Avoid These Common Mistakes to Inspire You to Achieve Best Book Layout

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May 4, 2016

Know These Recurring Book Layout Errors to Guarantee Publishing Success

The book’s cover design is not the only thing people look for when it comes to book shopping. Readers take into consideration the entire layout of a book as a major determining factor upon purchasing a book. Even if your book’s cover design is flawless, there is a large possibility that your prospective reader will not go buy your book if the interior book layout isn’t properly done.

book layout
Image Source: Pixabay

To make sure that you follow the basic guidelines in book design and layout, we’ll give you a list of the most common book interior formatting errors that you should avoid. Knowing these will help your book gain positive feedback from the readers. Here are some of the mistakes that frequently occur when authors leave the interior book layout work to the unprofessional.

1. Page numbers on blank pages.

A page number should not be placed on a page without a text. A page number is not part of the contents of the book. Never in your title page, copyright page, advertising page, or in any “display” page of your book, as well.

2. Blank right-hand pages.

It is not acceptable to have a blank page on the right hand side of your book. Some books particularly nonfiction books have blank left-hand pages, and that’s perfectly okay. Right-hand pages should contain something and never be left blank. You may either add quotes or saying, works of art, or adjust the typography to avoid blank right-hand pages.

3. Odd-numbered pages on the left side.

One of the worst mistakes is putting odd-numbered pages on the left side of the spread. One exacting rule in book layout is to place all odd-numbered pages on the right-hand side of your book. In other words, the first page must always be on the right page such that odd-numbered pages are on the right, and even-numbered pages are on the left all throughout the book. Book designers also refer to page numbers as folios.

4. Unjustified typesetting.

Another common mistake in book formatting is what is known as “rag-right” typesetting. This simply means typesetting the books without justifying them, resulting to uneven or ragged margins on the right side. Most readers especially of novels, memoirs, and other standard books, would expect that the right and left margins of your page are straight. However, there are some instances when ragged composition is used for artistic purposes specifically in poetry, photo books, architecture, and other illustrated works.

book formatting
Image Source: Pixabay

5. Misplaced running heads.

Running heads are not allowed in blank pages and “display” pages like chapter-openers. Running heads (the text found at the top of the page that displays the book title, name of author, or chapter title) which are rampant only shows that the book page design work was done by an amateur and not a reliable book layout professional.

A book published with any of these pitfalls is a strong indication that the layout of the book was done by someone who didn’t know the rigors of this stage of the book publishing process. As an author, you must take note of these factors. As Joel Friedlander, a book designer and author, once said, “Paying attention to these details of book formatting will help ensure that your books look and work the way they are supposed to. Your readers will thank you for that, and it’s your readers you should keep in mind throughout the publishing process.”