Thursday, August 4, 2011

Quick tip for print formatting

Avoid the hell I’m about to put myself through and take this advice: when formatting your book for print, after you’ve decided on a font size and leading for the main text, print out the first few pages before you waste your time formatting the entire damn book. I had mine set at 11/14 (11pt font with 14pt leading), it looked good on the screen, so I spent all weekend perfecting the formatting, removing widows and orphans, getting everything so that it looked flawless on the page. Then today, I printed out a couple of pages to see how it would look… and realized the font came out smaller than I wanted. :/

So, now I’ve changed my basic paragraph setting to 12/14, and have to go through each chapter to redo all the editing to correct the layout and widows/orphans all over again. This is going to set my progress back at least a couple of days, especially since I did the original formatting over a weekend, when I had the whole day at my disposal, and now it’s the week and I have less time. Argh. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I should have known better! I never use 11pt font when I’m writing things, because it’s too small. Whatever possessed me to think it would be good for this book is beyond me. Temporary insanity, I guess. Argh.

I’m also going to have to redo my cover, because this is going to add extra pages and change the width of the spine. More argh!

Edit: After looking at some other books, I've realized I may have jumped the gun a little there.  11pt seems to be pretty standard in both paperbacks and hardcovers/trade paperbacks, though the latter have a slightly larger leading than I used. So I think I'm going to go back to the 11pt, but change my leading from 14 to 15, just to give it a little more space. I'm going to play around with it a bit first and see how it looks. Still, my advice is good. If I decide to up the leading, I'm still going to have to re-format the whole thing!

1 comment:

  1. My personal nightmare was having to nuke all formatting and put italics back in ... over and over.