What are these things, front matter and back matter? They are, respectively, pages that go in the front of your book, and in the back of your book. They are not generally part of the manuscript.
Back matter is easier and I'll go over it first. Back matter goes in the back of the book and includes 'Afterword', 'About the Author', 'Books in this series', 'More from this author' and any other material at the back of the book. Afterword is a short essay. It can be about the writing of the book, or how the themes of the book apply to the present day. Bernard Cornwell places information about the real life battles that inspired the battles in his Richard Sharpe series. 'Books in this series' is a listing of other books in the series, probably in preferred reading order. 'More from this author' includes all the books and an invitation to the author's webpage, facebook page, and blog site.
Back matter would also include a glossary, and index, but I don't have familiarity with those. Consult other guides for details.
The front matter may include the following:
You may not have all of these pages, especially for your first book.
Blurb pages contain the snippets of praise from reviewers and (usually) more famous authors. They may be one page or several pages. The blurbs are trying to convince a person in the book store to buy your book. You might think they aren’t necessary for e-books, but Amazon may put the first several pages of your e-book online, so they may be helpful for convincing a reluctant reader.
Title page contains title, author name, publisher name and locations, and sometimes a publisher logo. I found an image with this information looked a lot nicer than text. You can use GIMP or other software to create the image and insert it into your document. It’s also easier if you include a logo or other illustration on the title page.
Copyright page includes your copyright statement. The simplest is
Copyright © 2017 by Marlon Clark. All rights reserved.
The copyrights page also includes a disclaimer that the book is a work of fiction, eg
This is a work of fiction. Any reference to historical events, real people, or real events are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places and events are products of the author’s imagination and any resemblance to actual events, places or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
ISBN number, a link to your website, edition number, and credit for your cover artist, also go on your copyrights page.
Here is link to a guide about the Copyrights page, with more elaborate reservation of rights.
Half title page is just a page with only the book title on it. Newer typographical guides say it is the first page inside the front cover. Older typographical guides say that is a bastard title page, and a proper half title page is the last page just before the manuscript begins. You may include it or not. I think it was created as an optional extra page so later pages line up properly on the right or left side of the book.
Table of Contents of course shows each chapter or section and the page it begins on. It may also include separate pages for lists of maps, figures or charts. For a simple fiction novel without chapter titles, it can be omitted. For an e-book, you want to get your software to create it, as the variable font size and screen size make page numbers irrelevant. You’ll want it as a list of links to each feature. Details on creating a complicated table of contents would require a separate guide.
Acknowledgements is where you thank your critique group, other beta readers, people who checked science or facts, other authors that inspired you, and the support of your family. Dedication page is for that one or two people to whom you dedicate the book. Epigram is a short bit of poetry or quotation that begins the book.
For Scrivener, you create a folder in front of your manuscript folder. Label it FrontMatter. Inside, you create subfolders, eg ‘Amazon, Nook, Kobo’, “Smashwords’, ‘Draft to digital’, and so on. Then you add copies of each page to each subfolder. You can then tweak each page as needed. For example, a first author may not have an ISBN for their Amazon book, so you leave it off your copyright page. Smashwords will assign you an ISBN, so you go into that subfolder and add the ISBN number. (Bookow has a free ISBN hyphenator so you can properly hyphenate your ISBN.) Smashwords also wants something about it being the Smashwords edition so add that in. When you compile you simply select the appropriate folder as the front matter.
As to compiling, I’ll go over creating your e-pub or mobi file in the next installment!