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Contents Quick Reference Page Layout Children's Book Family History School Yearbook Poetry Art Book Novel Self-Help Getting Started Editing Choosing a Book Size Choosing a Binding Style Software Image Formats Scanning Book Structure Front Matter Copyright Page Acknowledgments Dedication Table of Contents Foreword / Prologue Core Matter Margins and Bleeds Page Numbering Headers and Footers Font Sizes Font Choices Back Matter Index Registration ISBN Copyright LCCN Cover Design Make Your Own Book Cover Barcode BISAC Codes Cover Coatings Submitting a Book Submitting Files Marketing Creating a Strategy Promotional Ideas Things to Consider Miscellaneous Glossary Papers Yearbook Templates
Front Matter
Table of Contents

A Table of Contents organizes and lists the chapters or sections in your book for easy reference. This page appears immediately after your Copyright, Acknowledgements, and Dedication pages.


A Contents page only lists certain types of sections. Industry standards advise a certain order of appearance:

Foreword / Prologue
Chapter Pages
Section Pages
Image Pages
Appendix / Index

The Table of Contents should only list content that comes after it. Copyright, Dedication, and other content that comes prior is not to be listed.

Listings in your Table of Contents are always listed by order of appearance with front matter content (Foreword, Preface, etc.) emphasized a certain way. To display your information clearly, group your chapters by section:

Note from the Author

Section One
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three

Section Two
Chapter Four
Chapter Five

Many modern text editors have an automatic Table of Contents feature built in to handle content listing.

Text Formatting

Your choice of font should remain the same between your Table of Contents, front matter, core matter, and back matter. Instead of using a different font entirely, use text emphasis (Bold, Italics, Underline, and Uppercase Text) and different sizes to separate categories.

Table of Contents text is displayed in full justification with content titles on the left and page numbers on the right. In order to space the content and number properly, use a Right Align Tab (in Microsoft Word) or Right Indent Tab (in Adobe InDesign).

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