Friday, July 05, 2013

Fonts! Spacing! So many details in an ebook

On Kindle my book, Soul Mates, was an easy read. Now attempting to send it to Create Space for a paperback copy.

I have a ...what do they call it? Sample copy? Anyway I hate the font! Its very light and that alone makes it hard to read. So I know I have to change this. Do I make it Arial rounded? Times New Roman? Courier? Do I bold it?

What about spacing? I think it might be better double spaced or am I only thinking that because of the font issue?

Decisions, decisions....

A friend spotted an error in the ebook, so I'm reading it backwards (brain-drain!) to try and catch the typo. I wish she had noted the page number, but she said "next time" so that will help for the next book. I do see I sometimes miss little words like "an" or "the" when I'm editing my own work. I think my brain knows it so it tells me it sees things that aren't there. Weird.   Do they teach copywriter classes?

Still watching Zimmerman trial....It's addictive!

Favorite fonts? Do you bold?

The devil is truly in the details...


Charles Gramlich said...

Arial is a pretty good font for darkness. I wouldn't bold it all though, and I wouldn't double space. That doesn't look like a regularly published book.

Ty Johnston said...

I wouldn't double space, as it will look unusual to the average reader's eyes and this might draw their attention away from what they're actually reading.

As for fonts, unless you're publishing a book that includes a fair amount of images and lots of white space, I'd suggest avoiding any sans-serif fonts, which includes Arial (and Helvetica, Franklin Gothic, etc.). Such fonts in mass text are a strain on the readers' eyes.

As for which font to use, Times Roman is common enough and approved by many typographers, though some might argue it is far too common. Garamond is less common and a little tighter and smaller than Times Roman. Really, any common serif font should work fairly well for large portions of text, generally meaning the main body copy.

I would not suggest bolding the body copy. Such could actually make the text more difficult to read. Bolding headers and such is probably okay, depending upon the font.

Other than the choice of font itself, the point size of the text is probably most important in determining readability. I've found with CreateSpace that 11 pt. Times Roman works fairly well, though I think 11.5 reads even better. 12 pt. is too big and jarring to the eye of the average reader, though large print editions sometimes run body copy as big as 18 points.

Tara Maya said...

I do my own covers, and also design covers for small publishers and indie authors. Here's some posts I did on design tips for a cover:

The interior is in some ways even more difficult. I design mine using InDesign and use the font Garamond. But you can do it in Word. Use single space and a serif font.

Of course, I'm biased but I want to stress that if you are an indie author, it's worth it to invest in a good cover. It can really boost sales. If you don't have the money to invest upfront, I'd say go ahead and publish, save up the money and then use that to invest in a better cover further down the line.