Creating Your Unique Style


Book design is one of the last steps you’ll take before publishing. It’s where your manuscript begins to look like a book. Last month, we covered the foundational design concepts for achieving readability through typesetting and formatting. Making readability your priority ensures that the stylistic choices you make don’t undermine the ultimate goal, keeping your reader focused on your writing. Aesthetic is the focus here. There are two major considerations when we talk about aesthetics. First, what is appropriate for the genre or subject? Second, how your author brand is represented.
Regardless of genre or brand, each decision you make should support meeting reader expectations. Stylistic aesthetic can be subtle or overt, but both can create a mood or ambiance to complement your writing and the subject. Subtle choices might be the difference between using serif or san-serif fonts, title fonts, or the location of page numbers, whereas graphics and ornate fonts have obvious visual impact.
To begin, we’ll review how genre and brand impact your stylistic choices. Then we’ll talk about where your creative aesthetic can be reflected without hindering readability.
As readers, we have expectations. If you pick up a book with a thriller-style cover, you expect to read a thriller and not a period romance. It’s obvious when a cover doesn’t reflect a book. The adage “A picture is worth a thousand words,” doesn’t apply to your book’s interior. The style reflected in your interior can be on the subtle side—an ambiance—or it can be obvious—a whole experience. Even when styling is subtle, it should enhance the experience and not become a distraction. It should be congruent with the experience that your reader expects.

Read the entire article in the June 2022 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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