Type Spec Can Lead To Revisions….

Here’s one for you Indie Publishers and Authors out in the ether.  Choosing the right type SIZE is critical for your book.  I knew that.  I really did, but I chose the wrong size anyway, and it’s embarassing!

When you design your book, of course, 12 point type would be wonderful for everyone concerned, assuming that the number of pages and the cost of each book were not important.  12 point is very legible, even for folks with vision issues.  It does, however; increase the length of the manuscript.

Increasing the length of your manuscript, post editing, will increase the cost ofthe printing of the book.  I decided early on, that I wanted to keep the retail price of the book under US$12.  It still really rankles me that a trade paperback from an acknowledged author will set you back $14 to $16!  I guess my memories of $4.95 pulp fiction read while younger are to blame. 

Anyway, I didn’t think it would make sense for my first novel to cost the same amount as a blockbuster, so I adjusted the design.  I forgot — I guess lost in the crack between my desk and file cabinet — that you need to tailor the book for your readers.  My readers are interested in Irish Heritage, Celtic culture and archeology.  They’re also a bit older, let’s say, than most readers of upwardly mobile urban vampire novels. 

10 point type kept the original book cost down, but made reading tough for older readers, so I gave in after a few really great readers suggested larger type. Thanks to POD technology, I can issue a new, larger type edition without missing too many beats! I’m also very happy to report that the new revised edition only runs 32 pages longer — the equivalent of 3/32" of spine width.  No major cost increases have resulted.

I’m going to offer to exchange earlier editions at my cost, which should make somebody happy.  Well — at least I’ve learned something!  When choosing type point size ALWAYS consider the age and vision of your primary readers. Always.

The new edition should be available on Amazon in 10 days or so, and I’ll announce it here and on my website.