I notice a lot of paperbacks have 1.5 line spacing. While I realize there is probably no "standard" I just wondered if anyone else has thoughts about what looks best.
The first question most people ask me when I tell them I've written a book is: "How many pages is it?" When you think about it, it's a completely irrelevant question (page count depends on font size, pictures, line spacing, etc.). But the amazing majority of people asking me this right off the bat makes me think I might as well use 1.5 line spacing just to beef up the page count.
Might be easier to read too...(but more expensive).
Man, I've never seen a modern book printed with 1.5 line spacing, except for off-the-wall cutesy books. If you want to flesh out your page count, I recommend using no more than 1.2. If you're using a program that allows it (such as Word), you can also increase character spacing to to 1.1. Neither of these changes will be noticeable. Use a chubby font such as Bookman Old Style, and generous, but not excessive, margins and gutter.
Other tricks to puffing out page count include using up a lot of your header area, like a blank space under the header text, then a line across the page, then another blank space beneath the line. Treat your page numbers (at the bottom of the page) the same way. Using drop caps may push text off the last page of the chapter onto the following page, as will scooting the text down a bit on the first page of each chapter.
Naturally, you want to start all chapters on a right-hand page, and if it isn't too cloying for your subject matter, preface each chapter with it's own chapter title page (always on the right hand and complete with a blank page on the reverse). This is an ideal place for illustrations or graphics if appropriate. If you make your chapter titles large (fancy font maybe), they'll fill up a lot of white space.
Printers talk in terms of "leading" rather than "line spacing". The optimal leading varies depending on the font and the width of the line, though there has been a trend over the years toward more leading. For example, Garamond 11/12 pt might have been considered suitable in the past. Now Garamond 11/14 pt might be more normal. It takes a lot of time and effort to learn typography. Some books you may be able to find for free in your local library:
Pete Masterson. Book Design and Production. Aeonix Publishing Group, 2005.
Robert Bringhurst. The Elements of Typographic Style. 3rd edition. Hartley & Marks, 2004.
James Felici. The Complete Manual of Typography. Adobe Press, 2002.
The Chicago Manual of Style. 15th edition. University Of Chicago Press, 2003.
As it happens, I've just posted a blog entry that covers this very topic, among other issues related to industry standards:
I always use the Tahoma font in size 11, set my line spacing to 1.5, and set my gutters wider than industry standard because it improves readability and doesn't require the reader to forcibly flatten the book in order to see the words closest to the spine (thereby ruining the binding). I've actually received compliments on my books' superior readability; not everyone requires a large-print edition, but many of us aren't fond of squinting, nor of wrecking our books.
It seems to me that most mainstream-published books use font sizes that are too small, along with line spacing and gutters that are too narrow, in order to reduce page count. More pages = higher production costs.
No Rudy, CS is only bothered about Margin area to be vacant.
You can use any style of font and line spacing you want, they are not concerned about that.
Though if you do not know much about designing and typography, go with the default settings.
Where did you see that? I just looked over the CS Submission Requirements page and didn't see anything specifying a particular font or line spacing:
I've published 3 books so far through CS, all with the Tahoma font in 11pt size and 1.5 line spacing.
Avoid Times. Not only is it the default font on most word processing software, and overused to the point on being annoying, it's a newspaper font and can cause problems when used for the wider lines of a book.
Most books credit the typeface these days, and you can track it down in the Amazon "look inside" in many cases. So check the books you own, or visit the bookstore to explore, or if you're more patient, use Amazon. Some serif fonts you might consider are:
A lot of what the spacing is depends on the book and the audience. I'm doing one now where a big audience will be elderly nuns, and am making it 12 pt Palintino with 15 point leading, as their aging eyes need the bigger type. Children's book use large type and wide leading. poetry is often widely spaced; so are "art" books.
I agree with April that the gutter (inside margin) of perfect bound books should be wider thanrecommended -- I generally use about 1.125". Especially for a thick book, the inside type will be shadowed if the margin is to small.
Double spaced, even space-and-a half, is WAY too wide for anything other than a specialty book. It ends uop looking like a typescript rather than a finished manuscript.