Authors take great care in choosing the words for their books. Stories hinge on using the right language to paint a mental image for the reader, and enjoyment suffers when the writer doesn’t carefully consider the impact of certain phrases or sentence structures.
One thing many writers don’t realize is that solid interior book design is also essential.
Think of it this way: If an orator writes an impassioned, poignant speech but mumbles, speaks too fast or too slowly or mispronounces important words when delivering it, the audience won’t be able to focus on the meaning of what’s being said.
The delivery is every bit as important as the message, which means writers must pay attention to proper interior book formatting. That includes using proper justification, margin sizes, readable fonts and paragraph lengths, among other considerations.
Determine the Size of Your Book
Coffee table art books won’t use the same size and format as romance novels because the two have completely different uses and audiences.
A mass-market paperback is typically as compact as 4.25” x 6.87”, while an art or photography book can be 8.5” x 11” or larger. Having the right size allows authors to create a logical book page design.
If the pages are too small, pictures and other graphics can feel cramped and illegible. If they’re too large, it can interfere with the reader’s scanning speed and make their eyes do more work.
Select the Right Font
The primary purpose of any font is to be readable. Using traditional fonts like Times New Roman, Georgia or Bookman ensures that readers can readily comprehend the text. Unusual or whimsical fonts such as Rustal Typo or Medusa Gothic are best reserved for art or children’s books.
Keep Uniform Spacing and Alignment
The human eye is sharp enough to spot even minute spacing and alignment errors. Mistakes in interior book design have a cumulative effect; after a while, readers will begin to feel that something is off and eventually become attuned to even minor printing errors.
You want to keep the reader’s focus on the words and only deviate from standard, uniform spacing and alignment if there’s an artistic reason for doing so. Even then, such deviations should be made sparingly.
Consider Your Headers and Footers
The headers and footers are utilitarian spaces reserved for page numbers and chapter titles or the title of the book. Minimizing the amount of extra information at the top and bottom of each page will reduce potential distractions and save that space for important text.
Be Mindful of Margins
Having a consistent margin around each page seems like a no-brainer, but it’s important to remember that once the book goes to print, there will be a “gutter” where the bound ends of the pages meet. For this reason, it’s wise to use a wider margin where the page meets the binding so the reader can easily see all the words in the printed book.
Use Art and Design for Chapter Pages
The beginning of each chapter is an opportunity to have some fun. Using an alternate font for the first letter, including a quote from an in-universe character or actual person, and incorporating graphics, symbols or illustrations are all excellent ways to springboard readers into the next chapter.
Choose a Unique Format for Introductory Pages
Your copyrights, forwards, acknowledgments, indices, tables of contents and other such pages should use specific formatting that’s not shared by the rest of the book. Usually, this means using smaller font sizes, italicizing or underlining text and centering the words on the page.
In some cases, you may also use special page numbering, such as Roman numerals for the foreword.
Consistency Is Key
Too many changes from page to page will distract readers. Whatever format you’ve chosen for your interior book design should continue from the first page to the last. You can count on the fact that readers will notice.
Select Quality Paper
How the book feels in hand also makes an impression on the reader. If you opt for cheap paper that’s prone to tearing or fading, your books won’t last long. Anyone hoping to keep your books on the shelf for years or decades will be disappointed if the pages can’t hold up to even light reading.
Invest in Worthwhile Resources
Hiring editors and proofreaders is an integral part of the book-writing process as these professionals will help ensure your words are impactful and memorable while also being grammatically correct and typo-free.
By the same token, you might avail yourself of book interior layout design services to ensure that your book looks and feels the way it should.
Working with designers who understand book layouts can transform a humdrum reading experience into an immensely pleasurable one. The experienced designers at Print Bind Ship can choose the optimal presentation format for your book and print it on high-quality paper.
Don’t Forget Interior Book Design — Remember Print Bind Ship
When you’re ready to make that book you’ve always dreamed of writing a reality, take advantage of Print Bind Ship’s premium design and printing services.
We offer both warehousing and print-on-demand options, meaning we’re the perfect partner to handle printing your book whether you want to keep hundreds of copies on-hand or only print them as they’re ordered. As a self-publishing author, you deserve the best possible chance of success. Print Bind Ship can give it to you.
Every book shares three essential components: the front cover, the back cover and the pages between them. Some books also come with additional features like slipcovers, inserts and incorporated photographs.
While it can be tempting to choose a lesser-used font to make the text in your book stand out, it’s generally best to go with a standard, easily readable font like Times New Roman, Georgia, Arial or Helvetica.
Use uniform spacing and alignment, and remember that the margins by the binding should be wider than those on the outside. Choose legible fonts and use them consistently. Remember, consistency is key — if you do something for one chapter or section, do it for all of them.