In a former blog: “Becoming Your Own Publisher” the book production process, you can find lots of tips and links for your book layout, cover and formatting process. Many new authors are complaining about the pre-print process at CreateSpace, other POD service companies or the printing company they use for larger quantities of paperbacks and books. They are suddenly confronted with fonts, typography, page and other book layout requirements. However, not only for printed books, but also for e-books it is essential to know a bit about the possibilities and rules.
To familiarize yourself with this (often) completely new field, read Joel Friedlander’s beginner
Understanding Fonts & Typography
Understanding Book Layouts and Page Margins
Joel Friedlander explains the basic building blocks that books are made of, and the typography:
type fonts and they way they are arranged on the page. He says: “There are so many tiny details
and decisions that go into formatting a book that you pretty much have to be someone who enjoys
working on that scale to appreciate book design. It may involve differences of a hundredth of an
inch one way or the other. That’s true for the decisions you make about margins, too.”
He cautions for example that “the “minimum” margin of .25″ that CreateSpace refers to is too small for most books. This margin measurement is meant to create a “safe area” so that nothing on your page is in danger of getting trimmed off.”
Michael N. Marcus explains why book margins are so important: “One of my basic rules of thumb
is that the a book’s outside margins must be large enough to comfortably fit human thumbs without
covering up any text. It’s really annoying to have to constantly re-position pages while reading
through a book.” His blog is another great reading for new author-publishers how book-layout works. He also wrote a great cautionary book “How to NOT Get Screwed by a Self-Publishing Company“.
Want to read and learn more about book design? If you are a writer working with a publisher (large or small) or if you are a small or first time publisher, these books will help you to understand the book production process and the principles of good cover and interior book design.
Book Design and Production
Basics Design Layout, 2nd edition
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