Spine and Interior Design-oh Yes

 

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Check out the spines on my husband’s bookshelf   Photo by Charles Huff

 

Recently I shared two posts about cover design. Front cover and back cover. There are two other design features to consider. One is really obvious, and I’ve mentioned it before in a previous post. The other was new to me. Yet, I see it every time I open a book.

Spine

When searching for books at the library we read the spines. Unless additional funds have been paid for placement, most books are shelved spine out. Be sure the spine of your book is easy to read and pleasing to the eye. Colors should match the cover but not overwhelm the font color. Examine the books you have on hand and you will see clearly which ones follow that guideline. Publishers may or may not allow you to make decisions on the spine.  Enough said on this subject.

Interior Design

Here is something I hadn’t even realized was a choice before. Open a novel and look at the layout inside. The title page, copyright and licensing page, acknowledgments, table of content. All of this front matter is part of interior design. In addition, how each chapter and page is typeset is part of interior design. Publishers often have different layouts based on genre. Again look at those books you pulled out to check the spine. Examine the pages.

Another easy way to see various designs is on Amazon. Click on the book cover to look inside.  This is an option to read a portion of the book before you purchase it. For our purpose, it gives us a chance to examine the layout of the book.

The design may affect the readability of the story. Personally, I dislike reading chapters that begin with Large first letters—especially the ornate variety.

Medievle Alphabet

Sometimes I am unsure what the letter is and pause to figure it out. I’ve noticed the fancy fonts don’t seem to format well in e-books. At least that has been my experience.

Take some time to look at some of the interior designs—both paper and e-book versions—of your favorite authors. How does it affect your reading enjoyment?

It’s so nice to be included in these prepublication decisions.

I share this new choice with you so when your time comes to make these decisions, you’ll be more enlightened about what you feel looks best. Even if your publisher might not give you a choice, it’s a good thing to know. For the self-publishing author this decision is all on you.

 

Please share your insights with me on your pre-pub journey inquiring minds want to know. J

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7 thoughts on “Spine and Interior Design-oh Yes

  1. Tere Belcher says:

    Thank you for all your posts about book design! I’ve been keeping your posts in a folder, and refer to them often.
    This is where I am in my book-publishing journey. I’m learning as I go along, and your knowledge is so helpful. It’s my first book, so I’m a little nervous about navigating such unfamiliar territory! I’ve been blogging about the experiences I have in the hopes that someone coming after me might find their path made a little easier.
    (Terese Hale)[http://www.abookfromtheheart.com]

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    • The suggestion to look in Amazon came from Kathy Davis the Acquisition Editor of Smitten, the Christian Romance brand of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. They allow the authors more input than some other publishers when it come to design. I’m excited to see what the final product will look like.

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  2. sherylmbaker says:

    Thanks Cindy. Your posts on book design are very informational. Thank you for sharing. I recently learned about interior book design from Linda Taylor’s editing classes at WTP this year. I had no idea that we might get to help make those decisions. Thanks for sharing. Good to know. I also like your suggestion to look at books on Amazon to see the differences.

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