I'm looking for a good example of front matter for an ebook going straight to amazon and createspace. Any one have a good example?
One thing you can do is download free samples at Amazon.com, because they always include the front matter.
If you download the sample for Reprobate, you get the first four chapters and you can scroll back to see the front matter.
This is the front material for Reprobate - A Katla Novel (Amsterdam Assassin Series):
AMSTERDAM ASSASSIN SERIES
[A Katla Novel]
Martyn V. Halm
Pushdagger Publishing Limited
Reprobate - A Katla Novel (Amsterdam Assassin Series)
ISBN: 978-94-91623-01-1 (ePub) ASIN: B0094VD7JW (.mobi)
Copyright: Martyn V. Halm Published: September 1st, 2012 Publisher: Pushdagger Publishing Limited The right of Martyn V. Halm to be identified as author of this Work has been asserted by her in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system, copied in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise transmitted without written permission from the publisher. You must not circulate this book in any format.
Blessed with an almost non-existent conscience, Katla Sieltjes, expert in disguising homicide, views assassination as an intricate and rewarding occupation. Hidden behind her male alter ego Loki, Katla receives anonymous assignments, negotiates the terms with clients through electronic means, all to protect her identity. Her solitary existence satisfies her until she meets a blind musician whose failure to notice a ‘closed’ sign causes him to wander in on Katla’s crime scene. And Katla breaks one of her most important rules - never leave a living witness.
Recovering alcoholic Deborah Stern reluctantly re-enlists with the DEA as a liaison in The Hague, where her language skills are valued to counter suspected sabotage by Dutch law enforcement officials. After a U.S. Army officer dies on a German NATO base from a heroin/cocaine overdose, the trail leads to Amsterdam. The DEA and the Dutch IPOL launch a joint undercover operation, but not everyone is playing by the same rules.
Reprobate is the first novel in the Amsterdam Assassin Series. With authentic details and fast-paced action, featuring an uncompromising heroine and a supporting cast of unusual characters, Reprobate gives a rare glimpse in the local Dutch culture, information on the famous Dutch capital, the narcotics trade, computer hacking, motorcycle gangs, mehndi bridal tattoos, martial arts, and the brutal effectiveness of disciplined violence.
(about the series)
THE AMSTERDAM ASSASSIN SERIES
Rogue (in progress)
Teacher Trouble(in progress)
The Amsterdam Assassin Series by Martyn V. Halm
The Amsterdam Assassin Series revolves around freelance assassin and corporate troubleshooter Katla Sieltjes. Under the name Loki Enterprises, Katla specialises in disguising homicide and providing permanent solutions for both individuals and corporations.
The first novel in the Amsterdam Assassin Series, Reprobate, marks the first time Katla breaks one of her own rules, and how this affects both her personal and business life. The second novel, Peccadillo, shows what happens if you corner an assassin’s legitimate business cover. The third novel, Rogue, is planned for release in 2013. While the novels can be read out of order, reading them in chronological order might be more enjoyable.
Between the publications of the novels, the Amsterdam Assassin Series also features stand-alone short stories, the Katla KillFiles. The Katla KillFiles chronologically precede the novels in the Amsterdam Assassin Series. Each KillFile features Katla executing one of her contracts before the events in Reprobate, and, while not mandatory reading, each KillFile provides insight both in Katla’s work methods and skill, and additional background information in her character and personal history. The KillFiles can be read out of order, as the contracts are random samples from her past. Each KillFile also contains a teaser from the novels in the Amsterdam Assassin Series.
For Maaike, the love and light of my life.
And to Tycho Thelonious and Nica Hilke, thankfully still too young to read my work.
(definition of the title)
A morally unprincipled person.
One who is predestined to damnation.
Morally unprincipled; shameless.
Rejected by God and without hope of salvation.
And this is the back matter:
At the end of the book, instead of 'The End', I have this:
If you enjoyed Reprobate, check your e-book retailer for the Amsterdam Assassin Series!
Followed by the following extra material:
To the Reader,
Having readers eager for the next instalment of a series is the best motivation for a writer to create new stories. If you enjoy reading my work as much as I enjoy writing Katla’s adventures, there are ways for you to support me and help me expand the Amsterdam Assassin Series:
Follow my blog. Probably the least amount of effort is visiting the Amsterdam Assassin Series blog at http://amsterdamassassin.wordpress.com/ and click on the Follow Blog via Email button, so you’ll get an email notice whenever I update my blog with publication announcements, articles on Katla’s Amsterdam and adding to the Frequently Asked Questions section.
