The frontispiece is a page with an illustration that is before the title page. It usually is facing the title page on the left hand (verso) side. This picture might be an illustration from the book, the author’s portrait or a dramatic rendition of the book’s topic.
You don’t need a frontispiece, but it is a nice addition. In my books, I often have a smaller version of the cover illustration without any text. Remember, you should have permission to use or own the copyright for any illustration you include.
The half-title page is a page which only has the title of the book on it. Sometimes the title has a bit of decorative script or ornamentation about it. The author’s name, subtitle, publisher and edition are not included on this page. The reverse is usually left blank.
The half-title page is counted as the first numbered page in a printed book even if it doesn’t actually have a number on it. It is part of the front matter and would use lowercase Roman numerals for numbering. It should be on the right side (recto). Hardback books still include the half-title page, but paperback books typically leave it out.
A second half-title page is sometimes included after the front matter before the first page of the first chapter or part. It is almost always identical to the first half-title page.
The title page should have the title, subtitle, author’s name and publishing company and city (or city and state). It also may include editor’s name, illustrator’s name, translator’s name, edition of the book, series number and year of publication.
You may also see:
With an introduction by….
Foreword written by…
The reverse side of the title page is often the copyright page.
If you wish to add illustrations, creatively use font, or add some decorative bits, then feel free as long as the information on the title page is still clearly visible and legible.
Assignment: Design your title page. If you will be including a half-title page, design that. If you have a frontispiece, set it up.