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Side-bar vs. back matter

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If you have a pb manuscript that tells a story but uses science terms that should/could be defined, when you submit the manuscript would you put all the nonfiction in a separate page as back matter, or include it interspersed through the text italicized and in parentheses like an illo note? The notes break up the flow of the story, but the material isn't one big "Author note" that I would expect as back matter.

Thank you!
#1 - April 07, 2013, 09:09 AM

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As an editor I could make an argument for it either way, though I would tend to go with sidebars if there are only a few of them, and back matter if there are a lot. If you go for sidebars, identify them as such -- don't just put them in parentheses and italicize them.

You could also say in your cover letter that you are presenting one way, but they could be done the other way.
#2 - April 07, 2013, 10:24 AM
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site:


Thanks, Harold.
There is one science term, translating to one sidebar per spread, for the first eight spreads. Based on what you said I'm thinking that numbered back matter may be the way to go.
#3 - April 08, 2013, 07:43 AM

He is Risen! Alleluia!!!
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I've seen books with both a glossary and sidebars, but when submitting a manuscript, I keep all the extras at the end, so as not to break the narrative flow.

Good luck,
#4 - April 08, 2013, 10:07 AM
Little Thief! Max & Midnight, Bound, Ten Easter Eggs & 100+ bks/mags


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