Why Typesetting Matters

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You’re walking down the aisle of a bookstore, admiring covers and spines and itching to take an armful of titles home, but you only gave yourself permission to buy a single one. How do you choose? How do you pick just one book? 

Unless you’re looking for a specific title or author, you’re likely reaching for the most compelling cover. It can be a hard truth to swallow for writers, but a well-designed cover can determine the success of a book. No two ways about it—readers will not be enticed by a dull cover. 

Additionally, you want your front cover to give people a good sense of your fictional world and story, so it should match the tone of your book. If you have written a satirical story, you want your cover to reflect that. If you’re having a hard time with the outer design of your book, let us help

However, we’re here to talk about interior book design, which is so often neglected by both writers and publishers. Even with the rise of eBooks, which allow readers to control elements like typeface and font size, authors, particularly those self-publishing their manuscripts, shouldn’t leave these design decisions up to chance. That’s why we offer custom typesetting and interior book design, as well as eBook formatting

Let’s start with the basics. 

What is typesetting, and why is it important? 

Typesetting is the way in which text is arranged on the page before a book goes to print. It’s what makes the writing look organized and easy to follow. This is achieved by standardizing margins, line spacing, and fonts, among other more specialized design elements, such as drop caps, widow and orphan lines, and kerning. You don’t want the formatting of your book to be inconsistent or messy. Instead, you want your text to look as polished as possible, so it’s always a good idea to spend extra time on typesetting.

Typesetting can add personality to your book and help it stand out, and it’s what makes for a smooth, visually appealing reading experience. It ensures there are no design flaws that can pull the reader out of the story. It’s also a sign of professionalism that can’t be recreated without training, experience, and the right tools. 

Though you can certainly do the typesetting for your book on your own, you should be aware of the pros and cons of this approach. After all, professionals exist for a reason, and a professional typesetter will ensure that your book is as sleekly presented as possible. Still, keep on reading to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of DIY typesetting and professional typesetting.

DIY typesetting vs. professional typesetting

Writers taking the self-publishing route can be particularly reluctant to hire designers and typesetters as it can feel like an unnecessary expense, but trust us—this is the kind of investment that truly pays off. 

Sure, there’s software out there you can use to format and design the interior of your book, but software will never be enough if you don’t have the eye, skill, and experience to milk it for all it’s worth. It can also be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming, which feels counter-productive. Free or cheaper applications also exist, but they have limited customizable options that likely won’t allow you to design your book exactly the way you want it to look. Only a professional designer can really do that. Plus, some can even create custom fonts for you. How cool is that?

Professional typesetters and layout designers can facilitate the reading experience you’re picturing in your mind when you think about a printed copy of your book in someone’s hands. By hiring professionals to do this work for you, you will save yourself time and energy. Even better, you will also rest easy knowing that your work is in the best hands. 

Regardless of whether you decide to do it yourself or hire a professional, it’s always a good idea to do some research by studying published books within your genre or style for a better sense of what you wish the finished product to look like. You don’t want to throw readers off by using a sans-serif font for a nonfiction book. Thus, you should look up industry conventions and make sure you follow them.  

Design is an integral part of book publishing and shouldn’t be overlooked. From following a printer’s guidelines to making it look good on the page, quality typesetting can be crucial for a book to succeed. So, before you send your finished manuscript off to print, read more about our custom typesetting and interior book design services.

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