Share your opinion. If you like the Amsterdam Assassin Series and you want to let other people know, use Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress, Blogger, any social media that can help spread the word. And tell your friends.
Write reviews. Most of the sites where you can buy e-books have a way for you to post a review, so you can share with other readers whether a book or story merits their attention. Also, there are a variety of book review websites like GoodReads, where members discuss the books they’ve read, want to read or want others to read. You can also put a review on your blog.
Send me feedback. If you have a question about the Amsterdam Assassin Series, like to point out errors and typos, discuss issues raised in the book, want to know how to become one of my beta readers, or just embarrass me with totally undeserved adulation, I urge you to send me an email at email@example.com.
Martyn V. Halm
About the author:
Martyn V. Halm lives in Amsterdam, with his wife Maaike, two children, two cats, and countless imaginary characters vying for attention.
Writing realistic crime fiction is hard work. Martyn is a stickler for verisimilitude in fiction, even if that requires learning new skills. When your protagonist is a seasoned killer, research can take you right up to Nietzsche’s abyss. Luckily, things get easier after the first kill. And, apart from being an accomplished prevaricator, Martyn already possessed several skills that qualified him to write the Amsterdam Assassin Series.
• A former bouncer, Martyn trains in aikido and koryu bujutsu. The combination of street-fighting and martial arts provides him with the experience to write realistic fighting scenes. Plus he knows how to wield a Japanese sword convincingly.
• Martyn is a former motorcycle courier and loves to go for rides on his motorcycles—both to commute in the congested Randstad and for recreation. His personal motorcycles are a tricked-out bedlinered BMW R1100GS, a dented Vespa PX200E motor scooter, and a Moto Guzzi Mille GT with EZS sidecar that he uses to cart the children around. His wife’s Suzuki 650 V-Strom Black Rhino will do in a pinch.
• Martyn shares his protagonist’s fondness for sharp implements and projectile weapons developed before the age of firearms. His expertise with catapults, throwing blades, shuriken, and darts, and (cross)bows notwithstanding, he knows how to handle light firearms. And spud guns.
• While he is as fastidious about tea as Bram and as critical about coffee as Katla, Martyn prefers a cappuccino over an espresso, and drinks his Lapsang without sugar.
• Like Bram Merleyn, Martyn studies the game of Go, although he wouldn’t be able to play an entire game with his eyes closed.
• His knowledge of Namikoshi shiatsu is reflected in Bram Merleyn’s mastery of acu-pressure massage.
• While Martyn is nowhere near as handy with lockpicks as Katla, most household locks are unable to resist him for long.
• Although Martyn also shares some of Katla’s lethal and unorthodox skills, he doesn’t feel the need to use them for illegal activities. Crime might pay, but writing about crime provides a steadier income with less risk.
Martyn always enjoyed stories about assassins, but his opinion on assassins differed from the books he read. Since most fictional assassins are antagonists, they are often warped individuals, with freaky childhoods. However, Martyn has come across mercenaries (basically the same field), who are pretty regular people. Sure their view of the world differs from ordinary citizens, but they’re not ‘warped’. This made him want to write about an assassin who has no deep-seated frustration or abused childhood, but who just realised that killing was what she was good at and who had the appropriate world view and lack of conscience to pull it off.
If you want to contact Martyn…
(teaser chapter of the next novel)
If you enjoyed Reprobate, you might enjoy this glimpse at the second novel in the Amsterdam Assassin Series, Peccadillo, to be published late 2012.
This is what happens if you mess with an assassin’s legitimate business cover…
Pascal Vermeer cursed his need to have an office in the centre of Amsterdam. Not just because of the exorbitant rent of office space or the endless quest for a suitable parking spot, but most of all the tourists. Even at this time of year, the buggers were everywhere. Gritting his teeth, Pascal braked for another idiot blithely stepping off the sidewalk, swinging a backpack with dangling sharp utensils that almost scratched the luscious coat of his new BMW X5 luxury sports utility vehicle. Didn’t these people have the least amount of self-preservation? Wandering about like blind sheep, straying into the road to take pictures of quaint gable houses.
