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How Does Typesetting Work & The Rules of Typesetting.

Hello and welcome back to another article  today i want to talk to you about typesetting otherwise known as formatting and this is often construed as a boring topic but type setting and how you format your book is one of the most important elements  type setting or formatting as it is otherwise known or in the industry we call it book page composition so book page composition is now arguably more important than ever before the reason for this is many many years ago of course publishers authors you just had to worry about creating your print book and your hardback and that was all you had to worry about and of course you created let's say a six by nine page book and it would be printed a reader would go into a shop they'd take it off the shelf and that was that you know that one format of the book that one type of book was all that needed to be produced now in the modern era things are different you have ebooks and of course these ebooks are viewed on so many different devices so they'll be viewed on a kindle device on a desktop a laptop a mobile device a nook you know the list goes on and so this idea of typesetting formatting and book page composition has to cover all these various devices that people use and the book has to look good on all these devices readers are now expecting and have become accustomed to really good design so really good formatting and that's not just in a book they you know they experience this high quality design in marketing materials websites.

 you know magazines so that is why your book to hold a reader's attention and to get them interested it has to look appealing as well so it's not just about the content as we've you know established people will judge your book flights cover they're also going to judge it by the design choices you make inside your book let's dive into the top 10 rules for typesetting the first rule is paragraph alignment so justified is the best option here and what that means is that the left and the right hand side of the page the actual text on that page is nicely aligned so it runs in these straight lines and it looks professional it looks tidy and it looks good to the reader when they open that book you will see some books use a ragged write alignment and that can work for shorter blocks of text but we wouldn't recommend it for much longer blocks of text rule number two is margin so you really need to think about your margins your margins have to be appropriately laid out the reason for this is when your book is actually produced so when your print book or your hardback book is bound it needs to ensure that the margins are sufficient so that you don't get um text sort of overlapping in the center of the book so when you open up your book you don't want to see text kind of right in the middle in the spine or touching the spine even worse.

 so margins are really important and that is rule number two font is rule number three so there are certain choices you want to make when it comes to font a serif font is more readable the reason for this is that it follows how we would naturally interpret that letter or how we would write that letter so the opposite to that of course being a sans serif font we would recommend a serif font for the actual text and for most parts of the book you can use a sans-serif font on the titles subtitles headings things like that to make those stand out but when it comes to actual text and making sure that your readers can digest it easily you want to be using a serif font rule number four that a typesetter will be following is what's known as the book block if you take out your sample book you will see that the text on the book is tightly confined to a set space you know it's all space in a set manner this is what we call the book block effect so this is rule number four this is the book block effect so with the book block effect you'll notice that any text that is lined up on the left hand side of the page will also link to the corresponding right hand side of the page rule number five is word widows and word orphan a word widow is the first line of a paragraph that falls on the last line of a page so it's the first line of a paragraph but it falls on the last line of the page so you have your full stop and then it says the you know which let's imagine that is the start of that next sentence.

 and the the that word falls on the last line of the page you want to try to avoid these they can just be a bit disruptive for the reader you've probably had that if it falls at the end of the page and then you turn the page over you know to the next page to finish the sentence it can just be a bit disruptive from a readability standpoint so that's why we recommend avoiding those if you can you don't have to you'll see many books where there are these word widows but you know typesetters will try and eliminate these as best they can then we have a word orphan a word orphan is the last line of a paragraph that appears at the beginning of the next page so an orphan is the last line of a paragraph that appears at the beginning of the next page so for example it could be that the you know end and then that end actually appears on the next page and then a new sentence starts so again it can just be a bit disruptive for the reader as they turn over the page um to of course finish that sentence that was on the previous page so that was rule number five.

 number six which is to watch out for word widows so this can be even on the same page so you're not switching over as we previously discussed with the widows and the orphans um where there was a page turn these particular word widows is where you finish um you've nearly got to the end of your sentence and then there's one word at the end which flows over to the next line and is left stranded there personally it's not something that i find hugely disruptive hype setters will go through and see if they can eliminate this where possible rule number seven this is all about formatting special characters properly so i mean uh speech marks for example is a really good example of this where we'll sometimes receive a manuscript and in some parts of the manuscript the speech bubbles are curly and in other parts of the manuscript they're straight so a good typesetter is going to go through and look for these issues and then look to rectify these errors that have been made on the special characters so that is rule number seven type setting special character rule number eight is paragraph spacing and indentation so this is a simple one it means that making sure all the first lines for example of your paragraphs are indented in the same way the whole way through the manuscript and making sure that the spacing between your paragraphs is the same so making sure everything is uniform throughout the match rule number nine word spacing should be even so if you open up your sample book what this means is that the spacing between all the words and your manuscript should be equal so we don't want to ever be reading through a manuscript and we see that the spacing is slightly different between the words that's really disjointed.

 and it will just become a bit distracting for the reader a little bit confusing and just means that the text won't flow like it should rule number 10 is word stacking so this one really speaks to the ocd amongst us word stacking is where you would have a word that appears at the start of a paragraph at the end of a paragraph or where you've got two separate paragraphs and it's the same last word as it is the same first word or even potentially as a paragraph is typeset you might have the same word stacked on top of each other in places again it is could be argued to be slightly pedantic but um it really just all of these elements remove distraction for the reader and that is really the goal you don't want the reader getting distracted and readability is a huge factor in getting readers to push the whole way through your book and read the entire manuscript i hope you've enjoyed the 10 rules for typesetting typesetting as you can see is incredibly important it is a very involved process and it really does require an expert to produce a truly outstanding result we hope you've enjoyed this article.

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