All posts in book cover layout

Jargon busting – what do all those formatting words mean?

Last week I was reading some content online about self-formatting the interior of a book, typesetting and making the layout work. I was struck by how ‘jargony’ the terminology is, like a lot of industries I suppose.

shutterstock_240006127Don’t forget, when typesetting language was first created, all type was set in blocks, by hand. Not on computers!

So here’s a summary of some jargon you might come across when formatting your book ready for self-publishing, and what those terms actually mean:

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What size should my book be?

This is a question we get asked a lot by authors.

I don’t know about you, but I had never really thought about books being published in different sizes. When you stand in a bookshop, it’s obvious of course, but it’s not your first consideration when you’re thinking about self publishing.

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These are the traditional sizing conventions publishers tend to use:

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ISBNs part 2: Lucky number 13

Many literary geniuses would confess numbers are not their strong point.

But when publishing your book, there’s one number you’ll need to get your head around – the ISBN.

Don’t worry, it’s not complicated. There are just a couple of key things you need to know.

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Recently we published an article about ISBNs which you can read here.

But one question we didn’t answer was the difference between a 10 digit and 13 digit ISBN number. It’s a question our clients often ask us, so we thought we would explain it in more detail.

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How to get the interior of your book right

How the interior pages of your book look are just as important as the cover design and editing. You need text that is comfortable and easy for your readers to read.

The little details that make up an easy-on-the-eye interior are so subtle you may not even notice them.

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So here are some tips on how to get the details right.

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How writing an effective blurb will boost your book sales

Imagine if someone asked to you to summarise your whole life so far in one page of text.

How would you go about it?

Which events would you describe, and which would you leave out? Which loved ones, family and friends would you include, and how would you talk about them?

It seems like a difficult task, doesn’t it?

Many authors feel like this when trying to write the blurb for their back covers. How on earth can I sum up my whole book in just a few paragraphs? Then there’s the added pressure of knowing readers will make a judgement on the whole book, based on just this brief bit of text.

Writing the blurb for your book

It’s a tall order, but if you follow these tips you’ll be able to write a blurb that shows off all the features of your story, and will have your readers dying to get to the rest of the book.

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