A Guide For Successfully Typesetting Your Book

Whether you choose to typeset your book yourself or go with a specialized typesetting company, there are certain decisions that you will have to make to ensure that your book is formatted to its fullest potential. What decisions do you need to make?   


You need to decide what font to use in your book. Professional typesetters will be able to make recommendations, so let them use their expertise to help you. Some published books will also include the font they used on the imprint page, so spend some time going through books and identifying fonts that you like.

Also you need to think about the size of the font. When making this decision, make sure you keep your audience in mind. For example, if you are writing a book on fishing and the majority of your readers are going to be older males, then you should consider going with a larger size, as many male have difficultly reading small letters.


You also need to decide on paragraphs. Are you going to have no spaces or one space between paragraphs? Are you going to indent at the start of a new paragraph? Are you going to justify your text? These questions should also be answered with the reader in mind. Paragraphs should correspond with the font used to ensure a common objective. That is, if your readers are elderly then you need to make the text easy to read.

Chapter titles

There are so many different ways to arrange your chapter titles. Essentially this a decision based on personal preference and one that should enforce the style of your book. Are they going to be numbers? Will they feature symbols? Should they be printed alone on a separate page?

Once again, work with a typesetter. If you give them some creative control they can create some fun and quirky designs. However, ensure that the design reflects the style of your book.

Headers and footers

This decision is concerned with choosing the text to use at the top and bottom of the page, and whether page numbers should be included in the header or footer.

Illustrations and diagrams

Due to the complications that can arise from inserting diagrams or illustrations into documents, this task is sometimes outsourced by typesetters.

If you have solid blocks of text, you may wish to break it up with novelties. These can include: bonus gifts, tips, quirky facts and so on. Pull-out quotes are also a good idea and if planned with a typesetter these quotes can be presented in a colourful and original manner.

The key to benefiting from a book that is typeset well is communication. Let your typesetter know what you want and let them help you. The questions discussed in this article are merely a guide to some of the questions you should ask. However, you should not be limited to them. It's your book, so make sure you have all the information before you make a decision.


Dale Beaumont is the author of this article. He is an internationally renowned book publishing expert, the author of 16 best-selling books and the creator of the Get Published Secrets Program.  

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