This is a quite specific list for UK novels
This is only about formatting a fiction novel for the UK market.
Some different rules apply for the USA, and for non-fiction, but this is what I have learned so far and I am going to break it down into a simple checklist.
Obviously others will have their opinions, which may be just as valid, but I reckon this list is a good starting point, and I have made enough mistakes, by now, to be a bit of an expert.
- Book size 7.8″ x 5″* which is 198mm x 129mm – Portrait (obviously)
- Paperback cover weight – 250gsm-300gsm is normal
- Interior paper (typically) 80gsm-90 gsm cream, or other off white colour (not white)
- Font – Garamond 10pt or 11pt (11 is just a little easier on tired eyes like mine)
Font for younger readers – Century Schoolbook 12 or 14 point
- Single line spacing. 6pt space between paragraphs
- Justified both sides. Nice neat straight lines down left and right
- Mirror margins and a gutter to stop the text disappearing down the spine
- Start each chapter partway down the first page. (maybe add an image above)
- Get the header and footer formatting right. (e.g. page 1 is the first page of the story, not the book.)
I think that’s all, but I will add others as and when I think of them or people point them out.