"It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible."--Oscar Wilde
"The most common error made in matters of appearance is the belief that one should disdain the superficial and let the true beauty of one's soul shine through. If there are places on your body where this is a possibility, you are not attractive--you are leaking."--Fran Lebowitz
In much the same way as a published book has a sequence of parts--not just the contents--so should your manuscript. However, don't do anything fancy. In general, include a title page, acknowledgments page, a dedication page if you have one, a table of contents, and the manuscript. Be sure the manuscript is accurately paginated.
And always have a diskette ready to go. It should contain the manuscript stripped of all special coding, with each entry--each poem or each story--as a separate and clearly marked file. Check this with the publisher, of course.
a. Title Page.
This is straightforward. As a cover to your manuscript, start with a simple page that has the title of your book, about centered, and your name and address somewhere below it. If you are submitting to a contest, they often require a second title page with only the title of the manuscript and no reference to the author at all.
This is a page wherein you acknowledge anybody or any organization that had some hand in helping this book come to be.
i. Publications. Include here clear reference to all journals or other publications where some part of this work has appeared previously. You are generally obligated to do this, as doing so was quite likely a stipulation in the contracts that you signed with the journals. If your publisher has asked you to obtain permission from these journals to reprint, which the journals will indeed give you and is mostly only a pro forma gesture, they will usually underscore again the request for acknowledgment. In other words, list the journals you've been published in.
ii. Organizations. Include a recognition of any organizations that have supported you in some way as you wrote this book. Places of employment, grants you've received, writer's colonies you've stayed at, and so on.
iii. People. Here if you choose you can thank people who have helped with the book, or who have in some way contributed to its spirit.
DVICE. Try not to get carried away here, thanking everyone in the known universe from your second grade teacher on. Think of how you react to these moments, and how long the Academy Awards last.
This is a separate page--though in the finished book it may be moved onto another page if absolutely necessary--on which you can, if you choose, dedicate your book.
c. Table of Contents.
This is self-explanatory, and is not necessary for a novel. List here all your stories or poems, in the order in which they appear, with their page number.
DVICE. Make certain your page numbers match. An error in numbering is a rookie mistake at best, and unprofessional or sloppy at worst.
d. Explanatory notes.
In some circumstances, you may wish to include explanatory notes of some kind--perhaps translations of words, or useful references. This page, or pages, is most often found at the end of the manuscript, though you may wish to gloss things at the bottom of the page on which they occur.
DVICE. Watch out that your creative writing doesn't start to look like a term paper or a dissertation. Interesting facts and citations may seem so to you, but the reader likely just wants to get on with the story or poem or novel--and indeed may already know the information. Do this sparingly.
If you are working with other languages, an occasional translation may be quite helpful. If there are many instances of necessary translation, however, consider an alphabetized vocabulary list at the back of the book.
e. Author statement or preface.
You may have reason to set up a context for your book, in which case a preliminary author's note or a foreword would be appropriate.
DVICE. If you must write this to explain your book because the book itself does not make itself clear, something's wrong. Go easy on this idea.