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Formatting: Fonts and Spacing

  • At Liliom, most of our books are formatted to 6x9 size. We've delved into that here which is worth a read to sort your full manuscript settings. Now while that blog describes the setup for the entire manuscript, there are some other concerns that need to be stated. First off, we'll start with the fonts.

    If you're only offering a print version of the book, you can choose any font you like. Just make sure that you let your Liliom representatives know what font you chose, so if we don't have it, we can find and download it. This is so we can properly edit and format the work. Without the same font, another system will choose the nearest font they can figure to match with, which means spaces and page setup would be different than what you had specified when we open it on our end. A full manuscript for print is uploaded via PDF. This means that anything you or we save to PDF format is embedded, and that's exactly how it will print in your book.

    If you're offering an Ebook version of a book, it must be submitted as a .doc file. Unfortunately this means that anything you choose for fonts will be changed in the final output. This is because the font isn't a "WYSIWYG" in a .doc. You can see it because the font is downloaded onto your system. Anyone that doesn't have that font downloaded, will see errors and spacing issues, etc. Most Ebooks require a "standard" font. Ebooks are re-flowable, meaning they adjust to fit different screens. Due to this, the text must be a font that the readers support. Some options-

    Since many read on Kindles or Kindle apps, these are the fonts that the Kindle system supports-

    Lucida Sans Unicode
    Times New Roman

    Of those, the three most recommended for ease of reading would be Georgia, Baskerville, and Times New Roman. Times is pretty much the "mainstay", but you can certainly use something else if you want to give your book a little extra spark. Liliom generally uses 12pt Times New Roman as the body text, and whatever font suits the work as the chapter and title page headings. For Ebooks, we generally use Times throughout just to be safe.

    Now we move on to spacing. Liliom books are all set at 1.5 spacing. This is because when reading, spacing at 1 is too little room for the text to breathe, but double spaced is too much negative space. We prefer to indent the first sentence of every paragraph, and add a space between each paragraph as well. This makes the writing easier to flow, and the spacing between paragraphs is clearly defined.

    For chapter headings, we prefer the chapter heading to be on the 9th line, this leaves enough room to highlight the new chapter. The only exception will be anthologies, where we will instruct you what spacing to add based on what font we're using for the headers. For example, Half Past Dread's chapter headings should be on the 8th line, since the horror type font we chose takes up more room than our normal headers.

    Below is an example of the pre-formatted page for one of the Half Past Dread short stories. Now, depending on your program, this might be a little different. We are using Open Office for these directions and screenshots. Hopefully this has given you a glimpse behind the formatting curtain, and you feel much more secure in your ability to format your own print books. For Ebooks, Liliom outsources the formatting for those, so those print books are the only thing you need to be concerned about, what a relief!