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Writing Books/preface/roman numerals


As a reader, not a writer, and it may be a "no brainer" that I'm not aware of, but, I was just wondering why Roman numerals are used in the preface  of a book.  Thanks for your time.  Lynn

The preface presents the purpose and scope of the book. In it, an author explains why he wrote the book, for whom it is intended, and what makes it different from others on the market. He may also highlight the books distinguishing features. Preface is a preface or forward in a book.

It is common for the page numbers in prefaces to be displayed as continued lowercase Roman numeral(s) rather than Arabic numerals. Prefaces are usually listed in the Table of Contents.

However, in all the research and general experience in novel writing, there has not been a "reason" for using lowercase Roman numerals. I believe it is a format strictly used for a Preface, which some books don't have. It is a writer/author's preference to offer a Preface.

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Jannie Balliett


I am a published writer, Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing, specializing in novel writing, and creative writing. I can answer most any question concerning writing a book, plot and characterization, tighten the prose, and the editing process, and help advise with publishing and the requirements of obtaining a literary agent.


I'm a published writer, freelancer, and Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing for my two Online writer workshops.

Sisters In Crime Internet Chapter, The Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Brazos Writers Group.

Writers Post Journal magazine, May 2006 issue, Augusr 2006 issue, Nov/December 2006 issue and soon in 2008, On A Whim, flash fiction anthology, offered in Barnes & Nobles and Amazon.

Some college, creative writing, fiction writing

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