Epigraph Page Layout

An Epigraph page is an optional page in a book which comes in the front matter section. It provides a short quote or poem that sets the mood for the book. I try to always have an epigraph in each of my books. Here's why.

Epigraph Page Layout As I mention in my other pages, I try in general to minimize the content in the front matter area of the book. I don't want to slow the reader down. I want them to get right into the meat of my story, before they lose interest. Many readers will put a book down or click the "back" button if there is too much sludge before they get to the story itself.

So, to me, the epigraph is that teaser. It's that appetizer. It's what hooks them and gives them a sense of what the story is going to be all about. It gives a sense of the mood and feeling and convinces them to keep going.

The epigraph on the right is from my first medieval novel, Seeking the Truth. It relates to the characters and plots of the story. It creates an atmosphere of what the story will be about.

Note that you shouldn't cut and paste someone else's poem for this area if that poem is still in copyright. Be quite cautious about respecting other authors' copyrights in everything you do. If the poem you want to use is still within copyright, contact the author for permission.

I would highly recommend writing your own epigraph. Make it in your own words. Part of what you're doing here is demonstrating to the reader that your work is worth reading. That is best done in your own voice.

The epigraph should be on the right hand page, and it should not have any page numbers. In my books, the epigraph is page 3. I start with a title page on page 1, a copyright page on page 2, and then the epigraph is right there on page 3. So it is right there after one page flip to lure the reader into going further.

In my books, the epigraph is one of the last things I write. It represents the entire book in its finished state, with the mood and message created.

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