Tips on Interior Formatting

I'm totally new at all this, but would like my first book to look really good from a page formatting standpoint. The template downloaded from Lulu for a 6x9 book seems really simplistic. What I am looking for is a tutorial, samples, etc. for how best to set margins, font sizes, header and footer, where to put page numbering, etc.

 

For example, the Lulu template has 3/4" margins on both sides, whereas books I've looked at in my library tend to have inner margins (binding edge) noticeably narrower than the outer margin, e.g. 3/4" inner, 1" outer.

 

Another immediate question is regarding font size. Again, the Lulu template is set to 12pt New Times Roman, but comparing a printout I made using this to books that I own, it seems like 11pt would be more like it. What is the best font size to use for a 6x9 trade paperback printed book?

 

Any other resources that you can point me to would be appreciated. Lulu's tools seem good, but their documentation seems oriented more to just the Lulu uploading and production phases.

Comments

  • The inner margins are usually broader in order to avoid the text being lost in the crease.

     

    Look up distribution requirements in knowledgebase. Make sure you follow their minimum requirements. Besides that, you are free to be creative with your formatting.

     

    There are several tutorials for ebooks but I could find none here on print books. However, there are tons on YouTube. Do a quick search and see what you come up with. I recommend you search something more specific that "Book Formatting."

     

     

  • I'm totally new at all this, but would like my first book to look really good from a page formatting standpoint.

     

    The best way to learn that is to look at many many mass-produced books as you can. Even take a tape measure to them.

     

    The template downloaded from Lulu for a 6x9 book seems really simplistic.

     

    In one way it is, in another it is not. Basically all a page consists of is text surrounded by a margin, possibly with Footers for numbering and Headers, for the book title and your name, but not all pages should have those on. But to achieve those things there are many hidden settings that people not use to Word have trouble with. You can often see where they are on the pages though if you click the tild in the banner. It's a yellow icon in the Paragraph section of Home. Then you should also see settings such as Sections, but not Page Breaks because they are up to you. Also Right Click anywhere.

     

    What I am looking for is a tutorial, samples, etc. for how best to set margins, font sizes, header and footer, where to put page numbering, etc.

     

    Look in books as examples, but to learn how to set them, Office/Word itself is full of Help and there's lot of guides on line   http://www.mswordhelp.com/ 

     

    For example, the Lulu template has 3/4" margins on both sides, whereas books I've looked at in my library tend to have inner margins (binding edge) noticeably narrower than the outer margin, e.g. 3/4" inner, 1" outer.

     

    In my opinion it depends on page count and binding method. The thicker the book the harder it often is to bend it to read it and POD paperbacked books seem to use a hot flow glue method though that seeps up the leaves around 0.10", I allow at least 0.18" for that as a gutter that is added to the inner margin, as Maggie describes. 1" outer seems excessive but not unusual. But this is where Proofs come in handy because you can then see the made book and adjust as required (Set Project to Private until happy.)

     

    Another immediate question is regarding font size. Again, the Lulu template is set to 12pt New Times Roman, but comparing a printout I made using this to books that I own, it seems like 11pt would be more like it. What is the best font size to use for a 6x9 trade paperback printed book?

     

    Size for size fonts are not all the same size. 11pnt TNR is a bit small. But I use 12pnt Garamond which is a bit larger than 12pnt TNR even, and it's about right, and nicer than TNR. Don't forget that as seen on your monitor is not often the same size when printed.

     

    Any other resources that you can point me to would be appreciated. Lulu's tools seem good, but their documentation seems oriented more to just the Lulu uploading and production phases.

     

    Lulu's help files are vast  Smiley Happy

     

    http://connect.lulu.com/t5/Print-and-eBooks/tkbc-p/forums_kb

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