favorite authors. Begin this section with facts from your background that relate directly to your authorship, including professional organizations like national author groups for your genre. Save personal details like family, hobbies, and pets for last.

3. Social Media Links

Add a page in the back matter that includes ways to contact you, including social media links. Instead of adding links to every social media network on the internet, choose links for the three social media networks you use the most–and more importantly, are most comfortable using. Readers can find the rest of the list on the contact page of your website.

4. Book List

Do you have older books that fail to net the sales earned by your newer titles? Including a book list in the back of your book will help new-to-you readers find your other books. When you add a buy link for the book, readers who use an e-reader may be able to use the link to go right to the retailer page, allowing them to one-click, download, and begin reading while the momentum is strong.

5. First Chapter Preview

There are several reasons to include the first chapter preview of another of your books in the back matter. The first is that if this is part of a series, then adding the first chapter of the next book can build on the existing momentum of having read the current book. Another reason is that it can help readers fall in love with your books and want to follow you on social media. If your next book is not yet available, then you can include the first chapter with a link to encourage readers to pre-order now.

Do you want more effective ways to market your books? Add bonus content in the back matter of your books! Leaving this section of your books empty is like providing your readers with a black hole that allows readers to skip over your books in favor of another author.

A great time to add or update the back matter in your books is during your relaunch. If you want to find out how to make the most of your backlist using small, strategic tweaks, then check out the Relaunch and Reinvigorate course in Melissa Storm’s Your Author Engine. Detailed notes accompany each video lesson giving you two ways to learn the what, why, and how of taking your books from stale to fresh.

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