Chris Fenwick

April 16 , 2024

It's All About the Matter Document

The matter document is an all-encompassing document that holds all of your books metadata. Having this document as early as possible helps us to find ways to market your book, helps us get your front cover designed quicker, and ensures a swift proofing and release process.

For the updated (Jan. 2022) Matter Document Specs, please review here: Updated Matter Document Specs

Please see our Matter Document Template & Example to help develop this material.

Additionally, we have a Publishing and Marketing Tip Sheet that may help answer any questions you may have.

Also, please fill out the Cover Art Form and send it to the Assistant Publisher, Katie Cressman- (

During this process, if you have any questions on how to develop your book descriptions, author bio, or have any other general questions, please reach out to John Jordan at


Front and Back Matter: Please read carefully. Put all of this information in a document and title it: Author_Name –Title – Matter (except for images – see below)

  1. Book title and Series title (with book number in the series) if there is one. Please note, these cannot be changed after we register the books. If you have not settled upon the book or series title, it is time to do so now.
  2. 250 word description – think of this as the back cover copy.
  3. 350 characters (not word count) description – this is a short summary
  4. 3 BISAC categories ( It is okay to mix if you think your book crosses over.
  5. List of other books you have published, please include the publishing house. (i.e. Moby Dick, Dover Publications)
  6. 7 or more keywords for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) These should not include your name or title of the book, or series as these are already included. List locations, topics, genres, etc.
  7. B&W Author hi-res (300 DPI) photo. If you only have a color photo, that’s fine. We can make it B&W. Photos should be of you only, no family pictures or scenery photos. They should look professional, even if they are not professionally taken.
  8. Author Bio (250 words). We prefer no longer than 4 sentences. Your photo and bio should all fit on one page.
  9. Author Bio (350 characters). A shorter bio can be helpful for various marketing purposes.
  10. Author website address. If you don’t have the URL yet, please get it now. If you are only ever writing one book, you can use your book title if available. However, if you intend to write multiple books, we recommend you get your name or some variation of it as your website URL (address). If you already have a website, great. Just sent a link.
  11. Social Media – If you have any professional social media accounts, include those links. If you don’t have those yet, you can send us an update of this file later. Also, if you already have a social share page on your site, include the link to that page. If you don’t have one yet, just update us later. (more info on social media and social share pages on our blog)
  12. List 3 Comp (comparable) Authors: Popular authors who your readers would say your book is similar in genre and style. Include how your book is like theirs. You can use Amazon or GoodReads to help you find authors and genres but hopefully, you’ve read some of these books. In Amazon, go down to the Product Details on the book page and see what categories your comp author’s books are listed in. For instance, for my books, I would list: 
    1. Patricia Brigg - urban fantasy/shapeshifting romance
    2. Naomi Novik - mythology and folktales
    3. Samantha Shannon - LBGT fantasy and coming of age story
  13. Amazon Categories – You can use Amazon or GoodReads to help you find these as well. Joe can assist as needed.
  14. List of publicity angles and publications/media outlets you believe are a good match for your book.
  15. Blurbs – If you already have blurbs from other authors or reviewers, please include them. If not, don’t worry, you can always update this later with more.
  16. Acknowledgments (if any, and not already included in the manuscript)
  17. Prologue and Epilogue (please include these to your manuscript and NOT here)
  18. Dedications (if any or not already included in the manuscript)
  19. Ideas for the cover. We don’t need graphics or mock-ups, Sunbury Press will create a professional cover for your book. But a list of ideas, or other comparable book covers is always helpful. If this book is part of a series, it is important that we tie together the look of the series, that begins now.
  20. Illustrations, Images, and maps as needed. (please also include permissions/credit) All interior graphics are in B&W.


Please be sure to send images as high-quality (300dpi) attachments and name each: Author_Name – Book Title – Image name. Send images as attachments. Please do not include images in the body of the document or email. All Sunbury Press fiction titles are 6x9, paperback. Non-fiction sizes and covers vary.