In publishing there are certain standards that exist for good reason. Some were and are little understood, but that doesn’t make them any less important.
One of the most basic standards for publishers is the number of pages in a book. That may sound kind of simple, but it is not. The number of book pages includes every single page in a book, including front matter, back matter, and everything in between.
Front matter includes the pages that start the work off that most people don’t give much attention. On our books, like Pillars of the NFL, it includes the title page, the copyright page, the table of contents, the preface, acknowledgments, etc. For our front matter, we use roman numerals to number the pages. In Pillars we have 16 pages of front matter.
The part of a book that most people believe is the most important is the actual text that forms the nucleus–the chapters. In pillars we have 384 pages that make up that portion of the book.
The back matter of the book includes the endnotes, tables, and the index. This is 30 pages in Pillars.
When pages are counted, black pages are counted as well. In Pillars, the grand total is 432.
By have a standard way of counting pages, the consumer used to be able to have some sense of a book’s size as disclosed by each publisher. This isn’t exactly true any longer. The existence of so many independent publishers has led to a lot of different ways to count book pages. But the pros count every single page that makes up the book.
It’s like a lot of things today, some people think they are just smarter than anybody else–even when everyone else may have been doing something for hundreds of years.