# Resources for title page and front matter design

I need to create the area between the outer cover and the table of contents for a novel. This will present (at least partially, but preferably at a minimum):

• the title
• the author's name
• the translator's name
• the year of first publication
• the name of the book series

I basically need a place to display this information, but (perhaps or preferably) not all crowded into the same page.

Most of the documentation I have read suggests that this is a highly important part of all books and that the book-makers need to creation this part of the book themselves.

So, I am looking for resources which will aid LaTeX book-makers (such as myself) in creating this part of the book. So far, I have found:

Most of the other resources I have seen appear more suited for writers of technical documentation or thesis on A4 paper. I am not sure how well this translates to works of fiction printed on a small size for reading on a park bench. I have found no examples focused on novel-sized material, focusing on use of the book, octavo class or fiction-focused classes, or with styles suitable for works of fiction (either old or new).

I'm looking for at least 1 of these:

• Explanations or links to documents describing the design aspects of title pages and front matter relevant to fiction (or novels in general); old or new methods (any is appropriate).
• Explanations or links to documents describing how to achieve good results between \begin{titlepage} and \end{titlepage} (i.e. achieving proper placement of the elements).
• Links to or samples of source code (either from real works or produced as demonstration code).
• Suggestions for packages, macros, fonts, and other design elements which could benefit users wishing to create title pages and front matter for their works.
• Large or small ideas for how to achieve an excellent-looking title page and front matter with LaTeX (or in general).
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What's wrong with good old \title, \author, \date and \maketitle? –  Werner Nov 16 '11 at 7:34
That is good, it is just missing: publisher, publisher series, publisher's location, story series, editor, illustrator, copyright information, bibliographical note, cataloging data, manufacturing data, etc. –  Village Nov 16 '11 at 7:47
Okay, then you don't have to use \maketitle; you could just list the items yourself without resorting to some command. Are you using the document items you speak of anywhere else in your document? Do you reference them and therefore need them stored somewhere? –  Werner Nov 16 '11 at 7:50
No, the items only appear once. They are pulled from another file. –  Village Nov 16 '11 at 8:04

http://ctan.org/tex-archive/info/latex-samples/TitlePages This has some great-looking examples, however, the dependencies are all very complicated (i.e. knowing which packages to load in order to compile an example requires familiarity with dozens of packages), and they are also limited to 1 page.

I have taken (some of those examples) in the past and put them as individual examples. You can download these from Here, Here, Here, and Here. I have changed the examples little to work with xepersian package to typeset Persian documents.

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Vafa Khalighi: sample title page package 3 the link to it in this comment. Excellent job by the way! –  Count Zero Nov 21 '11 at 14:27

Markus Kohm, the author of KOMA-Script, provides a project and a package named titlepage. Unfortunatly the project itself and the download page is only available in German. Nevertheless you may see the different types of already supported title page styles at http://www.komascript.de/node/1219. BTW: The red parts of the example pages are the variant parts. They are only red to illustrate the variant elements.

The package documentation itself is in English. So, if you download the package archive, you get an English manual. Just go to http://www.komascript.de/node/1213 and click at titlepage.tds.zip at the end of the page below the word "Anhang".

You may ask questions about the package and give suggestions for new styles in english too. Nevertheless it would be nice, if the author would put the package onto CTAN, IMHO.

Here is a tiny example in how to use the package:

\documentclass{book}
\usepackage{titlepage}
\TitlePageStyle{Markus-2}% one of several supported styles
\begin{document}
\maketitle[% Note, that this is an option brace!
rulewidth=2pt,% vertical rule at the left
subject=Novel,
title={From here to there},
subtitle={A journey to somewhere},
author={Village},
publisher={Me}
]
\end{document}


Caveat: The titlepage package needs KOMA-Script 3.09a. Nevertheless it may be used together with other classes (see the example above, that uses the standard book class).

