What page numbering conventions are there for front matters (prelims) of books?
When a book uses arabic page numbering, the usual habit is to treat the front cover as a page number
1, and start the book itself by page number
3. However, sometimes the front-matter of the book is numbered seperately by roman numbers. In such case, should the first page be
i = 1 or
iii = 3?
In my experience it depends upon binding.
If a piece is a self-cover, then often the cover will be considered page 1. In addition, if there is no table of contents or forward, or other information not directly related to internal contents, there would be no need to number differently.
If a piece is not a self-cover, contains a table of contents, or a forward, or prologue, then I often start the front matter with lower canse roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv) and begin content with page 1.
One aspect many forget is that page numbering should always begin on the right side page for US/English left to right reading content.
There is some variation in this technique. The cover itself is often left out of the numbering. One tradition is to start the numbering with the inside front cover, often the title page.
There's no reason the numbering tradition should change based on the numbering style.