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Body of the Book

12 Parts of the Body of a Book Design


The body of the book is where you'll find the story, the description, the main text of the book. This is the main portion of the publication. In longer books and manuals the body is often sub-divided into chapters or sections.

  1. Introduction
    The first chapter of the book may serve as an introduction or it can be a separate section that precedes chapter 1. Often shorter than other chapters of the book, the introduction is similiar to or may replace the preface that describes the contents and purpose of the book.


  2. Body Chapters
    Chapters divide the action or the subject matter of the book into smaller sections. The length can vary but each chapter usually follows the same general format in terms of the style and layout of the page elements.


  3. Title
    The book title typically appears on the book cover and spine and on the Title Page near the beginning of the book.


  4. Chapter Heads
    Titles that identify each chapter, the chapter head may appear on a page preceding the body text or the text of the chapter may start on the same page.


  5. Subheads
    Subheads within each chapter divide the chapter into smaller sections.


  6. Header / Footer
    Headers and footers, also known as running heads, are repeating text - often the title of the book or the specific chapter within the book - that appears at the top (header) or bottom (footer) of each page or every other page in a book design.

    The page number is sometimes incorporated with the running headline or footer.


  7. Bylines
    When the book has multiple authors, such as a compilation of short stories, the byline is a short phrase or paragraph that indicates the name of the author for an individual story or chapter.

    The byline commonly appears between the chapter head and start of the chapter.


  8. Page Numbers
    Page numbers can appear at the top, bottom, or sides of pages although the bottom of the page is the most common in book design. Numbering in Arabic numbers may start with the front matter, although Roman numerals are sometimes used for the front matter with Arabic page numbering starting with the first chapter. Material at the end of the book, such as an appendix, may have a separate numbering system such as A-1, A-2, etc. for Appendix A.


  9. Notices
    Outside the main text, notices may take the form of tips, alerts, or trivia related to the main discussion. These are generally small chunks of text set apart by font, color, or position and are often identified with a distinctive header or icon.

    Notices may be placed within the body of the text or the layout may include an extra column (such as a wide outer page margin) where such notices appear.


  10. Photos / Illustrations
    A book design layout may contain photographs, drawings, charts, graphs, or clip art. Software manuals typically contain screen shots, charts, and icons. Illustrations may appear on their own page or be integrated into the text.

    To save money, a book design may be printed in black and white but include a section of pages in the middle or at the end of the book that groups all full color photos together.


    • Screen Captures
      Screen shots take special manipulation in order to be rendered clear and readable in print.


    • Icons
      Some books, such as software manuals, use a variety of icons to indicate tips, warnings, shortcuts, or other significant bits of information.


    • Technical Illustrations
      Manuals and other technical publications may contain charts, diagrams, graphs, and other types of drawings.These illustrations may appear within the body of the book or may be part of an appendix.


    • Caption
      The caption is a phrase, sentence, or paragraph describing the contents of an illustration such as a photograph or chart. The caption is usually placed directly above, below, or to the side of the picture it describes.


  11. Footnotes
    Often found in scholarly publications or textbooks, footnotes are notes usually found at the bottom of a page of a book that cites a reference or provides additional explanations for a designated part of the text. Subscript numbers adjacent to the designated text coincide with the same notations found in the footnotes. Footnotes can appear at the end of a page (before the footer), end of a chapter, or may be consolidated into a section of pages at the end of the book, where they are called endnotes.


  12. Epilogue
    Also called an afterword, the epilogue is a short section following the last chapter that tells about what happened to the characters in the future, after the conclusion of the main story. Computer books, manuals, and other types of books that don't involve a storyline and actual characters (real or fictional) won't normally have an epilogue.

Parts of a Book > Text Block > Body of the Book

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