Page Setup & Formatting
Margins / Bleeds
Margin setting vary widely depending on whether you are working on a novel, family history, or children’s book. There are standard margin settings which work well for novels, poetry, anthologies, and memoirs, but books which are image intensive such as art books, or children’s books, often include full bleed pages. A full bleed page is one which includes an image or background color printed to the very edge of the page. This type of book layout requires a bleed area be included in the page layout design.
The positioning of the page numbers can vary from book to book. While we recommend the bottom center position on the page, the outside edge of the bottom or top of the page is also used. Page numbering is often split into roman numerals for the front matter pages and Arabic numbering for the core matter and back matter pages. Blank pages, as well as the title page do not contain page numbers.
Headers / Footers
The header and footer areas of the page are the very top and bottom areas, respectively. The header area can contain information such as the chapter title, book title, and page numbers. Information in the header of the page would appear in a different font size as the text in the main area of the page. The footer area should not include footnotes. Footnotes are found just above the footer area.
Book Font Styles
There are several excellent book fonts available, but there are many font styles which are not considered a book font. A true book font is one which is designed to be used in text heavy books without causing eye strain. The shape of the font, whether it is a serif font or not, and its natural line spacing (leading) are combined to determine what is a true book font.
Book Font Sizes
Book font sizes vary from one genre to the next and can depend on which font style is chosen for the page layout. The smallest book font size used is normally a 10 pt., with the average font size for a text-only book being 12 pt.
How to Determine Your Page Count
For our purposes, one page refers to one PDF page or one page of the book—not one sheet of paper. Each sheet of paper contains two pages, one on each side. Remember that the book machine does not do any folding, so your PDF should not contain any double-page spreads or signatures. Your final page count will be the total number of pages in your PDF document— everything from start to finish, including blank pages, dedications, appendices, and both numbered and unnumbered pages.