The back matter contains several lesser-known pages such as the Epilogue, Afterword, and Glossary. Majority of books that are produced do not contain any of the back matter pages. The back matter pages are numbered along with the core matter pages using the Arabic numbering rather than the roman numerals used in the front matter.
An epilogue is typically used in a work of fiction and is meant to bring closure to the work. It is presented from within the story and is most often written in the same voice as the narrator or another character from the main bulk of the book. An epilogue is the opposite of the prologue (which serves as an introductory portion of the story, meant to draw the reader into the work). The epilogue is typically formatted in the same manner as the preceding chapters.
An afterword is not part of the narrative text. It generally presents the genesis of the book—how it came into being and how it was developed. It may be written by the author and may include thanks or acknowledgment to those who assisted in the book’s creation and publication. Alternatively, it may be written by someone other than the author as an enriching commentary on the text. The afterword is typically formatted in the same manner as the preceding chapters.
A glossary is a reference tool found at the end of a book. It consists of a set of definitions for words used in the main body of the text. For works of fiction, the entries primarily focus on characters and settings. The glossary is formatted in alphabetical columns. Font is typically kept consistent throughout these elements and should be the same font and font size as the main body of the text.
An index is also a reference tool found at the end of a book. The index details people, places, events, and concepts that were significant throughout the book. It is meant to be a quick reference for readers looking for a specific instance of a certain keyword. An index is most common in nonfiction or textbook style works. Generally, the keyword(s) appear on the left and the reference number (typically a page number) appears on the right. It is alphabetically sorted and if you have many keywords in your index or glossary, you may want to split your text into columns to accommodate all the words. Font is typically kept consistent throughout these elements and should be the same font and font size as the main body of the text.
Should I use an Index?
The need for an index is largely dependent on your genre. Historical and Genealogical books often have indexes to help readers track the hundreds of people, places, or events that happen throughout the book. However, most books (Novels, Poetry, Art Books, Children’s Books) do not require an index. If you feel that your readers may need a reference but feel that a full index would be too much, you can include a list of locations or a cast of characters instead.
A bibliography provides a list of sources which were used in the research of the book. This is most found in research papers, theses, and nonfiction books. Bibliographies should be formatted according to MLA or Chicago Manual of Style regulations. Margins, fonts, and font sizes should match the main body of the text. Line spacing may vary slightly from the main body, dependent on which style manual you are referencing.
If present, a colophon is typically the very last element found in a book. It provides a brief description of the book’s production, including edition information, place of printing, font/typesetting history, and book design information. Margins, line spacing, and font settings should remain the same as the main body of text.