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I do use the KOMA-script and build, almost always, such pieces of a book's meta-data, by using the provided environments (such as: Publishers, Upper- and Lowertitleback, Address and Rightaddress). Fine positioning of certain blocks of text can be achieved by using minipages. However, I second the practice described by Daniel below (answer on Nov 16 at 14:06)--the cover for a novell book can be created outside the LaTeX world and well integrated as a separate PDF page. –  Nikos Alexandris Nov 23 '11 at 9:22
@Nikos: I agree that designing a package or macros for title generation of a one time project wouldn't make sense. But If someone often needs title pages with the same design it would make sense. And if different users need the same design it is useful if one one makes the design and implementation and all the others may use the result. So a project like the titlepage project may make sense for some people and make no sense for others. BTW: Title pages are not same like cover pages! Nevertheless titlepage provides an environment without margins useful for creating covers too. –  Schweinebacke Nov 23 '11 at 9:36
agreed--it certainly will ease off the workflow, given a specific titlepage is required often. –  Nikos Alexandris Nov 25 '11 at 11:28

In answer to your third bullet, you could just create such a title page yourself and not use any other packages. Here is some discussion on how that could be achieved.

The \maketitle command from the article documentclass is defined in the following way:

\newcommand\maketitle{\begin{titlepage}%
\let\footnotesize\small
\let\footnoterule\relax
\let \footnote \thanks
\null\vfil
\vskip 60\p@
\begin{center}%
{\LARGE \@title \par}%
\vskip 3em%
{\large
\lineskip .75em%
\begin{tabular}[t]{c}%
\@author
\end{tabular}\par}%
\vskip 1.5em%
{\large \@date \par}%       % Set date in \large size.
\end{center}\par
\@thanks
\vfil\null
\end{titlepage}%


As you can see, apart from some redefinitions, it leaves a 60pt vertical skip from the top of the page, then typesets the title page information within a center environment. The title (contained within \@title) is typeset in \LARGE font, followed by a vertical skip of 3em, followed by the author (contained within \@author) which is typeset in \large font, followed by the date (in \@date) after a vertical skip of 1.5em, followed by any "thanks" (contained within \@thanks) which is actually typeset as a \footnote. You could mimic this procedure almost verbatim using the titlepage environment:

\begin{titlepage}
\null\vfil
\vskip 60pt
\begin{center}
{\LARGE My novel title \par}%
\vskip 3em
{\large
\lineskip .75em%
Author: Random Randofsky \par
Publisher: Random Pub \par
Publisher series: XyZ \par
Publisher location: Random City \par
Story series: aBc \par
Editor: Who Cares \par
Illustrator: Someone Special \par
Bibliographical note: \biblatex \par
Manufacturing data: whatever \par}%
\vskip 1.5em%
{\large \today \par}% Set date in \large size
\end{center}\par
\vfil\null
\end{titlepage}


The layout, of course, would depend on the contents of the respective elements you want to include. I've just used filler text to display something.

If need be, it would also be possible to create a number of macros where you define the respective items, and then call a "title page" macro that assembles everything into the above format (for consistency). However, more information regarding the layout would be required to establish such a definition.

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A prosaic approach (that probably does not go too well with many here at TeX.SE):

If this is just a one-time thing then do not mess with LaTeX at all to do the cover. Just do it in your favorite vector drawing program (such as Inkscape), export it to PDF, and use something like pdfpages, \includegraphics or pdftk to add it to the document. Especially if you need a more arty design, such as for a novell or poetry book, this can be a huge time saver (although doing it with TikZ might be fun).

On the other hand: if it is something you (or someone else) may want to do more than once and the format is pretty formal, then you should invest the time in doing it with LaTeX.

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I couldn't agree more with the sentiment here. The cover and the title pages will define the readers first impression of your book and should therefore be designed to best suit it. No standard setup exist as every book is unique, which is especially true for novels and prose in general. Browse your bookshelves for inspiration and I'm sure TeX.SE will help you create what you desire in TikZ, if you so choose :) –  spet Nov 21 '11 at 9:22