Publishing 101: Interior Design

Publishing 101This is one in a series of posts entitled Publishing 101: Draft to Book in 30 Days. To learn more about this challenge, visit the Publishing 101 page, where all links regarding this topic will be listed as they become available.

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The interior design for a book is like the interior design for a bedroom or kitchen. For a room the designer must decide the colours of the walls, the material for the floor and the style of light fixtures and furniture.

When you design the interior of a book, you need to think about which font style and size to use for the front matter, the back matter, chapter titles, headers, footers and the body of the text (the actual story). You must also decide the layout of these items. Will the page numbers be at the top of the page or the bottom? Will they be centred, to the left or to the right? Will they be a number or will they have the word ‘page’ in front of them?

In general Interior Design focuses on…

  • book dimensions
  • paper colour
  • front and back matter font
  • novel text font
  • chapter titles font and style
  • headers font
  • page number font
  • drop caps for chapter starts
  • scene break design

Book Dimensions

I’ve chosen 5.5 inches wide by 8.5 inches tall for Fowl Summer Nights. It’s a good average size for a novel. If I were publishing a children’s picture book, I might go 8×10. I’ve also published books at 5×8 and 6×9.

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