The tourist took a picture, gave Pascal an apologetic wave, and shuffled back to the sidewalk. Pascal floored the gas pedal and his Bavarian brute leaped forward, causing the tourist to stumble into his fellow sheeple waiting in the queue for the Anne Frank Huis.
An impotent gesture, since Pascal had to brake twenty meters further on to take the sharp curve onto the steep bridge that spanned the Prinsengracht canal. After the bridge he turned left again and found a parking spot not far from his office. He shut down the engine, but stayed in the comfort of his huge car for a little while longer.
Listening to the patter of rain on the roof, Pascal gazed out across the canal at the old church. Built in typical Amsterdam renaissance style by Hendrick de Keijzer, the view of the Westerkerk complemented the soft classical music pouring from his speakers. The rain on his window made the Westertoren ripple like the enormous church tower was shedding its skin of ancient masonry.
The BMW’s passenger door opened and a stocky Chinese man got into his car, closing the door behind him before Pascal could protest.
“Tasteful music.” The man studied him with obsidian eyes. “Händel?”
“Who are you?”
“Lau.” The man checked the display of his car stereo. “Ah, yes. Water Music. Appropriate, for this weather.”
“Mr. Lau, what do you want?”
“Me? Nothing. I came at the behest of Mr. Zhang.”
Pascal groaned inwardly, but gave him a confident smile. “Mr. Zhang? What can I do for him?”
“Your limit is ten thousand. You’re thirty down the hole.”
“Listen, I owe Mr. Zhang ten. What I owe others is not his concern, is it?”
“What others?” The flat black eyes gazed at him with the equanimity of a sunning lizard. “We have all your markers. You owe us thirty-two thousand eight hundred.”
“The debt is covered,” Pascal replied. “Although the money is not all available at—“
“If you think you’re talking to our Cho Hai,” Lau interrupted him. “You’re mistaken.”
Pascal tried to meet his gaze without twitching. If not a mediator, he could only be an enforcer, coming to collect.
Lau pulled out the ashtray, reached in his inside pocket and withdrew a gold cigarette case. A slight click and the case opened in his palm. The enforcer calmly removed an unfiltered cigarette. Pascal wanted to tell him not to smoke in his new car, but Lau probably wasn’t the type to comply.
Studiously unhurried, the enforcer closed the case and tapped the cigarette twice on the gold surface, before placing it in the left corner of his mouth. A steady flame danced in his fingers, reflected in his dark eyes. Lau touched the flame to the cigarette and drew smoke into his lungs.
Pascal adjusted the air conditioner to suck the smoke from the car.
“Does the smoke bother you?” Lau aimed a plume of smoke in his direction. “You ought to be used to it, visiting our dens of iniquity.”
“I sit in the non-smoking section,” Pascal replied. “Or near an open window.”
“I had no idea we were so accommodating. But then, I don’t gamble.” Lau grinned, but his dark eyes showed no merriment. “Smoking is my only vice.”
“You’re an enforcer, aren’t you?”
The lizard eyes stared at him through the smoke. “That’s right.”
“Violence and death are not exactly virtues.”
“Violence and death are part of doing business. We avoid the latter. Dead people don’t pay their debts.” His grin widened to display polyester dentures, with an amber-coloured stain on the left side. “Although the living have difficulty with that also.”
“I heard you the first time. You can lay your hands on the money in a few days. A week at the most.” Lau tapped his ashes in the general direction of the ashtray. “Except you won’t. Not in a few days. Not even in a few weeks. You’re indebted to so many people, I’m amazed there’s no queue outside your office.”
Pascal watched flecks of ash land on the upholstery around the ashtray and resisted the urge to wipe the ash away. He looked at Lau frostily and said, “I can assure you I can get the money in less than a week.”
Lau held up his hand. “Maybe there’s another way. Beneficial for both of us.” The palm of his hand looked like tough old leather. “Mr. Zhang is interested in Sphinx Shipping.”
“Interested in what way?”
“He wants to meet Ms. Sieltjes.”
Pascal blinked. Sieltjes was majority shareholder of Sphinx, not involved in the day-to-day business. “You tried the office?”
