Decisions need to be made about how your book will look when it is in the hand and/or on a digital screen. Is the design of your pages appealing enough to make a reader want to pick up your book, and then stick with it through to the finish?

A book should be designed with the target reader in mind. Who is your target audience? How old are they? The features of a youth-oriented fiction novel are very different than a children’s picture book or a book targeted at older eyes. The size of the typeface (‘font’), the whitespace on the page and between the lines, whether your book has headers or page numbers, and how those are placed on the page…. all of these factors are decisions that help make your book appealing to your reader.

We recommend that authors visit a bookstore or their home library and find a book that caters to their target audience. Showing us a chapter title page and an interior page of a book that you like will help us expedite the design of your book. Less design time equals more money in your pocket.

Spend an hour at the library or your favourite book store, and watch for the following design elements:

  • size of the book (books are typically smaller than a standard 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper.) Common sizes are 5.5″x8.5″, 6″x9″, 7″x9″, 7″x10″, measured in width by height. The genre of your book will also help determine its size. How big are other books of similar topic?
  • line spacing: is there a lot of ‘white space’ on the pages, or is the text fairly close together?
  • do you like extra spacing between sections, or perhaps between paragraphs? Note the fine differences between the books you are looking at and which methods you prefer.
  • chapter title pages: do you like a lot of white space on the first page of a chapter; does each chapter start on a right-facing page only, or perhaps there aren’t any chapter title pages at all?
  • headers and footers. Headers are at the top of the page, footers are at the bottom. They are a line of information that may include page numbers, author name or chapter titles, book title, etc. How would you like your headers/footers set up?
  • front pages: are there any blank pages at the front of the book, is there a prologue, map, title page, images, table of contents, etc.
  • are there any colour pages inside the book
  • are there any photos inside the book, or diagrams, and do the photos have captions below, beside, above?
  • will there be an index or glossary?

Webb Publishing is happy to lay out your book at our hourly rate. Doing some research ahead of time reduces your cost and helps us create a layout you will love.

Designing your book cover is discussed in a separate section.

“Books have a publishing standard, and every indie author is responsible to their readers in making sure those standards are met or exceeded.”

Eeva Lancaster
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