What Are Interior Book Design and Typesetting?

You have typed your book in a word-processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Word Perfect. Why not justify the margins, check for typos, and print?

Interior book design–the art of laying out a manuscript–is just that: an art. It is also a science. Interior book design is a skill that improves with experience. Right away, “the difference between doing it yourself and hiring a professional”–that oft-repeated phrase–is clear.

The layout and design of a book should suit the content. A book for children will have a larger font than a collection of academic articles. Screenplays, picture books, text books, travel guides, and cookbooks all require careful design. The design of a novel or self-help book should allow the reader to flow through the pages. Why? So he or she fully enjoys reading or easily gains knowledge from the book.

A well-designed book is pleasing to the eye. People may go to the bookstore, pick up a book whose cover and title appeal, open to any page, and immediately decide that the font is too small or the words are too cramped for them ever to read the book, even if they might delight in the content.
These are some of the elements that an interior book designer considers when determining a book design:

o page and margin size

o font selection

o paragraph and line spacing

o title page and table of contents

o headers, footers and page numbers (perhaps with a graphic)

o chapter titles or section headings

o graphics placement & design (illustrations, photos, charts)

o layout of special material (such as tables, front matter and back matter)

o use of white space

o hyphenation control

o orphan and widow control

o special touches in the design that make your book unique

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