Once you’ve done all the hard work of writing your book manuscript, you’ll need expert assistance to create a stunning cover and for designing interior pages. You want to make sure the book’s interior marries well with the book’s cover, target market and purpose. I am a book lover in my heart and I have been since I was just learning how to read. I love to go into a book store. I am continuously delighted with the cleverness used in book design, an area where you might think there’s not a lot of room for innovation.
In this post, I am going to address the inner appeal of a well-designed self-published book. These graphic elements and inner appeal go hand in hand. Next month I’ll address the key elements of book cover design for self-published authors. In that post, you will find the essential elements that make your book work well and get sold.
Designing Interior Pages to Evoke Feelings
The artwork on the cover should induce a particular feeling that will match the message of the book. You wouldn’t use intense jewel tones, for example, on the cover of a book about meditation. You’d use subtle coloring. Once the cover is completed, you need to ask yourself what feeling you want to sustain on the inner pages as well. If your self-published book is more of a classical masterpiece around some deeply spiritual ideas, the inside pages might have higher quality paper stock.
It would be wise to go to a bookstore and browse the category your book will eventually appear and look at your competition solely for the purpose of how the book makes you feel. Hold it in your hands. See what kind of paper evokes the feeling you want your book to have. When you’ve chosen a printer, he/she can provide samples of the papers available.
Select the Proper Book Size
Sometimes a mighty message is contained in a very small, tastefully printed book. James Allen’s As a Man Thinketh and Don Miguel Ruiz’ The Four Agreements are two examples. These books have fairly wide margins; an extra blank page preceding each chapter and plenty of white space. Their fonts say “classical elegance” and their message is a classically spiritual message. Both books are in the general 5 x 7 size category.
You would be well served to think through the main impact you want to have on your readership. All of the key elements – cover, inside, color, paper, font, size – should portray that main message to your readers.
Who will be reading your book? Choosing the right font style for your target market is important for appearance, readability and for the requirements of your printer. Certain ages may have different requirements. If your book will appeal mainly to senior citizens, a larger font would be advisable. If it’s a children’s book, Oldstyle fonts are generally used. A slab serif font has very clean, easy to read lines and can help the eye move along the line easily. Again, a trip to your local bookstore to assess the competition for the ease of readability will help you make the right choice.
Consider a second font for your headers and book chapter titles. It should compliment the main font. Your graphic designer can assist you with these choices, but it’s always wise to have some idea in mind before engaging her.
Your self-published masterpiece deserves to have all the key elements lined up appropriately as do the books published by the big publishing houses so that your message comes across. The appropriate inside page design is one of the elements toward that end. Although you may never have considered it before you wrote your book, the design inside the book is equally as important as its cover.