This month I’ve been discussing the basics of formatting your book interior. Welcome to volume IV. As a recap of the last few weeks:
Tip #1 – Match your half title and/or title page to your cover.
Tip #2 – Check your document for Widows & Orphans.
Tip #3 – Know the order in which your front matter and back matter should be arranged.
Tip #4 – Make sure your margins, gutters and leading are sufficient.
Tip #5 – Include Running heads and folios
Tip #6 – Don’t forget to leave your Blank pages blank
And finally, this weeks tips are…
Tip #7 – Roman numeral pages. – Did you know that page one isn’t really page one? If you are formatting your own book, you should know that the front matter sections are treated differently with regard to page numbering. These pages get their own page numbering scheme, to denote that they are separate from the body of your book. The front matter items are given roman numbers, whether they get a page number or not.
You might be scratching your head about now… Let me explain. For instance, your title page is technically page i (assuming there’s no half title page), even though it does not display a page number. Subsequently, your copyright page is page ii, even though, it too, does not get a page number. Your dedication, assuming you have one, would fall on page iii and your foreword might fall on page v, both of which would display their respective numbers. It’s important to know which pages get numbers and which do not if you want to emulate a professionally formatted book. Page 1 doesn’t happen until the first page of the body of your manuscript. Chapter 1.
Tip #8 – Font choices. Choosing the right body copy font can make the difference between an enjoyable reading experience, and a struggle. The function of the proper font is to assist the eye in making the journey from one end of the line to the other. Some fonts are just naturally easier to read than others. Have you ever tried to read a line of text in all cursive caps!? Give it a shot, and you’ll know what I mean. If you want your readers to enjoy their experience, stick with the classics, like Bookman, Caslon, Garamond, or Century Schoolbook. There are a few more like Bembo and Sabon, but the previous list is fairly common to most computers. Larger, san serif fonts (dare I say it… Comic Sans!) are typically only used for children’s books. And heaven forbid, give the old Times New Roman a rest!!
I hope that was helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. And feel free to let me know what topics you’d like to learn about next month.