Natasha Wing presented a program this week at the Northern Colorado SCBWI Schmooze. She spoke on back matter. "What is that?" you might ask. She described it as the part of the book, usually after the main text, that consists of things like an afterword, timeline, bibliography and more. Also, those interesting tidbits that didn't make it into the original story. She brought lots of examples including some of her own picture books.
Her picture book lengths often extended to 48 pages rather than the normal 32. Her back matter included, some, but not all, of those listed above as well as Author's Notes, a closing summary and/or a How To.
Besides adding back matter to the book, what can you do with all your leftover research? The Author's Notes may appear in the book. Otherwise, use them in school presentations. List them on your website. Write another book. Or include them in a magazine article.
Keep all your notes. You never know when they will come in handy.
That brings up another subject. How and where do you save all that information? Some people fill 3 x 5 cards and file them away. Some save on the computer, being sure to back up their work. Others use notebooks. Whatever your method, also keep an idea file of where you might send articles on some of the information.
I have lots of possible back matter for my Charles Russell book. As I research my second book on Frederic Remington, I'll store away the notes. Then I can add back matter to my website later. Guess I'd better get busy. I need to update my website with all that extra information I discovered about Charles M. Russell. I'll post it in the "For Kids" and "For Teachers" sections. Unfortunately, it will have to wait another day or so. My week is jam packed.
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