FOB - What Is Meant by Front of Book?

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Front of book or "FOB" is a publishing industry term referring to the front section of a magazine.

FOB and Freelance Writers

Freelance writers are often instructed to aim for the front of book sections when trying to establish working relationships with magazines through queries and article pitches. "Book" in this case refers to the magazine issue. The front of the magazine is often the place for smaller, one page articles and features with reduced word counts.

Writers approaching a new editor or publication should first aim for the FOB (especially if this is specifically mentioned in writer's guidelines). Once a writer has established themselves as reliable and timely, then it's time to start pitching the "well" (where the features and cover stories are placed, deeper within the book).

Common FOB Articles 

Many FOB sections include the typical masthead and table of contents, followed by an Editor's letter. After that, the content published is often shorter, more succinct articles focused on specific topics that are uniform from one issue to the next. Examples may include news about the topic, a profile or interview and a repeating column by a staff writer. These FOB pieces are often visually consistent from one issue to another, and often arranged by "Departments."

One of the most understandable examples of FOB content and arrangement is Working Mother magazine's layout, which is done by age of child near the front of each issue: preschool, grade school, high school and so on.

Each section is consistent from month-to-month and covers a topic about children of that age.

Other Names for FOB

Front of book may also be referred to as "front-of-book" or FOB. However, don't confuse it with the term "front matter," which is a book publishing and editorial term referring to the front portions of a book, such as the table of contents and foreword.