“Mr. Zhang wants an informal meeting. We’d like her address.”
“I’m afraid I don’t have it.” Lau stared at him and Pascal added, “All correspondence goes through the office.”
“We don’t want to ‘correspond through the office’.”
“There’s not much I can do. I have a phone number…”
Lau took out a notebook, opened it and showed him a page. “This one?”
“This phone number is a pre-paid cellular phone. Untraceable.”
“Ms. Sieltjes is protective of her privacy. I doubt if she’d meet outside the office.”
“This business proposal is a delicate affair. If the office is the only place, Mr. Zhang would prefer the building to be empty. Arrange a meeting for tonight. Around ten.”
Pascal tilted his head. “I’d have to arrange this meeting?”
“Your mediation would make a favourable impression.”
“Not on Ms. Sieltjes,” Pascal replied. He could just imagine her reaction and suppressed a shiver. “I don’t think she’d appreciate—“
“She doesn’t hold your markers, we do. And your fee will equal your debt.”
“My entire debt?”
Lau made a slicing movement with his hand. “Canceled on her arrival. Your fee won’t depend on the outcome of the meeting.” The enforcer pointed at the car phone. “If you manage to arrange it.”
Thirty-thousand euro to arrange a meeting…
Pascal noticed Lau was still pointing at the phone.
“You want me to call her now?”
Lau shrugged. “What’s wrong with now?”
“Nothing.” Pascal took the phone from the holder. “I’ll have to improvise.”
“On the speakers. I want to listen in on the conversation.”
Pascal returned the phone to the holder and called the number. The phone rang and they waited for the other side to be picked up.
By the fourth ring Pascal shook his head. “I don’t think she’s in. You want me to leave a message on her Voicemail?”
A robotic voice answered the call. The enforcer showed his cheap dentures and motioned for Pascal to speak.
He cleared his throat. “This is Pascal Vermeer. I’d like for Ms. Sieltjes to call me back at her earliest convenience.”
He broke the connection and turned to Lau. “Nothing more I can do.”
Lau blew smoke at the windscreen. “Contact her later. Arrange for a meeting at ten this evening. I’ll pick you up at your office at eight-thirty.”
“I have to be present?” Pascal felt a queasy churning in his stomach. Sieltjes was always cordial, but something in her cold blue gaze made his balls shrivel. Lau made him even more nervous, though, so refusal was not an option.
“I insist.” The enforcer seemed to relish his discomfort. “Don’t disappoint us.”
“What if she doesn’t want to come?”
Lau stepped out of the BMW, took a last drag from his cigarette and shot the butt into the car. The burning cigarette bounced against Pascal’s chest and dropped in his lap.
In a reflex Pascal opened his legs and the smouldering butt slipped between his thighs and rolled down under his buttocks. Cursing, he arched his back to lift his butt from the seat, but the safety belt restricted him and he had to sit down before he could click it loose. The hot tip burned against his buttocks as he pressed the release button, elbowed his door open and clambered from the BMW.
Disgusted Pascal pinched the cigarette between his fingers and threw the butt into the canal. He checked the seat. A dark spot marked the tan leather. He cursed again. His pants were probably ruined as well.
With the rain dripping into his collar Pascal straightened and looked around, but Lau was nowhere to be seen. He took a last look at the cigarette mark on the seat, cursed Lau again and crossed the cobblestone road to his office.
(request for the reader to visit the blog and sign up for the email list)
If you enjoyed this sample of Peccadillo, follow my blog at http://amsterdamassassin.wordpress.com/, so you can be informed on publication dates and other news in the Amsterdam Assassin Series.
