Creating your books interior might seem easy. You might think, “Well, I’ll just upload my Word manuscript,” and Bob’s your Uncle! You’ve got a book!
Uh, no. (not even sure you CAN do that, but if you could, I wouldn’t recommend it.) Keep in mind, your book, both inside and out, is competing with books designed in big publishing houses. Those guys CREATED the rules. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting tips that will help your DIY book interior look like a traditionally published book. So lets jump right in.
1 – Match your half title and/or title page to your cover.
I can generally tell, from the very first recto (right hand) page, whether or not your book was created by a professional. This is where I should find either your half title page or your title page. The half title page contains your books title, and nothing more. Many indie authors opt to just use a title page, instead of both, which is marginally acceptable. If neither are there however… dead giveaway. If at least one is there, the title should match your cover in fonts and layout. The next recto page is your title page (AKA – full title page) This page would include
Title of the Book
Subtitle of the Book (if there is one)
If you have a logo for your publishing company it should go there too.
2 – Check your document for Widows & Orphans.
These creatures are a particular pet peeve of mine. When I see them, I know instantly that the person who designed the book, did not know what they were doing. There is much discussion about the definitions of widow and orphan. The Chicago Manual of Style uses these definitions:
Widow – A paragraph-ending line that falls at the beginning of the following page or column, thus separated from the rest of the text.
Orphan – A paragraph-opening line that appears by itself at the bottom of a page or column, thus separated from the rest of the text.
My biggest pet peeve is a single word that lands on a line by itself, at the end of a paragraph. These are all rookie mistakes that are dead obvious to a professional book designer.
Stay tuned next week for more tips…