Book design refers to the layout of the interior of the book. Print books and ebooks will have different layouts
Fonts: Let’s take a look at print books first. One of the basic decisions is the font that you’ll be using. There are many font families to choose from and which one you use is a personal decision. I generally use Verdana font. That’s the type used for this book (unless you changed it). I also like Lucida Grande. Choosing a font can have economic repercussions for print books. Some fonts need more space than other fonts. The more space a font uses, the more pages a book will have. More pages means higher production costs. In other words, you, the publisher have to balance the attractiveness of the font with the costs of producing a copy of the book.
In similar fashion, the size of the font used also affects the production costs. Obviously, a twelve point font will require more pages than a ten point font will. If you go for a small font size to lower production costs, you start to affect the readability of the book. Is the type so small that some potential readers won’t buy it because they can’t read it?
With ebooks, the font family and font size are mostly irrelevant. Once a reader has the ebook on her tablet, she can change the font family and the font size to suit her own tastes.
Line spacing: If you’re like me, you write your manuscripts using double or one-point-five line spacing. Your finished book should have single line spacing so make sure you change that. This is another design element with cost implications. Double spaced pages will make for a book that is twice the size necessary. It will also look strange to readers. They aren’t accustomed to all that white space between lines.
Chapter headings: Chapter headings generally are a larger font that than the text font. It is essential that all chapter headings use the same font and font size. Here is another question to ponder. How are your chapters handled? Does the next chapter start after three blank lines? Or does it appear on a new page? Whatever you decide, be consistent throughout the book. This decision only applies to print books since ebooks don’t recognize page breaks..
Headers/footers: You should use one or the other, if for no other reason than to hold the page numbers. You can also put the book’s title or your name. I like to alternate so that one page has the book title and the page number while the facing page has my name and the page number. Ebooks don’t use (or allow) headers and footers so this is another print book only issue.
Front matter: This material is placed after the title page and contains copyrights and “do not reproduce notices” and so forth. It also lists the ISBN number and the packager’s name. This is also where you can put acknowledgements and dedications. Chapter Eight has examples of front matter.
Paragraph Indents: Do not indent the first line of a paragraph by tapping the space bar five or six times or the tab key once. Instead use the indents command. It will be somewhere in your word processor and you should use that command to format all the text in your book. Don’t try to center text (such as chapter headings) by using the tab key. Use the align text buttons to center it.
Master Manuscript: Once you’re finished with the book design and have eliminated typos and other errors, you’ve developed what I call a master manuscript. This is NOT what you submit to the packagers. It isn’t in a suitable format to get uploaded to the packagers, but you’re getting close.
My way: To ensure the crucially important uniformity of my book design, I write everything down on a sheet of paper, essentially a cheat sheet. This is so I don’t inadvertently change in stuff in the middle of the book. The cheat sheet has the font family (Verdana in this book), the size of chapter headings (eighteen point), the size of the text (twelve point), how many spaces between chapters (three lines), the spaces between sections (two spaces) and any other design information I need.
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Genre - Non-fiction: how-to
Rating – G
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