Friday, February 15, 2013

Self-Publishing Update

Cover for my soon-to-be published book.
I selected the cover I wanted after making a minor modification to the first cover concept sent to me by my CreateSpace team. Now I'm working with the team to finalize the interior body text font. I've narrowed fonts down to New Baskerville, and Garamond 3. Next step is to look at samples in these two fonts, at 11 pt and 12 pt, with 122.5% leading.

Leading (pronounced 'ledding') is the space between the top of one line and the top of the next line (i.e.,  line spacing). My feeling is that something greater than the standard 120% will make the book easier to read, even if increasing the number of pages slightly.

In order to see what the body text will look like in the actual 6 x 9 book, one has to print using the "Actual Size" print setting, not the setting that's automatically selected by your printer driver. Because most of us are printing on 8.5 x 11 paper, printing actual size will run over margins, but the text will look the way it will look in your 6 x 9 book. Thus, my initial reaction that Garamond 12 pt was too small changed when I saw it actual size. Looks okay now (although still not in love with the font itself).

The 12 pt New Baskerville and Palatino look too large. If I were to use one of these fonts, I would downsize to 11 pt.

The leading used by CreateSpace designers for the 12 pt Garamond was 14.4 (120%). I'm going to ask to see a leading of 122.5%.

According to my CS consultant, Garamond, Baskerville, Palatino, and Hoefler are the most "popular" fonts used by self-publishers. My guess is that this has more to do with what the design team offers up than what authors choose on their own.

I'm told that CreateSpace provides a resource on its web site that will help authors estimate how many pages their books will run, and that will help determine approximate printing costs. From what I was told, choosing between the fonts I mention above will not alter page count to any great extent (unless I really jack up size and leading). Thus, my primary concern is the reading experience.


  1. Yes, I like this cover much better, with the background image lined up with the inside of the sun.

    So exciting! :)

    1. Thanks. Always value your input! Tell Stew "Hi" for me.


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