Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Choose The Correct Font For Your Published Masterpiece. Otherwise, It Sucks!

Yes, I'm late with my blog this week, and that's because I've been "backside up-head down" trying to correct those wretched typos which creep into our writing, and destroy reader credibility. On top of that I chose the wrong font in which to publish! It's amazing how something as simple as font choice can affect the overall look of a book.

Here I was thrilled to finally be holding a physical of my novel, Bloodgifted, only to realise the font I'd chosen - Century Gothic - (despite it's name) is not suited to a work of fiction. Looks great if used to describe the mating habits of vampire bats with accompanying images, but not - I repeat - for a novel.
Who would have thought?!
To illustrate my point, here's an example of Century Gothic in action using a segment from my desperately-trying-to-get-released-novel.


             Aunt Judy and I walked out the back entrance of the house and down the narrow brick-paved pathway that led to a low stonewall separating the house from the Council owned park on the other side. Opening the wooden back gate, she led me out and onto the quiet path that ran alongside the gently coursing Cook’s River. A gentle breeze sighed through the upper branches of the weeping willows that lined the sloping bank, bringing the sweet scent of a summer evening to lazily drift around us. 
She stopped, released my arm and turned to face me. ‘Laura dear…’ she looked at me pensively, ‘…I knew this time would come, but still it’s hard to know where to begin, especially as –’ she paused, her face flushed, and her hands, which lightly gripped my elbows, shook slightly, ‘– you’ll have difficulty believing it. But nevertheless, all I’m about to tell you is the truth. Never doubt it.’
Well, “curiouser and curiouser,” as Alice in Wonderland remarked. As a child it had always been my favourite story – that of an ordinary girl who suddenly finds herself in a strange and perplexing world.   

You can clearly see it doesn't work. The spacing was also wrong. 
Now, here's the same example using Garamond 3, 1.5 spacing - 

Aunt Judy and I walked out the back entrance of the house and down the narrow brick-paved pathway that led to a low stonewall separating the house from the Council owned park on the other side. Opening the wooden back gate, she led me out and onto the quiet path that ran alongside the gently coursing Cook’s River. A gentle breeze sighed through the upper branches of the weeping willows that lined the sloping bank, bringing the sweet scent of a summer evening to lazily drift around us.
She stopped, released my arm and turned to face me. ‘Laura dear…’ she looked at me pensively, ‘…I knew this time would come, but still it’s hard to know where to begin, especially as –’ she paused, her face flushed, and her hands, which lightly gripped my elbows, shook slightly, ‘– you’ll have difficulty believing it. But nevertheless, all I’m about to tell you is the truth. Never doubt it.’
Well, “curiouser and curiouser,” as Alice in Wonderland remarked. As a child it had always been my favourite story – that of an ordinary girl who suddenly finds herself in a strange and perplexing world.

Much better! I only wish I'd it known earlier and saved myself all this time and hassle. But, as the old adage says, experience is the best teacher.
I also decided to change the paper colour, from white to cream, as it's much kinder to the eyes.

There we have it. Live and learn! Now, I must wait another ten days for the CreateSpace people (who've been fantastic through all this) to complete my corrections and send me another physical copy of my book. And, hopefully, this time I can finally press that "Approve" button and my book will be available on Amazon three weeks after that.

Will I hear the Halleluia chorus when that happens? I bloody well hope so!






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