(Reviews, if any)
Publishers Weekly Review of Reprobate:
Fast-moving and intricately plotted, this manuscript of Dutch intrigue follows assassin Katla, who’s renowned for her ability to cover up a job. When the U.S. DEA’s base in the Netherlands catches wind of a heroin ring within the U.S. military, they set up an undercover operation. When the heads of the drug ring discover the plot, they arrange for Katla to assassinate the undercover agents, but the assassination doesn’t go as planned. As Katla recovers from injuries sustained in the botched job, DEA agent Deborah Stern and her colleagues investigate. Violence, drugs, and sex abound in this intense story, and the plot is less farcical than a lot of the thrillers clogging the shelves.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Special thanks to:
First and foremost, the many bèta readers for reading drafts and providing their helpful comments; The Thoughtcafe Writers Community, now sadly gone, Accentuate Writers, and the Inmates of ADVrider.com, for support and critique; Char Marie Adlesperger, for the cover; Doctor Lex van Hattum, clinical pathologist with the Academisch Ziekenhuis der Vrije Universiteit; Rob de Vries for an interesting tour of the pathology facilities; Doctor Gert van Ingen, forensic pathologist with the Nederlands Forensisch Instituut in Rijswijk; Chris, for information on musical instruments and their maintenance; Frank, for the shooting lessons; Mischa, for nights of verbal ping-pong; Hakima, for the Mehndi tattoo; Simeon, for the real tattoos; my cats Gris-gris (deceased), Mingus, and Jotta, for comic relief; and—last, but not least—the multitude of skeptics, for strengthening my resolve to prove them wrong.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organisations, businesses, or persons living or dead, is entirely coincidental. Any mistakes in this fictional work are made by the author and not the wonderful experts who generously provided their time to give me their information. Katla’s work methods, while portrayed as accurately and realistically as possible, are not to be duplicated or imitated in real life. So, don’t try this at home!
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
Feel free to use this as a template for your work
Wow! This last example strikes me as overkill. I generally follow published books with front matter, except that I add review excerpts for electronic books because this material usually appears on the back cover of a print book and is consulted by potential buyers in a store.
The blurb isn't really necessary because it appears as "book description" on the order page.
I'm with Ingrid on this. I took a printed book and looked to see what they had, and in what sequence.
Depends on the printed book: I've had several printed books with teaser chapters in the back, and lots of advertisements, from books by the same publisher or even unrelated subjects. And with printed books it adds to the weight and heft of the book, not so with ebooks.
I add the teaser chapter because I've come across other books with teaser chapters. As to adding the blurb or pitch to the front matter - most newly acquired ebooks open straight at the first chapter, so most of the front matter isn't read unless you scroll back.
If you read a book right after you bought it, you will know what the book is about, but if you buy the ebook and it adds to your TBR list, you might not read it for months. By the time you open the ebook, you might have forgotten what it's all about. And, whereas with a printed book you just turn it over and read the back of the book, with an e-book you'd have to go on the internet and find the ordering page to read the blurb. In my books, you just scroll back to the front matter for a reminder.
As it is, the extra material does not 'add' to the weight and heft of the e-book, and the extra kB that it adds to the bookfile is negligible. With 100K books like mine, the percentage of extra matter to the main content is less than 2% of the total book.
Yes, but I'm not sure that readers like to plow through too much front matter. The point about people saving to a TBR list makes sense, but in my case they know what they are getting not only from the order page, but also from the content. I write for a niche audience, and there are hardly any other books like mine. The teaser chapter goes to the end, I think. I'm not sure that this always works. Readers have complained about those chapters in published books by bestselling authors. The problem tends to be a long wait time before the new title is ready.
I understand, but that's the advantage of ebooks - if you open a new ebook, the first page is often (in my ebooks at least) the beginning of Chapter One and you'd actively need to page back or scroll back to read the front matter. So if a reader doesn't want to read the front matter, they don't have to.
As to the teaser chapter, like stated above that's at the end of the book, and I only include a teaser chapter of a published work - so Reprobate has a teaser chapter of Peccadillo and Peccadillo has a teaser chapter of Reprobate. No waiting time. And I announce the third book in the 'about the AAS', where I post the available books/stories.
I like Martyn's advise re checking the free samples at Amazon, but books on your shelf will do fine. Personally I prefer the "simple is better" approach. Here's the front matter from my novella Predator Strike as used for Createspace:
(title page - centre justified in large font)
- Introducing Captain Sam Ryan –
(second page - centre justified)
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, organisations, government bodies, or corporations mentioned are either the product of the author’s imagination or, if real, are used fictitiously without any intent to describe real or actual conduct.
Copyright © 2012 Liam Saville
All rights reserved.
(third page - dedication - centre justified)
And that is it...Acknowledgements are in the back, and I'll also add a sample chapter at the back of the book once the next one is available (the advantage of e-books and on demand printing)
Thanks all. Good answers that will get'er done.