Friday, March 13, 2020

Typesetting 101 The Only Guide to Interior Book Design You Need

Typesetting 101 The Only Guide to Interior Book Design You Need What is Typesetting? Your Guide to Interior Book Design Think that you’re ready to publish your book? Think again. Before you send your book off to the printers, you not only need to make sure that the content of your book is good - it also has to  look  good on the page. Imagine your gut reaction to a room that’s sloppy and cluttered, for instance. Not great, right? If the interior design of your book is similarly slipshod, your readers will also discover a sudden urge to back away slowly.That’s why we’ll sum up the secret to a more inviting reading experience in one word now: typesetting.In this post, we define what is typesetting, investigate what separates the pros from the amateurs, and reveal exactly what you need in order to make a beautiful book. And of course, we'll answer the biggest question of all: how can you make sure that you’re properly typesetting your own work? Let’s find out.What is typesetting?Typesetting is the process of setting text onto a page. In this stage, which occ urs towards the end of book production, the typesetter arranges the book’s interior to create the best reading experience. He or she will, among other things:Determine the size of the margins,Style the chapter starts, andPick the right font typeface and size for the content.At its core, typesetting is all about visual communication. Underestimating the importance of typesetting is a mistake because that would affect the readability of your book - which, in turn, impacts its sales. In the words of world-class typographer Erik Spiekermann:Disclaimer: we’re the team that created the Reedsy Book Editor. Basically, our objective was to simplify the process of making a beautifully typeset book. We believe that we succeeded.  The Reedsy Book Editor is a one-click formatting tool that makes it incredibly easy to typeset books in a professional manner  -   and it is (and always will be)  free for writers to use.It's a  Ã¢  ¤Ã¯ ¸ Ã‚  for: Text-only books. Find  ou t more about the RBE in this FAQ.Adobe InDesignInDesign is an incredibly powerful design software that professional designers use. You can use it too, though it’ll set you back a cool $239. InDesign is capable of kerning, stroking, paragraph formatting, drop cap stylization - all things that might take you ages to carry out in Word.  But the curve to master its functions is really steep. If you’re willing to spend that time (or if you’re publishing an illustration-intensive book), we recommend trying out its free one-month trial.It's a  Ã¢  ¤Ã¯ ¸ Ã‚  for:  More complex books that contain many illustrations and page spreads.If this is all a bit overwhelming to you, don’t worry! Typesetting is a discipline that takes years to master. If you can’t commit the time that it takes to become a great typesetter, it might be a better use of your resources to work with a pro. Speaking of which...Tips for working with a professional typesetterProfessi onal typesetters are experienced designers whose medium of choice is typography. However, it’s important to make sure that you find the right typesetter for your work, which is why we’ve got some tips for you below - straight from the professional typesetters on our marketplace.1. Get a typesetter who’s familiar with the genre or market of your book. Euan Monaghan: Each category often brings its own conventions and styles. The writer may wish to follow these conventions, or utterly subvert them - but your designer needs to understand the 'normal' baseline for the intended readership.2. Look at typesetting examples of their work. Rachel Reiss: Always feel free to ask them to email you some PDFs, so you can examine their work up close. If they’ve designed different types of books, do the designs vary from book to book and do the different designs feel as though they "fit" the content of the books? Is it easy and comfortable to read the text?PRO-TIP: If you’re on Reedsy’s marketplace, you can click through typesetters’ portfolios to check out typesetting examples of their work.3. Judge the typesetter's work as a reader. Annabel Brandon: When you've encountered someone that may be suitable, try not to look at the design, instead, read their work. If it reads well, and you don't stumble or specifically notice anything, it's perfect. If a designer chooses to add ornamentation, there should be an apparent reason as to why. Otherwise, it's a distraction and doesn't honor the text itself.4. Educate yourself and ask questions. Kevin Kane: Designers, especially book designers, are some of the nerdiest people you’ll ever meet. Having an interest in their trade can make a big difference in the author-designer relationship. Ask questions about the designer’s process, and about the decisions they make while designing a book. If you find a designer who can’t answer your questions about book design thoroughly, you’ve probably taken on the wrong designer.Generally, the cost of a typesetter will depend on the type of book that you’re publishing - the typesetters on Reedsy charge between $500 and $2,000, for instance. However, whichever route you choose in the end, just remember to keep the end goal in sight: a polished, clean, and welcoming book interior that invites readers into the story.Have you typeset a book before? Which typesetting software did you use and what did you think of the process? Share your experiences in the comments below! We'd love to hear your thoughts ⠝ ¤Ã¯ ¸ 

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