- Why is layout important?
- What do we mean by layout?
- Book layout:
- Further Queries
Why is layout important?
Just like we feel more relaxed in a well-kept house, reader will have a better time reading well-formatted books. This is why it is so important that you give the proper attention to the layout of your book. While it is preferable to give prior thought and planning to the layout of your book, it is possible to sort it out afterwards. Compare how it’s easier to keep your house tidy if you always put things back in the right place, but if needs must, you can undertake a massive clear-out until everything is organized properly.
What do we mean by layout?
What exactly does the layout of a book refer to? Once you have finished writing the content of your book, it’s time to shape it. This is when we have to take stock of all the elements and sort our work into an easily digestible shape. When faced with this task, you may well ask yourself the following:
- Where should I place the Acknowledgments?
- What exactly are the courtesy pages?
- Where should I start numbering pages from – and how?
- Where does the index, list of contents or glossary go?
- How do I arrange chapter headings and lists?
- In short: what are the essential structures and formatting my book needs?
In this post we will discuss the best practice for the layout and formatting of your book. Hopefully with this guidance, you will be able to format your book properly, just like the market standard you’d see in any best-seller in your local bookshop.
Don’t forget that here at Bubok we have a professional team of editors and designers at your disposal. We can help give your book the best possible structure, with a personalized professional layout. Nonetheless, in this post we’ll tell you the basics of how to properly lay out your book on your own.
Book layout: the first few pages
The first step consists in correctly structuring the initial, administrative pages of your work, i.e. those before “chapter one” even starts. These are the so-called courtesy pages. Here are some fundamental rules:
- The first two sides of paper are completely blank sheets without any type of writing, not even page numbers. Don’t forget to leave them blank when working on the layout of your book!
- The third page is dedicated solely to the title of the work and the name of the author. You also shouldn’t include a page number here.
- The fourth page is where you write your acknowledgments. You should also include the name of the copyright holder, the publishing house, the ISBN and the Legal Deposit, the name of the person who designed the cover or any illustrations etc.
- On the fifth page, the author’s details and the title are usually given again, this time accompanied by the publisher’s logo and some kind of motif taken from the cover.
- If you want to include a dedication, include it on the seventh page. Make sure you put it on the page on the right-hand side – the sixth page should be blank and unnumbered.
- On the ninth page, begin the index, content or chapter list, which may continue overleaf for several pages as needed
Book layout: organizing content
Once you’ve finished sorting the first few pages, start working on formatting the meat of your book. You need to properly format the sections, chapters or whatever other system of organization of content you’re using.
When creating your list of contents, you will be letting your reader know the structure of your book. When laying this out, consider the following:
- Try to ensure the chapters or subsections of your book always start on an odd page, particularly with non-fiction. That is, have new sections begin on pages on the right-hand side of a double-spread. This will allow the reader to more easily identify the start of each new section and it will convey a sense of order.
- Don’t worry if the left-hand page is blank. In this case, you might want to leave out the page number – as below:
- In general, pages that are blank, or contain only titles and images, not the actual text, might be better left unnumbered.
- If your book, is divided into various larger sections (e.g. Part 1, 2 etc.), within which it is subdivided into chapters, you can use double spreads with new title pages to identify the start of each section.
- Place the section title on the left-hand page, while the right remains blank. The covers may look something like this, and usually don’t have page numbers either.
Hopefully this post has alleviated some of your worries about the format and layout of your book. If you still have questions or want us to look over your work and offer our layout and formatting expertise, don’t hesitate to contact us or hire our layout services.
Translated from our Spanish-language website by Gregory Walton-Green