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28,461 Views 2 Replies Last post: Dec 23, 2011 2:30 PM by Loric RSS
Level 0 23 posts since
Oct 15, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Dec 23, 2011 5:05 AM

Best Font/Size for 6 x 9 Book?

I just downloaded the 6 x 9 template and copy/pasted my manuscript into it. I noticed the template uses Times New Roman, Size 12, single spaced. I'm not sure this is the best font/size for a book. What font/size do you recommend?

Level 5 19,154 posts since
Sep 5, 2009
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1. Dec 23, 2011 5:36 AM in response to: Lisa_Follett
Re: Best Font/Size for 6 x 9 Book?

Roughly, TNR at 12pt in Word is when set using single spacing, about 12/13.8 . . . that's just shy 2 pts of leading, which is fairly standard. TNR is a beautiful font.  Most people here hate it.  The more they hate it, the more I look at it and the more I like it.  There is a reason that it is so common, why it is virtually the standard serif font on nearly every computer.  Some people will tell you that it is too narrow, after all it was designed for a newspaper to get more words into a column so that the paper could have more room for advertising . . . well, Garamond (except Simoncini Garamond), Jenson, and Caslon, for example, are as narrow or more so!


Typically 2 points of leading is normal (use Paragraph > Indents and Spacing > Spacing > Line Spacing > Exactly, then add the amount of line spacing you want to the type size, thus 12/12 is solid, no spacing, 12/13 has 1 pt of spacing, 12/14 has 2 pt of spacing . . . ).


The best way to tell what is "right" for you, is to print out at least a few pages. The text font does not exist alone. It is influenced by the running heads, the chapter opening treatment, the title page, etc. The margins are hugely important. So, too, is the content and audience. You probably wouldn't set Peter Rabbit in the same font you set "One Hundred Years Later: the Ornithology of the Galapagos Islands."


Take a look at  Build Your Book, a free, 98 page guide to designing your book. It has a small section on type.



Mechanics & Punctuation, free, 20 page guide to everything punctuation  Build Your Book, a free, 98 page guide to designing your book;  CS Digital understand CS digital possibilities; GIMP, free, tutorials, GIMP, GIMP Help, excerpts from GIMP Supremacy Supremacy;  Bleeds, free, 19 page, illustrated guide to bleeds and margins, do's and don't's for CreateSpace;  Contact for graphics, design, and typesetting help.  Disclaimer: all statements of apparent fact in this post are empirical inferences based on observational data. These are idiosyncratic in nature and have not necessarily been subject to verification.

Level 2 412 posts since
Jan 3, 2011
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2. Dec 23, 2011 2:30 PM in response to: Lisa_Follett
Re: Best Font/Size for 6 x 9 Book?

You gotta kinda feel out the look you're going for to match your tone.


For my 6x9 non-fiction with a bit of science-technical bent I used:


Font: Minion Pro 11pt

Line Spacing: 14pt

Special: 1st line indented 0.2" for paragraphs


Also used a 2-line drop cap at the start of the chapter, followed by the remainder of the first word (sometimes phrase) in 'small caps.'


Overall I think it gives a very polished look.


Edit: Also, chapter titles are all in size 20 minion pro small caps.


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